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Observance of Jewish Holidays By Jewish Students and Teachers Four-Year During the School Year One of the great features of our American Calendar democracy is the respect our Constitution accords for all religions. Our founding fathers recognized that there is great value in the citizens of our nation following the dictates of their conscience. of Jewish At the same time our founding fathers recognized how important it is not to impose a uniﬁed state religious practice on everyone. In this spirit, the Community Relations Holy Days Committee of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee (CRC) hopes that Jewish students and teachers will ﬁnd a respectful atmosphere for their religious observance. Each year the response of many schools to Jewish holidays causes discomfort and 2012-2016 misunderstanding for many Jewish students and school authorities in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. The Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Nashville 5773-5776 believes the following information will be helpful in alleviating some of these problems. If you would like resource materials According to biblical and rabbinic precepts, or have questions about these holidays, there are certain holy days on which Jews are please call commanded “no manner of work.” For Jews, Jewish Federation of Nashville therefore, proper observance of these holy days and Middle Tennessee would preclude their attendance at school. at Students will spend these days in religious 615-356-3242 observance. A Service of the Because Jews use a calendar based on 12 Community Relations Committee lunar months for religious purposes, the secular dates of Jewish holy days may vary from year to Jewish Federation of Nashville year by as much as a month. & Middle Tennessee School officials should be aware that there are 801 Percy Warner Blvd., Suite 102 different traditions within Judaism that affect Nashville, TN 37205 school absences. For example, almost all Jews will Phone: 615-356-3242 observe the ﬁrst day of Rosh Hashanah as well as Fax: 615-352-0056 Yom Kippur, while some Jews will observe, in www.jewishnashville.org addition, four days of Sukkot and Passover and a second day of Rosh Hashanah. The smaller number of students who observe these additional days should not lessen the signiﬁcance of their absence. Again, we wish to underscore the fact that although Jews have different levels of observance, our concern is that all Jews observing holidays ﬁnd respect and understanding from the schools which they attend. Four-Year Calendar of Jewish Holy Days Shabbat Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Sukkot* Chanukah Pesach* Shavout Passover Sabbath Jewish New Year Day of Atonement Festival of Booths Festival of Lights Festival of Weeks Festival of Freedom One of the holiest Begins 10 days Most solemn holy day, Celebrates the har- Festive holiday Commemorates the Takes place seven days of the Jewish of repentance. devoted to praying vest, Shemini Atzeret commemorates the ancient Israelites’ de- weeks after Passover, weekly calendar. • and fasting. and Simchat Torah. rededication of the liverance from Egypt- and marks the giving Many Jews refrain IMPORTANT NOTE: • • Holy Temple in ian bondage. This of the ﬁve books from work and school ANTICIPATE IMPORTANT NOTE: Sukkot is followed Jerusalem after a 8-day observance in- of Moses (Torah) activities. WIDESPREAD ANTICIPATE by Shemini Atzeret successful revolt cludes restrictive di- on Mt. Sinai. • ABSENCE WIDESPREAD and Simchat Torah against Syrian-Greek etary rules. • Observance begins ABSENCE celebrating the conquerors. • Shavout is at sunset every Friday conclusion of the • The “Seder,” Conﬁrmation day and extends to sunset reading of the Torah Chanukah, celebrated a symbolic meal, is for some graduating Saturday. and renewing each night for held in homes on the religious school the cycle. eight nights, is a ﬁrst two nights. students. minor holiday and REQUIRES NO ABSENCES. School Year Shabbat Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Sukkot* Chanukah Pesach* Shavout 2012- Sunset Every Friday to September 17-18 September 26 October 1, 2 and December 8-16 March 26, 27 – April 1, 2 May 15-16 2013 Sunset Saturday October 8, 9 2013- Sunset Every Friday to September 5-6 September 14 September 19, 20 November 27 - and December 5 April 15, 16– April 21, 22 June 4-5 2014 Sunset Saturday September 26, 27 2014- Sunset Every Friday to September 25-26 October 4 October 9, 10 and December 16-24 April 4-5 – April 10, 11 May 24-25 2015 Sunset Saturday October 16, 17 2015- Sunset Every Friday to September 14-15 September 23 September 28, 29 and December 7-14 April 23, 24 – April 29, 30 June 12-13 2016 Sunset Saturday October 5, 6 *The ﬁrst day and last two days of these Holy Days have greater religious restrictions attached. REMEMBER THAT EACH HOLIDAY BEGINS AT SUNSET ON THE DAY BEFORE IT IS LISTED ABOVE.
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