10 Ways to Advocate by jcpainfo


                     Ways to Advocate on Behalf
                     Of Your Child in School
                     From the East Bay Jewish Community Relations Council

The following guidelines can help you be proactive in communicating with your schools about matters of cultural
sensitivity and holiday observances. Please keep in mind when you advocate on behalf of your own child that there is
a wide range of Jewish observances in our community. Know that while schools may try their best to be sensitive to
students from many backgrounds, they have a responsibility to acknowledge and respond to your concerns.

 1      Talk to teachers at the beginning of the
       school year about any concerns and issues
 you have. Offer to partner with the teacher in
                                                              6     Determine if there is a grievance committee
                                                                   at your school site or in the district. Learn
                                                              about the issues this committee tackles and consider
 creating a positive learning environment that respects       joining.
 the identities of all students. Work in a constructive
 way to get the teacher invested in your child.
                                                              7     Feel free to share resources with your
                                                                   teachers and administrators. JCRC can

 2    Bring teachers a copy of the JCRC Jewish
      Calendar and Guide, an informational
 brochure of observance dates and practices. As
                                                              provide recommendations of workshops and
                                                              programs for teachers and families on issues of
                                                              cultural sensitivity and discrimination.
 soon as possible, make note of the holidays when
 your child will be absent from school and request
 make-up assignments.*                                        8     If an issue comes up in the classroom or on
                                                                   the school yard that requires attention, start
                                                              by going through the appropriate channels:

 3     Determine the district administrator who is
      responsible for your school calendar. Make
 sure that administrator has a copy of the JCRC
                                                              teacher/ counselor/ principal/ mid-level
                                                              administrator/ district administrator.

 Calendar and Guide. JCRC sends this annually to
 Bay Area public school districts, but it may not
 necessarily reach the desk of the appropriate
                                                              9     Contact the JCRC if you need assistance, so
                                                                   we can work with you to ensure positive
                                                              results with the least amount of outside
 administrator.                                               intervention. If necessary, a meeting may be
                                                              required to determine if there are systematic

 4      Find out if parents can serve on the school
       calendar committee or in an advisory
 capacity to the committee. This is another
                                                              problems in the school and/or district that require
                                                              further attention.

 opportunity to insure that Jewish holiday observances
 are taken into consideration and your voice as a
 parent can be heard.
                                                              10       In the most serious cases, where anti-
                                                                       Semitic threats or racist graffiti are
                                                              involved, contact the JCRC and Anti-Defamation
                                                              League immediately. There might also be a need for

 5     Know the laws (Santa Claus is legal).
      However, don’t hesitate to discuss with teachers
 how they might present a more balanced picture of
                                                              intervention by law enforcement.

                                                                *Download the Jewish Calendar and Guide at
 holidays or curriculum that doesn’t marginalize               www.jfed.org/jcrc or contact the East Bay JCRC
 students of different faiths. Know that this can                  for more information at 510-318-6417
 include information about different religions but not
 activities that, in themselves, students would                                  Beneficiary of
 experience as religious.
                     To learn more about the East Bay JCRC
                or to view the Jewish Calendar and Guide online,
                           visit us at www.jfed.org/jcrc.

   Observances 2012 - 2015
   Observance                2012-2013                2013-2014                 2014-2015
   Rosh Hashanah             Sept. 17-18, 2012        Sept. 5-6, 2013           Sept. 25-26, 2014
   Yom Kippur                Sept. 26, 2012           Sept. 14, 2013            Oct. 4, 2014
   Sukkot                    Oct. 1-2, 2012           Sept. 19-20, 2013         Oct. 9-10, 2014
   Shemini Atzeret           Oct. 8, 2012             Sept. 26, 2013            Oct. 16, 2014
   Simchat Torah             Oct. 9, 2012             Sept. 27, 2013            Oct. 17, 2014
   Chanukah                  Dec. 9-16, 2012          Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2013      Dec. 17-24, 2014
   Tu B'Shevat               Jan. 26, 2013            Jan. 16, 2014             Feb. 4, 2015
   Purim                     Feb. 24, 2013            Mar. 16, 2014             Mar. 5, 2015
   Passover                  Mar. 26-Apr. 2, 2013     Apr. 15-22, 2014          Apr. 4-11, 2015
   Yom HaShoah               April 8, 2013            Apr. 27, 2014             Apr. 16, 2015
   Yom Ha'Atzmaut            April 16, 2013           May 5, 2014               April 23, 2015
   Shavu'ot                  May 15-16, 2013          June 4-5, 2014            May 24-25, 2015
Please note: All Jewish religious observances begin at sundown on the evening before the date above.
For example, Rosh Hashanah 2012 (the Jewish New Year) begins the evening of September 16.

                      Planning and scheduling for holy days and festivals
      The Jewish Calendar is a lunar/solar calendar; therefore, the dates of these holy days,
     festivals, and days of remembrance will vary from year to year. Even though the dates
       of the Jewish religious observances will be different each year, they will always be
        celebrated in the same season. The Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat),day of rest, begins
                    each week on Friday night and ends Saturday at sundown.

     The East Bay region of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) serves as the
       central public affairs arm of the organized Jewish Community and empowers the
    community to engage in tikkun olam (repairing the world) through social justice projects.

                     JCRC: Pursuing a just society and secure Jewish future
                             Jewish Community Relations Council
                                       East Bay Region
                            300 Grand Avenue • Oakland, CA 94610

To top