Spring break misses passover by a week

Major Jewish holiday should be covered

Sofie Geretz

This year, spring break was from March 22 until April 1. The break covered Easter and only two days of Passover, which ended on April 7.

Passover is an important Jewish holiday where the first two days and the last two days of the eight-day holiday are called “yom tov” (the translation is holy day). On these days, more religious Jewish people cannot write or drive cars, along with other day-to-day activities. Due to these last two days falling on a Friday and a Saturday, some Jewish students at Park, including myself, needed to miss school on Friday, April 6.

This caused me and other Jewish students I know to question how informed the school is regarding holidays and events. I was really upset when I found out I would need to miss a day of school for Passover. Not only because spring break could have been moved to the week of Passover easily, but also because throughout the year I constantly miss school for Jewish holidays. I understand school not blocking off days for all Jewish holidays as there are quite a few, but it upsets me that such a major one would be so blatantly ignored when it could have easily been accommodated. Other schools even decided to move spring break to the next week. It would have been so easy for Park to follow suit.

If the school had moved spring break over one week to fall on Passover, Easter would still have been on vacation.

— Sofie Geretz

The fact that they had spring break over the weekend of Easter is yet another frustrating aspect and makes having spring break miss Passover all the more irritating. The fact that the school consciously made the effort to aid those who celebrate Easter by having school break coincide with its celebration feels like the school is saying that Christian students’ needs are more valid than other religions’ needs. Additionally, if the school had moved spring break over one week to fall on Passover, Easter would still have been on vacation.

Passover is significant to Park students because it is traditional to avoid any form of leavened bread and other common foods like rice and corn (depending on from where your family originates). This makes it extremely difficult to feel comfortable in the lunchroom because I am unable to eat the foods I usually have, but I am surrounded by the constant reminder that my food choices are very limited.

There is a history of this country treating Jewish people as second-class citizens. They constantly prioritize Christians’ religious needs over those of other religious communities. I understand a majority of the country’s population is Christian, but minorities’ needs must be addressed. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be something as simple as changing spring break to the following week to cover a Jewish holiday.

This trend of ignoring minorities’ needs has to change, and what better place to spark change than Park.