Prom date brings disappointment

Dance coincides with Jewish Sabbath


Tobias Khabie

After more than a year of sacrifices and hardships due to COVID-19, I was ecstatic to hear there would be a prom this year. However, when I heard the date was May 14 — a Friday night — I immediately felt a familiar sense of disappointment as it falls on the Jewish Sabbath.

This holiday is a day of rest for Jews; we rest on the seventh day of the week as we believe God did after he created the Earth. For me and many of my Jewish peers, this day has been the highlight of my week because it is dedicated to spending time with friends and family. 

My Jewish peers and I are tired of missing out on events that could easily be moved to a different date.

— Tobias Khabie

While I love the Sabbath, or as we call it Shabbat (in Hebrew), I have been unable to participate in countless events due to the restrictions that come with the day. I am not allowed to drive, use electronics or cook — among other restrictions. Because of this, I have missed out on a lot, including sleepovers, parties and sports games. At times, this is very difficult for me and has caused a lot of frustration due to a lack of accommodations.

With Prom occuring on Shabbat, I will either have to walk home from the dance or not attend at all. Although it is highly unlikely that Prom was intentionally scheduled on Shabbat, it is disappointing that despite Park’s high population of Jewish students, the school seemed to have forgotten an integral part of our religion. 

As co-president of the Jewish Student Union at Park, I plan on writing a letter to administration to try and change the date. My Jewish peers and I are tired of missing out on events that could easily be moved to a different date. This could either mean having prom on the Saturday before or after senior prom May 15, or moving it to a different day of the week.

In the future, I call on Park as well as all my non-Jewish peers to take into consideration the restrictions Jewish students face due to our religion while planning events.