Dear Temple Shalom Members,
In case you have not heard, we wanted to bring your attention that due to new rules regarding the school calendar, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is considering options that would keep schools open on Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur next fall. This will affect many of our families who have students in the school system, as well as members who are faculty, staff, and substitutes.
It is important to note that public schools may not close for religious reasons, but rather due to the operational concerns that arise due to student and teacher absence.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and the Washington Board of Rabbis is working together with synagogues and the broader Jewish community on this issue.
If you share this concern, we would encourage you to do the following:
- Go to the MCPS calendar information page
- Review the information, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the comment box.
3. In the comment box, leave a message such as, "I request that MCPS continue its decades-old practice that schools be closed on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. My children will be absent on those days in observance of these Jewish holidays." Or if you are a faculty member or substitute teacher, use similar language to indicate that you will be absent.
4. They may make a final decision November 15, so please do it this as soon as possible.
We believe MCPS and the Board of Education are sympathetic to our community's needs, but they need to hear from all of us in order to justify continuing the current practice.
Many thanks for taking the time to consider this and take action.
Rabbi Franken, Rabbi Ackerman, and Rita Klein