web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Stony Brook And Religious Holidays

We share the dismay many have expressed over the recently announced decision by the State University of New York to abandon a longtime practice and no longer refrain from scheduling classes on major Christian and Jewish holidays. Nothing in the nature of new facts on the ground has been offered by the university to explain the controversial move, though concerns for Muslim sensitivities were apparently behind it.

And it is noteworthy that Stony Brook is the only one of the four major schools in the state university system that has withdrawn religious holidays from its academic calendar. The other three, Buffalo, Binghamton and Albany, continue the practice of not holding classes on Christian and Jewish holidays.

In explaining the change, Charles Robbins, vice provost for undergraduate education at the school, said:

As a secular university, as a state funded university, our priority must be to maximize instructional opportunities for our students. First and foremost, it’s important to note that while I respect everyone’s concerns, the reality is it’s a relatively small number of people who are upset.

Mr. Robbins went on to tell Fox News Radio that the university’s decision to no longer cancel classes on Christian and Jewish holidays offers “equal protection under the regulations to everybody and no one is getting ‘special treatment’…. Now all segments of our population will be equally recognized. It really is the American fair thing to do.”

Sorry, but abandoning existing accommodations for many because you are not prepared to accommodate all smacks of dubious public policy at best.

As Rabbi Joseph Topek at Stony Brook’s Interfaith Center noted, “Students are going to have to go begging to their professors, ‘I will not be able to come to class.’ ” New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has long led efforts to protect religious rights in education and the workplace, weighed in with a letter to Stony Brook president Samuel Stanley.

In pertinent part, Speaker Silver said:

I am writing to express my deep concern and disappointment over the decision by Stony Brook University to create a new academic calendar that no longer accommodates students and faculty who observe religious holidays. It is universally recognized that, traditionally, time in the school calendar has been set aside for the observance of religious holidays so as not to waste public resources due to the large number of students and faculty who would be unable to attend because of religious and family obligations. It is unacceptable to schedule classes on the holiest day of the year, such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover for Jewish students and Good Friday and the rest of Holy Week for Christian students.

These days have long been granted the students at Stony Brook, other SUNY schools, CUNY schools, some public school districts in Long Island and Westchester and in New York City. At Stony Brook, an excellent educational institution of which our state can be proud, granting these holidays has worked in the past…. I worry that this new policy may discourage those observe religious holidays from attending or serving on the faculty….

We are a state that celebrates our religious and ethnic diversity. By taking away these holidays, Stony Brook has created an environment that can be seen as hostile to observant students of all faiths.

We would also note an inconvenient truth: the full week of Christmas is designated as a legal holiday when no classes are scheduled.

Stony Brook should reconsider the error of its ways.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Stony Brook And Religious Holidays”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A member of Students for Justice in Palestine punched a pro-Israel student in the face at Temple University, Aug. 20, 2014. SJP claims the pro-Israel student provoked the incident.
Pro-’Palestine’ Students at Temple U Blame Victim for Altercation
Latest Indepth Stories
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

David_Grossman

Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.

488px-WielkaSynagoga3_Lodz

In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

Netanyahu-Obama-030212

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters.

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

More Articles from Editorial Board

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

“Friends stand together in times of crisis,” said Gov. Cuomo.

Hamas has coupled its ideological intolerance of the existence of Israel with numerous terrorist attacks and rocket launchings.

Since nothing is static in warfare, the lesson is clear: Iron Dome must be continuously improved to stay ahead of developments in any rocket technology Hamas and Israel’s other enemies might get their hands on.

The IDF pounding continued and it again seemed only a matter of time before Hamas would be forced to accept the Egyptian proposal.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/stony-brook-and-religious-holidays/2012/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: