Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, has launched a campaign calling for the U.N. to recognize Yom Kippur as an official holiday. The Israeli Mission to the United Nations is seeking support from all Member States to add Yom Kippur to the UN Calendar in keeping with the United Nation’s core principles of religious tolerance, peace and cooperation.
The U.N. officially recognizes 10 holidays at its New York Headquarters, including Christmas and Eid al-Fitr. However, no Jewish holidays have been recognized or represented.
As part of this unprecedented campaign, Ambassador Prosor asked all UN ambassadors to join the Israeli effort by signing a letter, urging the UN to correct this inequity and recognize the holiest day of the Jewish faith.
In his letter, Ambassador Prosor said: “Yom Kippur is the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar. In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, Jews throughout the world seek forgiveness and reconciliation. Jews fast, abstain from work, and spend the day in prayer and contemplation. It is about time Jewish employees at the U.N. won’t be obligated to work on Yom Kippur. On the one hand, the United Nations advances values of cooperation and engagement among nations, and on the other hand, it is prioritizing one religion over the other. There are three monotheistic religions, yet only two are recognized by the U.N. calendar. Such discrimination at the UN must end.”