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Schools in San Francisco Open on Rosh Hashanah; No Changes Possible

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The Jewish Community Relations Council informed Jewish parents today that school officials in the Peninsula school area had uniformly expressed regret that the opening day of the fall semester would coincide with the first day of Rosh Hashanah this year in many school districts.

Declaring also that the school officials had said that it was “not administratively feasible for them to change their dates this year, “the JCRC added that “steps will be taken to assure that administrators in this area are at least aware of dates on which numbest of children are likely to be absent.” The JCRC pointed out that Rosh Hashanah next year will fall on a Saturday “which will present no opening day problem for that year.”

The organization made it plain that it had not intervened to seek changes that would require that school calendars conform with religious Holy Days because this “might itself be a violation of the principles of church-state separation.”

It was explained that the question was not the operation of schools on Rosh Hashanah, “which they do every year,” but rather “that the opening and registration day of school is of special significance to children and it would seem administratively sound and courteous to avoid scheduling such a special occasion for a day on which a number of students will be unable to attend, for whatever legitimate reasons.”

In Oakland, across the Bay from San Francisco, rabbis urged parents to keep their children out of school on the opening day after negotiations with the Oakland school board for a change in the opening date failed. In other sections of the East Bay area, changes were made at the requests of Jewish spokesmen. In San Leandro, the school opening was postponed.

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