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Philadelphia Decides to Close All Schools on Jewish High Holidays

All public schools in Philadelphia and the Board of Education administrative offices will be closed next year on September 27 and 28, the Jewish New Year, and October 6, the Day of Atonement, the Board has decided.

The action means that Jewish employees of the School District of Philadelphia will no longer suffer a deduction in pay for remaining out on the Holy Days. New York and other major cities with large Jewish populations passed similar resolutions in prior years closing schools for the High Holy Days.

Plans for the closings, which did not mention the Jewish Holy Days, were listed in a resolution passed by the board which set the 1964-65 school year calendar. A School Board spokesman said the closings were set because the Jewish absences caused administrative problems and not for religious reasons. The resolution said the closings had been decided on “because of the great numbers of absences expected on these days with the attendant difficulty in adequately staffing our schools and offices.”

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