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School Board Elections Remain Open Later to Avoid Conflict with ‘taanis Esther’

Polling places at New York’s Community School Board elections, on March 19, will remain open two additional hours, until 9 p.m., in order to avoid conflict with the fast day of “Taanis Esther.” According to Rabbi Moshe Sherer, Executive President of the Orthodox Agudath Israel of America, the Board of Elections made this decision after his organization alerted them of the possible conflict that might arise due to the hampered participation of Orthodox Jews. On “Taanis Esther,” three days before Purim, Jews assemble in synagogues between the hours of 5:30 and 7 p.m. Community School Board elections are seen as particularly important to Orthodox Jews because the local boards will control a large share of the government funds that go to Jewish day schools.