WASHINGTON (Aug. 5)
A group of Jewish members of Congress has sent a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy, protesting its decision to schedule its fall homecoming on the weekend of Yom Kippur.
The letter, organized by Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) and signed by 26 other Jewish representatives, criticized the academy for not displaying “more sensitivity to Jewish midshipmen, alumni, their families and friends.”
B’nai B’rith also criticized the academy for what it called “incredible bureaucratic insensitivity” for its decision to hold the homecoming festivities on Sept. 24 and 25.
“It would behoove the academy to check a religious calendar before scheduling any events in the future,” B’nai B’rith President Kent Schiner said in a statement.
B’nai B’rith had yet to receive a response from the academy, a B’nai B’rith spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Cardin, in a statement, called the academy’s decision an “outrage.
“We are a diverse nation and the U.S. Naval Academy has had many outstanding Jewish midshipmen and alumni. Not to recognize our diversity and be sensitive to the holiest day of the Jewish year is an outrage and something that needs to be stopped now,” the congressman said.
The members of Congress called on the academy to change the date of its alumni weekend and ensure that it does not schedule such events on Yom Kippur again.