NEW YORK (Feb. 1)
The administration of New York University, which has a largely Jewish studentry, has finally agreed to cancel some classes at the time of the Jewish High Holy Days just as it has been doing on such occasions as Christmas, Easter and the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The administration’s decision, made at a meeting Jan. 13, was disclosed in today’s issue of the student-published Washington Square Journal. The vote was 35-3.
Under the new policy, evening classes before the first days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and day classes that fall on those holidays will be cancelled. This fall, the classes to be cancelled will be erev Rosh Hashana, Friday, Sept. 8, and Yom Kippur, Monday, Sept. 18. Samuel Hirsch, president of the United Jewish Law Students, hailed the decision. Hirsch, a senior who will be graduating next January, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that more than half of the 800 NYU law students had petitioned the administration for a change of policy.
He added that John D. Johnston, a non-Jewish law professor, had been outspoken in behalf of a change. Hirsch said that in past years the administration was cold to protests that the university’s policy was unfair, and that some faculty members cited “separation of church and state” as their reason for not seeking cancellation of classes on Jewish holidays, even though Christian holidays were observed. He said the names of the three officials who voted against the change last month were not publicly known.