Sacramento dilemma: Prom or Passover


Some Jewish students in Sacramento, Calif., will have to choose between attending their proms or Passover seders.

At least a half-dozen schools in the state capital have scheduled proms on April 19, the first night of Passover.

The dilemma arises every few years nationwide when the holiday’s first night falls on a Saturday in mid-April, a popular date for junior and senior proms.

A number of local teens told the Sacramento Bee they were upset by having to choose.

Jason Pemstein, 16, told his date he’d have to cancel, then explained to her about Passover. Pernstein, his mother and several other Jewish parents asked Bella Vista High School officials to re-schedule, but other weekends were already filled with sporting and theater events.

“Now I’m missing out because the school didn’t pay attention,” Jason told the Bee.

Not all Sacramento Jewish students put their religious identity first. Michelle Aran, 17, of Kennedy High School told reporters she’s not giving up her senior prom.

“It’s either go to senior ball and dance and have a great time with your friends, or sit in a two-hour service and wait to gorge yourself,” she said. “The prom is more appealing, at my age anyway.”

She will, however, take part in her youth group seder later in the week.

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