(JTA) — Jewish students at the University of Georgia have objected to a homecoming concert because it was scheduled for Yom Kippur eve and the band is known for its Christian rock music.
The concert featuring Needtobreathe was set for Oct. 11, the university announced Monday.
Two years ago, hundreds of students petitioned the university to change the annual homecoming football game from Yom Kippur.
Stan Jackson, director of student affairs communications and marketing initiatives, said in a statement emailed Tuesday to the student newspaper, The Red & Black, that the date chosen for the concert was the only day that the Stegeman Coliseum, the event venue, was available.
“Some students who observe Yom Kippur may be disappointed with the date chosen,” Jackson said in the statement. “Representatives from University Union and UGA Homecoming are in correspondence with Jewish student organizations such as Hillel at UGA and Chabad at UGA to explain the logistics that required that date to be selected.”
Delaney Fox, a junior who is Jewish, told WSB-TV Atlanta, “It’s upsetting that they don’t take into account that there’s going to be a large number of students that can’t attend.”
Needtobreathe was selected for its popularity, not its religious affiliation, according to Jackson.
“The student groups compare several performers each year in terms of popularity, not content, and strive to select an artist that will appeal to as many students and community members as possible,” the statement said.
Homecoming activities will take place during the entire week.