Home School News Brick Schools Will Be Closed On Jewish Holiday Next Year

Brick Schools Will Be Closed On Jewish Holiday Next Year

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Brick Township Memorial High School (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Brick Township Memorial High School (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Brick schools will be closed for the Yom Kippur holiday during the 2015-16 school year, a decision made after a local rabbi asked the district last month to better accommodate Jewish students and staff members.

Schools will be closed Sept. 23, 2015, the second day of Yom Kippur, considered the holiest day of the year for adherents to Judaism. The holiday begins at sundown Sept. 22 and concludes at sundown Sept. 23. The district will also close schools on Sept. 14 for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

At the Dec. 18 school board meeting, Rabbi Robert Rubin of Temple Beth Or in Brick asked the district to consider giving students off for Yom Kippur after school was scheduled on the holiday this year for the first time in decades. Superintendent Walter Uszenski said one day off had been contractually allotted to accommodate Jewish holidays in 2014-15, and Rosh Hashanah was chosen.

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To make up for the day off next school year, the district added an early-dismissal day in June, which upset one board member.

Board Vice President John Talty said he had no issue with closing schools for Yom Kippur, but said a full day of school – preferably, one not in June – should have been added.

“What concerns me is that we’re moving that full day of education to June 17, which is an early dismissal,” Talty said. “We’re giving up a whole day of education. Everybody knows that, in June, it’s not exactly the best time to be teaching our children.”

Early dismissal days in most school districts, including Brick, count as full days since they meet the minimum amount of time required by the state to be counted as a school day. Uszenski said, effectively, just lunch periods are cut out to accommodate an early dismissal, and substituting June 17 for Sept. 23 was a product of meetings with teachers and staff.

“This calendar had gone through a survey with the teachers’ union, the TWU, and others,” Uszenski said.

The board ultimately passed the calendar revision, providing for the closure on Yom Kippur and the June 17 makeup day.


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  • #@#.com

    I guess governments can pick and choose which “separation of church and state” they want to enforce.
    Can’t say Merry Christmas or have a “Christmas” tree, they are referred to as “Happy Holliday” and “Holiday tree”, because Christmas endorses a religion.
    The class Valedictorian can’t say the words God or Jesus in graduation speech…..Nooo, that would offend everyone and be unconstitutional.

    But hey, lets close down the school district and celebrate The Jewish high holy days of Yom Kippur and Rashashanna. That has nothing to do with endorsing a religion.
    SMH

    • Brandy the Dog

      Christmas is a federal holiday and it has been debated as to why it is, it’s a religious holiday is it not? Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are not mandatory days off. It is up to the individual school districts to decide whether to give these 2 holidays off. Districts usually decide by student and teacher population.

    • JJones

      I agree with Mr. Talty why give up another full day of teaching our kids..and in June all the kids and teachers are on vacation mode already..Merry Christmas ..never Happy Holidays ..

    • Lauren Paris Solomon

      Are you serious. Read the article. It’s always been off since 1980. All they did was correct a mistake. An accidental oversight. Which is why it passed so quickly. In other words “status quo” nothing to do with endorsing a religion or whatever nonsense you are misconstruing

  • Mac

    what? no Mexican holiday school closings? imagine that?

    • Brandy the Dog

      Mac, I guess it depends on the population in the area. When I worked in Union City, we celebrated Jose’ Marti’ Day, we didn’t have off but we had an assembly and there is a freshman academy named after him. I went to Catholic School, at the time there were mostly Irish, Italian and Cuban kids in my class, but the school was run by Irish- American nuns and priests, we always had a shrine to the Blessed Mother and John F. Kennedy. Yikes! my family still has a shrine of JFK.

      • Mac

        :-)))

      • John Ghent

        Hello Brandy! Sent you a comment on I think it was Talk something or other about the former School Superintendent James Habel’s trial in Freehold. Don’t seen to be making much news on this site or patch?

      • Brandy the Dog

        Hi John. I never received it. Was it “Talk Shop”? What are the dirty details? ……it would have been nice to hear from you on a style site, you fashionista!

      • John Ghent

        Apparently one or two of the thought police on here don’t like the colloquy. Yes it was Talk Shop, now that I recollect. Anyway the Star News Group was covering the trial. So if you’re interested, type in that name and Habels’ in a search engine and see what you can read.

        Your right about being a “fashionista”: something that occupied my interests along with architecture & building design when I spent time in Manhattan…

      • #@#.com

        There once was a young man from Ghent.
        Whose thing was so long that it bent.
        To save himself trouble,
        He put it in double,
        And instead of coming, he went.

      • Brandy the Dog

        Thanks, I read as much of it as I could. So far, it doesn’t look good for him. Did you know the Monmouth Co. Prosecutor, Ms.M. Falco was one of the attorneys that prosecuted the Barons brother and he was found guilty of second degree misapplication of entrusted funds, etc.. ?

      • John Ghent

        As for the Monmouth County Prosecutor…that’s political patronage up the kazoo. His wife was appointed to a high position at the Port Authority by Christie after Bridgegate hit the fan. She/they just announced her leaving to head up the Law Center at NYU. Just my opinion, but I think he’s being railroaded?

      • Mac

        railroaded during the law and order Christie administration? now there’s a thought

      • Brandy the Dog

        Being Railroaded? Maybe! I think they’ll get him on the falsified sick days and cashing in unused sick days that he shouldn’t have had. I don’t buy the misuse of the district issued car and definitely don’t buy him stealing electronic equipment, they were provided by the board and it’s the boards responsibility to retrieve it upon retirement. My last day of work an announcement came over the intercom system announcing the seven teachers names that were retiring (I thought they were going to thank us for our years of service, blah, blah, blah) to immediately report to the security office with our Mac Book Pro’s, E-Z Readers, our Walkie Talkies, all teacher edition books and our set of 24 no.2 Ticonderoga Pencils. ….and most of all what is with him accused of falsifying loan documents while he was refinancing his Point Pleasant Beach home? What does that have to do with Wall’s charges against him?

      • Mac

        pencils? that’s funny – if you had sharpened any of the pencils, did you need to turn in the shavings as proof of such?

      • Brandy the Dog

        OK I’m over exaggerating on the pencils. But they made sure they stripped us of any electronic equipment and books. It was like we were being “Branded” (do you remember that show)? The way it was done was so unprofessional, even the students made jokes about it!

      • Mac

        no problem – lol – when one looks at what is politically appointed to these school leadership positions in Ocean County, professionalism isn’t the first thing that comes to mind – patronage in school leadership and patronage in the grossly overpriced political contractors fees that feast off the taxpayers unheeded behind the scenes is strictly the name of the game

      • Brandy the Dog

        Mac, Unfortunately, as you already know the whole state is corrupt. I worked in Hudson County and the corruption was in the form of Democratic Politics, in Ocean County it’s the opposite. I remember watching a news talk show where they had reporters from what they claimed were the 4 most corrupt states; Louisiana, Illinois, Florida and New Jersey. It was sort of a spoof and the reporters had to debate and give examples of corruption in their states. New Jersey won!

      • Mac

        NJ leadership never passes up an opportunity to be number one in taking from the people for themselves. And if they miss the top spot during any given year, they just work that much harder at it for the next year’s ratings. Standards are standards. At least in Hudson County the citizens have more of an economy to pay the freight than the low-paying part-time seasonal boardwalk jobs our politicians offer us. Then again, Dems share a bit more with the people and unlike Repubs, they don’t take the paint off the wall with them when they leave a room. Gilmore now looks like a worn-out paint decorating sample sheet.

      • Brandy the Dog

        I agree, Dems share more, even in Hudson County. Their motto is “Here’s one for you and two for me”, I guess better than “None for you and three for me”. If you know what I mean??? Speaking of one for me, “It’s wine time”!

      • John Ghent

        Brandy- if your interested, here’s the link to the Habel complaint that explains in detail the mortgage charges…http://archive.app.com/assets/pdf/B3207007617.PDF

      • John Ghent

        As for being railroaded, I did a little checking about the property in Point Pleasant that there alleging bah bah bah. The property was first listed according to the website zillow.com on 06/23/2011 for $769K. The property was taken off the market just about when he got the mortgage on 12/23/2011, but the complaint doesn’t say that? It was put back on the market around the time his retirement was agreed to by the Board of Education on 06/07/2012, then a month later the listing was removed, then put back on the day of the closing on 10/05/2012, about a year after he applied for the mortgage…

      • Brandy the Dog

        I can see the piling of charges, didn’t they initially want to get him on “bid rigging” and providing sweet heart deals to vendors and other other accusations? I had to literally draw a chart with these refinancing charges, PP house on market, then off the market, PP home primary residency and he also claimed Dunedin home was primary residency in refinancing mortgages on both. His monthly salary was 18,700 monthly while he was working but when he retired it would be 9,767 monthly. Is that The Theft of Deception regarding that charge against him?
        I still believe they will get him on; Fraudulent Payments for Unreported Sick Days– Discrepancy of 186 Vacation Days. Didn’t his secretary already testify about him not calling in sick days?

      • Mac

        so you’re not buying that he was toooooo sick to call in and after such dreadful experiences he was unable to remember them??? – me either, but I believe his only true mistake was that he didn’t share enough with those that have brought the charges against him

      • John Ghent

        Okay, then read this report where the Wall Township BOE gives away the kitchen sink on P.22 & 33. I can’t locate his contract which the Wall Township board should have made available??

        The point is: it’s not him but they, the BOE who are the real culprits here. Look at the deals they made with the former administrators before Habel in that report…http://www.state.nj.us/sci/pdf/SCIHigherEdReport.pdf

      • Brandy the Dog

        You know John, you bring up a valid point. All Boards of Educations in NJ have to vote on and approve all these payouts when a worker from their district retires. Why aren’t they brought up on negligence charges, why didn’t they question his sick and vacation days? Why aren’t they held accountable?
        I never bought the car, stolen equipment and refinancing of properties charges.

      • #@#.com

        What was Bridgegate? NOTHING . Crawl back under your rock.

      • John Ghent

        Brandy- here’s an update: the school acknowledges that the vehicle was return for one…http://starnewsgroup.com/weekly/2015/02.05.15/habel_s_vaca_02.05.15_54612.html

  • Frank Rizzo

    Can Lakewood close their schools on our holidays to much better accommodate the bus drivers who have to work for them.

    • JJones

      Good Question Frank …you know the answer to that one already ..

  • Mindy Murray Moich

    Can we expect Jewish schools to close on good Friday.Maybe Christmas when it falls on a weekday?

    • Brandy the Dog

      Of course Jewish schools will not close on Good Friday, just as Catholic schools will not on Yom Kippur, they are private or parochial and they decide what holidays to take off according to their religions. Having off Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah is not mandatory in NJ, but Brick Schools chose to reinstate them to accommodate the students and the teachers in the district that are Jewish.

      • Mindy Murray Moich

        But Brick is still a Christian community. For now.

      • Brandy the Dog

        Yes Mindy I know. I just don’t understand what all the hoopla is about. Brick is just reinstating these 2 holidays that they accidentally left out this year.

  • Janine Rose Regulski-Wickersty

    Really what about Columbus Day? They used to be closed for that also, Maybe Ash Wednesday for Catholics? Come on people this is ridiculous! If they want to keep their kids home then allow it as an excused absence, no instead make working parents struggle for child care yet another useless day off! This is America we need to stop making accomadations for everyone else! Worrying about people being offended, well Happy Holidays offends me so Merry Christmas Rabbi!!!! By the way One Nation Under GOD!!! For those of you whom that offends…. Who cares!!!!!!!!!

    • Brandy the Dog

      I never realized education was merely just a “baby sitting” service to accommodate working parents needs. Catholic schools don’t have off on Ash Wednesday and Columbus Day is a federal holiday. Saying Merry Christmas to a Rabbi or One Nation Under God, or Happy Kwanza, or May Allah accept your good deeds are not offensive, not accepting other cultures or religious beliefs are.