Happy Easter — Passover in April– Students Get Split Break!

Happy Easter. Brrrrrrr. Those Easter bonnets are going to have to be lined with wool. It’s colder and earlier than usual this year.

And it doesn’t coincide with Passover this year, which makes for difficulty with the school calendar. NYC students and school employees had a long weekend this time. The week-long Spring Break will be in April, a month from now. I have learned that most of the country, as well as Christian parochial and other private schools in our area, had Spring Break last week or this week, coinciding with Easter.

NYC still operates on a schedule conducive to giving time off for observance of Jewish holidays. But I wonder about twenty, or even ten, years down the road. The faces of NYC teachers are changing. What was traditionally a career for Jewish people, is opening up to more and more non-white college graduates. This is a result of a new generation of African-American and Hispanic college graduates who want to go into the education field, and it is a good thing. The faces of the students have been changing for a long time. White families have been leaving the city for the suburbs for decades, and the ones who stay typically send their children to private schools when possible. Even in the whitest neighborhoods, there are few secular Jewish students. There are pockets of exceptions — newly-arrived Jews from Russia former Soviet Republics in Brighton, Bensonhurst, or Rego Park for instance. Better yet, with increasing Muslim student enrollment, do we close NYC schools on those holidays as well?

It will be interesting to see, in the coming decades, how the DOE adjusts the school calendar to the changing needs of a new demographic.

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