Growing up attending Jewish day schools, I never had to worry about choosing between my education and my Judaism. While my friends in public schools stressed about missing classes in order to attend High Holiday services, I had days off school. Coming to UCLA, I obviously did not expect this level of accommodation. However, I have continuously been disappointed by the lack of consideration for the Jewish calendar.
In the fall of my Freshman year, in 2021, I had to choose between a desirable move-in day and Yom Kippur observance. In the fall of my Sophomore year, in 2022, I had to choose between using one of two absences on the first day of one of my classes and Yom Kippur observance. Now, in the fall of my Junior year, in 2023, I must choose between Bruin Bash* and Yom Kippur observance.
While each of these events hold varying levels of importance, the lack of awareness of the holiest day of the year for Jews is consistently clear. While I acknowledge that Bruin Bash is always held on the Monday of Week Zero, I doubt that the day of the week of the event is a significant part of the tradition. In a time where anti-Semitism is on the rise, shuffling the schedule just this once would show meaningful allyship to the Jewish community.
*Although Bruin Bash begins around 15 minutes after sunset on September 25th, meaning Yom Kippur will technically have ended by the time the event starts, many Jews will still be at synagogue or breaking their fasts with family. The event, therefore, still interferes with important aspects of many Jews’ observance of this holy day.