Emotions ran high when roughly 200 parents, students, alumni and residents attended a three-hour Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education work session on Jan. 10, at which trustees decided against including the Muslim holidays of Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha on the 2018-19 school calendar.
Eid al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day. On Eid al Fitr, they feast with family members and friends after a morning prayer, and children often receive gifts in honor of the good deeds they performed during Ramadan. Eid al Adha marks the end of the Hajj, or trip to Mecca, when family and friends gather to reflect on family values and sacrifice.
Each year, the holidays fall about 11 days earlier than the year before, because the Islamic calendar follows a lunar calendar. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mark Secaur enumerated the days that would be affected by the proposed implementation plan, from the 2018-19 to 2022-23 school years. Occasionally, the holidays will fall on weekends or over summer vacations during that time. A total of four days over the five years would be affected.