Dear Ploni B. Ploni Elementary School,
It seems that each year, you have scheduled an important school function on a major Jewish holiday. For example, I missed Open House two years ago when it was scheduled on erev Shavu’ot. Nor did I attend the Volunteer Luncheon three years ago because it fell during Pesach and there didn’t seem much point to go to a lunch and not eat.
I acknowledge that things have gotten better over the years. No longer is the first day of school in any danger of falling on Rosh Hashannah. And the teachers are always thoughtful in not giving too much work during “your holy week….Chanukah.” But Hallmark doesn’t dictate which are the major Jewish holidays; the Torah does.
And, ironically, it is the giving of the Torah that we commemorate on
Dance Day…er, Shavu’ot.
This is where being a Reform Jew is just plain complicated. Last year, after keeping the kids out of school for Sukkot and Pesach, I added Shavu’ot to the mix. After all, it didn’t seem consistent to short-shrift the holiday whose guest-of-honour started it all. Yet one year later, I am seriously considering sending them to school so that they don’t miss out on this annual tradition.
And I really resent being put in that position…