NJ Board of Education Proposal Would Leave Public Schools Open During Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur; Force Students to Attend School | Yoel Ackerman

On Thursday night, Clifton NJ Superintendent Danny Robertozzi, is set to make a formal recommendation to the board of education on whether to remove Jewish holidays from the school calendar as a way to have students finish the school year at an earlier date. On his list of holidays that he intends to target, are Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, the two holiest days of the year.

If this were to indeed come true, Jewish students would be forced to attend (public) school during these 2 holidays, all the while their family members are in shul. There is also the possibility of an exemption for these students although it is unclear at the moment if such an exemption would apply, and how it would be effectuated. Until now, these 2 holidays have been traditionally calendared as school closure days, to allow for Jewish students and teachers to celebrate. It has been this way for centuries.

Robertozzi has stated that he is simply responding to emails from school parents, who have complained of the long school year.

Deflection seems to be the logical choice of an obvious antisemitic approach. He has also stated that the recommendation comes in response after reviewing a community survey he sent out last month and guidance from a school calendar advisory committee. His school district is predominantly Hispanic.

To those who have questioned this approach, he has also publicly stated “At the end of the day, it may not be able to happen. Because, ultimately I have to make a recommendation to the board of education. And unless the Clifton community overwhelmingly supports removing these holidays, it would not be my recommendation.”

The state Department of Education lists dozens of religious holidays on which students are permitted to be absent from school if their district is open. But districts are largely left to make their own calendars, approved by their school boards, as long as students are in class for 180 instruction days a year. Also of note, some school districts have done the opposite – adding to the school calendar additional off days for other holidays.

Danny Robertozzi was hired by the board of education in 2019 to be the Clifton District’s Superintendent. According to the website govsalaries.com, his annual salary is $229,146 paid by local taxpayers – many who are frum Jews.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. Public schools should never be closed on the High Holy days. Teachers and students who observe these days will take off anyway.

  2. Why don’t they start by adding the ‘Teacher Profesional days’ and Conventions, then they can move onto the high holidays of the ‘Juneteenth Weekend’…

  3. When I sent my child to a Clifton public school so he could get the therapies he needed, I kept him home for all Yomim Tovim. As long as I notified the school that the absence was due to a holiday, there was no problem.

    The new calendar would affect Jewish teachers more, since they have a limited number of personal days.

Comments are closed.