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Are there any Jewish grans here?

(13 Posts)
HurdyGurdy Mon 30-Oct-17 18:00:43

Whilst discussing childcare arrangements, my friend's colleague has told her that her mum can help out with school holidays, except for October half term, as she works in a Jewish school and they don't get that holiday.

Is this a general thing, and if so, what is the reason for this? Is there a certain holiday/event that takes place around that time?

My friend is convinced that the colleague is not being truthful and has used this as an excuse for not working last week.

Fennel Mon 30-Oct-17 19:15:48

"Is there a certain holiday/event that takes place around that time?"
There certainly is!
This year it started with Jewish New Year from 21 of Sept. (3 days incl. Shabbat)
Seven days later Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.
4 days after that the start of Succot ( 2 days plus Shabbat) and the final 3 days of Succot plus Shabbat ending 14th Oct.
It was a marathon. All Jewish mothers of familes were exhausted.

Nelliemoser Mon 30-Oct-17 23:07:21

That sounds about right to me. If you are a very observant Jew you may want to follow all these special days.

Judaism has this whole wave of religious festivals which come in quick sucession. Which is what I do not know.

I am fairly sure the dates are not as fixed as as our Christmas.

Hindu Divali and Islam's "Ramadan" certainly have "movable feasts" which seems to change every year.

Help me out here someone. Please .

HurdyGurdy Mon 30-Oct-17 23:12:54

Thank you Fennel. Goodness me, no wonder the poor Jewish mothers were exhausted lol. That's quite a calendar of events!

Would those events mean that a Jewish school would not take the usual week's half term holiday that non Jewish schools take?

As Nelliemoser asked - are these events fixed, like Christmas, or moveable like Ramadan

Humbertbear Tue 31-Oct-17 08:08:52

Fennel is correct about the holidays. Because Orthodox Jews observe the first and last two days of Succot as a festival Jewish schools close for the eight days, taking their half term earlier or later than State schools. As a child in a State school’s I used to miss 7 days of school every Autumn term if these holidays fell on weekdays. The festivals are not fixed in the English calendar but in the Jewish one which goes by the moon. However , unlike Muslims , every four years there is a leap month so the Jewish New Year always occurs in September/ October whereas Ramadan gradually moves though the English year.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 31-Oct-17 09:04:43

Yes some Jewish schools close for the whole of Succot and so don't take the regular half term - others don't close aside from the first and last days so they do take the regular half term. So yes, what she said is totally viable

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 31-Oct-17 09:10:26

Also yes - the dates of Jewish holidays are the same every year in the Jewish calendar (which I think is lunar?!) and so not the same as our solar calendar - which essentially means that the holidays fall on different dates in each year. But all the above mentioned holidays take place at some point in September or October

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 31-Oct-17 09:11:01

As Humbert said grin

Iam64 Tue 31-Oct-17 09:42:21

Thanks Cari - its good to have the correct information. Let's hope it dispels the belief that the work colleague is 'not being truthful and used it as an excuse for not working last week'. Many years ago I worked on a team where we had CofE, Catholic, Methodists, Muslims, orthodox and non orthodox but observant Jewish staff members. One of our team put a large board up which showed the various religious holidays and we all agreed to work round that when planning leave and duty cover. I have fond memories of that group of people and I suspect we all learned a lot from each other.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 31-Oct-17 10:54:05

Oooh how very civilised and organised! Yes the holidays are the holidays and non negotiable. It's not a matter of being awkward or difficult. It just is what it is. With only one or two exceptions over many years, I have not really had any problems with it

Iam64 Tue 31-Oct-17 13:39:17

Well .... the all faiths and non holiday board was civilised and organised but despite having such good memories, I couldn't claim we were always either civilised or organised.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 31-Oct-17 14:44:45


HurdyGurdy Fri 03-Nov-17 10:21:51

Thank you for the replies. I have found them so interesting (I don't follow a religion myself, but I do love finding out about the traditions and customs in religions)

My friend looked rather disbelieving when I told her what had been said. But I think she was just disappointed not to have a virtual stick with which to berate her colleague (who does tend to extract the urine, to be fair, when it comes to when she turns up for work!)