Brief – Religion protected by education code

Breehan Yohe-Mellor, Breehan Yohe-Mellor, and Breehan Yohe-Mellor

Students of religious faith are allowed to miss class without penalty if they are observing a holiday or ceremony that their religion recognizes, according to a policy in the California Education Code.

Students of faith must ask for that time off in advance, said Kay Bruce, a public information officer at City College. She added that teachers have a list of religious holidays to check for validity.

One religious holiday that will be recognized this month is the Jewish festival, Shemini Atzeret. For this celebration, the Jewish Federation personally sends the faculty a list of their holy days. Shemini Atzeret, will be celebrated from sundown on Oct. 24 until nightfall on Oct. 25.

Although the exact function of Shemini Atzeret is unclear, it appears to have been a day devoted to cleaning the Temple alter in ancient Second Temple times. This holiday is also the eighth day of Sukkot, a Jewish harvest festival.

Simchat Torah is another Jewish holiday which celebrates the yearlong cycle of the reading of the Torah, begins at sundown Oct. 25 and goes until sundown Oct. 26.