NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The City School District of New Rochelle calendar for 2018-2019 includes a newly added holiday: the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which will be observed on June 5, 2019.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and falls on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The date will shift from year to year because the Islamic lunar calendar differs from the Gregorian calendar.
The Board of Education adopted the 2018-19 calendar at its April 17 meeting. Board member Amy Moselhi, who requested the addition of Eid al-Fitr on behalf of Muslims in the city, thanked Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne for adding it to the list of days that schools will be closed.
"It is incredibly courageous and something that must be commended," said Moselhi, who observes the holiday. "Dr. Osborne was able to implement something that will not be forgotten - cannot be forgotten. It is a historic event. So, thank you."
Other Board members lauded the decision as an example of the district's embracing of diversity and celebration of all community members' heritages. Board member Dr. Pamela Davis said she looks forward to the change in perspective that could result from recognizing the holiday.
"When children are able to discuss the question 'Why do we have off school tomorrow?', it changes the dynamic not only for Muslim students, but it changes the dynamic for the future," she said. "I'm very impressed, pleased and proud to able to support this decision."