The map above shows where schools close for Jewish Holidays. Reddit user jonross14 explains more about how he created the map:
My wife and I created this map. A colored county means that at least one school countywide closes for Jewish Holidays, not necessarily all schools in the county. We also designated a county if they only closed for one Jewish holiday, for example Yom Kippur but not Rosh Hashanah, or if a district consistently gives a PD (teachers-only) day on a Jewish holiday. TL;DR if any district in a county closes school to students for any Jewish holiday they are included in this map. Enjoy!
If, like me, you’re not familiar with the major Jewish holidays they are:
- Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish New Year
- Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement
- Sukkot – Remembers the wandering in the dessert; also a harvest festival
- Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah – A follow-up to Sukkot
- Chanukkah – Remembers the rededication of the Temple after it was defiled by the Greeks
- Tu B’Shevat – The “new year” for calculating the age of trees
- Purim – Remembers the defeat of a plot to exterminate the Jews
- Pesach (Passover) – Remembers the Exodus from Egypt
- Shavu’ot – Remembers the giving of the Torah; also a harvest festival
- Tisha B’Av – Remembers major communal tragedies
I haven’t included dates for any of them because they are based on the Jewish Calendar, which doesn’t perfectly match the Gregorian calendar most the world now uses. Also Jewish holidays begin the evening before the actual holiday day. To better understand this read A Gentile’s Guide to the Jewish Holidays.
Depending on your definition, the United States either has the largest or second largest Jewish population in the world, with between 4.2 million to 9.0 million Jews; Israel has 6.1 million. Yet, while Israel is 75% Jewish, the United States is only 1.8% – 3.3% Jewish.
New York City is the largest Jewish city in the United States (and second largest in the world after Tel Aviv) with between 1.8 million to 2 million Jews, which makes it around 9.3% Jewish.
There are only three incorporated areas of the United States which have majority Jewish populations: Kiryas Joel, New York (total population: 21,894; 99% Jewish), Beachwood, Ohio (total population: 11,953; 89.5% Jewish) and Lakewood Township, New Jersey (total population: 92,843; 59% Jewish).
No US county has a majority Jewish population, with Rockland County, New York having the largest concentration at 31.4% of the 311,687 people identifying as Jewish.
If you’d like to learn more please read:
- Hanukkah in America: A History
- Celebrate: A Book of Jewish Holidays
- A History of the Jews
- American Jewish History: A Primary Source Reader
- Lincoln and the Jews: A History
Did you school celebrate Jewish holidays? Let us know below: