Years ago, when I first moved to the DC area, a Jewish colleague shared a Christmas story with me. She told me how, when she was in high school, she felt left out every December when her classmates had Christmas parties and she was never once invited. After I heard her talk about how that made her feel, I would think of her each year, long after we went our separate ways to other jobs. Hearing her story made me understand why the diverse county I work in asks staff not to display Christmas decorations.
In our county, we have a large Jewish population, and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are school holidays. But unlike Christmas—and even Christmas Eve—which are paid holidays for all employees, only school-based ten-month employees have a paid day off on non-Christian holidays. Jewish staff who work in the county offices must take vacation leave to observe their holy days. Continue reading Holiday Spirit?