Jewish students at the University of Georgia are upset that the homecoming game against Vanderbilt falls on Yom Kippur, their religion’s holiest day.
In a letter to UGA President Jere Morehead, Jewish students complained that they won’t be able to participate in Homecoming because they’ll be fasting and praying from sundown today until sundown Saturday.
The University of Georgia could have easily avoided scheduling Homecoming on Yom Kippur, yet you overlooked Judaism’s holiest day. Celebrating Yom Kippur allows us to focus on fasting, prayer and humbling ourselves in the eyes of G-d. We are not here to place blame on the school, but rather to speak up for ourselves. We represent a small population in the world and have become accustomed to sticking together for survival. We are a group united by our religion and culture. We are simply here to ask how a major public university with a strong Jewish community could make this mistake. We commit ourselves to this University and we would have hoped that you would commit yourselves to us. We pay tuition and pay for football tickets. Yet, by scheduling homecoming on Yom Kippur, you disregard and disrespect the Jewish population on campus.
Morehead’s assistant, Matt Winston, told the AJC that he is aware of the issue but that the schedule was dictated by the SEC and television networks. “It was not intentional. We were not being insensitive,” he said.
Morehead has vowed that it won’t happen again, Winston said.
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