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Jewish leaders wrote to the University of Wisconsin system leadership asking the system to direct six UW campuses that plan to commence their fall semesters during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah to move their start dates. The UW campuses at La Crosse, Madison, Oshkosh, Parkside, Stout and Superior all have scheduled their semesters to begin during Rosh Hashanah, which this year will begin Sept. 6 and end Sept. 8.
“The conflict with Rosh Hashanah was entirely preventable and should never have happened,” says the May 27 letter, which is signed by state- and campus-level Jewish and interfaith leaders, as well as by Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, and Mark Rotenberg, Hillel International's vice president for university initiatives and legal affairs. “This situation -- which has been left unresolved for nearly six months -- has highlighted the need for a clear, consistent, and transparent policy dealing with religious diversity on our campuses. Potential conflicts with religious observance should always be taken into account when institutions set their schedules.”
The UW system did not return a request for comment.