Monday, April 16, 2007

Our turn: Major errors on the USCJ calendar

Speaking of errors, my husband pointed out last night that the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's calendar displayed incorrect dates for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), Yom HaZikaron (Israel Remembrance Day for Soldiers), and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day)--all were listed as taking place a day too late.

Sigh--I've already sent an e-mail to the USCJ.

Thursday, April 19 correction:
Commenter Bob is partially correct: "Earlier this year the Israeli rabbinate announced that these three holidays should be postponed by one day each from their calendar date so that their observance would not conflict with the end of shabbat."

The USCJ in their reply received via e-mail on Tuesday, April 17 (see copy below), said that it was the Israeli government that had made the change, as Agnoxodox reminded me in posting that link in the comments. Does that mean that it wasn't the rabbinate's idea? One never knows, in Israel. Either way, I still don't understand why the change was made. Why should Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron be postponed to prevent them from beginning right after havdalah when neither Tisha B'Av nor Purim, both also later-established holidays, is ever so rescheduled (to the best of my knowledge)? What's the problem with mourning on a Saturday night?

Agnoxodox's answer: Security preparations would have had to begin on Shabbat. Okay, now I understand.

This year's art/engagement calendar lists the correct dates for Yom HaShoah, which was yesterday, Yom HaZikaron, next Monday, and Yom Ha'Atzmaut, next Tuesday. Our small calendary diary does n fact have the dates wrong -- in that calendar they are lsited for Sunday, Sunday, and Monday.

That's because the government of Israel changed the dates of the commemorations this year, after the calendar diary had gone to print but before the art/engagement calendar was sent to the printer. The government made that choice so that neither Yom HaShoah orr Yom Hakiron would begin right after havdalah.

The change in dates had nothing to do with editorial control, stringent or otherwise.

I am copying the relevant paragraph from our most recent United Synagogue Review:

Changing Dates on Our Pocket Calendar

The Israeli government has changed the dates of this year’s observances of Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut. The change was made in order to keep Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron from beginning on Saturday night, just as Shabbat ends, and of course Yom HaAtzmaut is the day after Yom HaZikaron, so a change to one is a change to the other. This year, Yom HaShoah will be Monday, April 16, Yom HaZikaron will be on Monday, April 23, and Yom HaAtzmaut will be Tuesday, April 24. The change came too late for our pocket calendar to be amended, although our Art/Engagement calendar, which was printed later, is correct.

Thanks for taking the trouble to write.

With best wishes,

Joanne Palmer
United Synagogue Review
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
212.533.7800, ext. 2601 or direct at 646-519-9320
646 519-9388 (fax)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier this year the Israeli rabbinate announced that these three holidays should be postponed by one day each from their calendar date so that their observance would not conflict with the end of shabbat. It sounds to me like the "error" you are citing was just a decision to follow the rabbinate's policy.

(And USCJ should be commended for following the rabbinate on this, given that no recpirocity of attitude will ever be forthcoming.)

Tue Apr 17, 09:10:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So the USCJ is following the Israeli rabbinate's ruling, but the OU is not. (Their website's Jewish Holidays page shows the standard dates). Is that a first?

"no recipirocity of attitude will ever be forthcoming." So true. (Sigh.)

Tue Apr 17, 12:06:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, you're wrong. This was USCJ not really knowing whats going on at all.

Wed Apr 18, 10:00:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Agnoxodox, why did the Israeli government make the change? What's so bad about having a day of mourning on a Sunday?

Thu Apr 19, 12:45:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I understand (haven't looked into greatly).

Things start right at sundown. That means saturday night. That means only way to prepare would be to be mechalel shabbat, especially in the context of security preparations that have to be done immediately before the event. Therefore it was decided to move it a day.

Sat Apr 21, 08:54:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ah, "security preparations." Now *that* makes sense.

Sun Apr 22, 03:53:00 AM 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>