New York City’s Department of Education (DOE) is facing criticism for scheduling a series of public forums on Friday night, which observant Jewish parents could not attend, Yid Info reported.
Upset parents are accusing the DOE of “religious discrimination,” saying that Jewish parents in heavily Orthodox areas of New York were forced to miss meetings held on Friday nights where candidates running for important positions where interviewed.
The DOE held four town hall meetings with candidates running for school superintendent in Brooklyn and Queens with Jewish members unable to attend. They also held Zoom calls with parent candidates for a mayor’s advisory board last Friday evening.
“I am appalled that some parents are expected to violate their religious beliefs to be part of the town halls or be excluded from the process,” Queens parents representative Effi Zakry said in a statement addressed to New York City Schools chancellor David Banks.
Zakry said that Jewish parents informed the DOE about the scheduling issue several times but the meetings remained on Shabbat.
“No one at the DOE bothered to show such respect to the Jewish community. Both Brooklyn and Queens happen to have the largest observant Jewish populations in NYC,” he added.