CSUN students find school work conflicts with Yom Kippur

outside of jewish student center shown
CSUN Hillel Jewish Student Center, Oct. 12 Photo credit: Meliss Arteaga

Erik Sklar, a senior broadcast journalism major and board member of Chabad, a Jewish organization on campus, said Yom Kippur is a “Day of Atonement” for the Jewish community.

“We ask God and all of the people we have hurt over the past year for forgiveness from our sins,” Sklar said.

The tradition includes going to temple with family, participating in services, and fasting, according to Sklar.

“This holiday is a lot about taking time for yourself to reflect on the past year, and how you can better yourself for the year to come,” Sklar said.

Jeff Ezros, a senior interdisciplinary studies major, and president of Chabad said he also celebrates Yom Kippur with his family.

“We traditionally have a last meal all together where we spend the first few minutes apologizing to each other for the past year,” Ezros said.

After services, Ezros, his family, and close friends gather to “break the fast” together.

“We treat this holiday as a time to reflect on ourselves and how we can better ourselves among our family and closest ones the next year,” he said.

Forgiveness and prayer is a major part of the Jewish tradition, according to Ezros.

Unfortunately, practicing traditions comes at a price for students like Sklar and Ezros.

Since the tradition takes place during midterms, Sklar and Ezros have expressed concern about their studies.

“I don’t think CSUN takes this holiday into consideration enough to be honest,” Sklar said.”I’ve had to miss classes because of the holidays, and although it is an excused absence, it doesn’t makeup for the fact that I missed information that was covered in class that could ultimately hurt me if I wasn’t more on top of my studies than I am.”

Sklar turns to students in his class to find out what he has missed.

Sklar suggests professors should plan ahead of semesters and find out when the Jewish holidays take place so they do not schedule exams, essays, midterms and other important assignments around the same time.

Ezros also finds keeping up with class difficult.

“This year, my teachers are understanding so I either got extensions or the option to complete things before hand,” Ezros said.

Jewish organizations such as Chabad and Hillel 818 offer Jewish students a platform so they can celebrate Yom Kippur together. In particular, Chabad helps Jewish students gain more knowledge about all Jewish holidays and their purpose, according to Ezros. Anyone interested in opportunities for involvement can visit hillel818.org or chabadcsun.com