(photo credit: screenshot)
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem will grant students a vacation day this Thursday to celebrate Christmas.
According to the office of the spokesman at the university, the decision was made by its standing committee in May. In addition to granting a day off for Christmas, the university also declared a vacation day for the Muslim holiday Id al-Adha.
“During the days there will be no studies or exams and they will be considered vacation days for students,” said Dov Smith, the university spokesman on Tuesday.
“This in order to accommodate students of all religions studying at the university and to respect the holidays.”
The university also granted students a vacation day on this past Sunday for Hanukka.
The university’s student union issued a statement welcoming the decision.
“We praise the Hebrew University administration on its decision to include two vacation days for Christmas on December 25, 2014, and for Id al-Adha on September 9, 2015, on the institution’s academic calendar.”
The student union also praised the university’s actions towards providing equal opportunities in higher education for all sectors of Israeli society and called on other academic institutions to follow suit.
Not all students, however, were happy with the decision.
“Pluralism is making the university lose its mind,” Roni, a student, told the religious Kipa news site. “It isn’t enough that we barely get days off for [ Jewish] holidays, now they’ve decided to celebrate a Christian holiday that is in no way related to us?”