The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Baruch College to consider rescheduling its Commencement Ceremony ending shortly before the Jewish Sabbath, due to the conflict it creates for observant Jewish graduates.
The Baruch College commencement ceremony is scheduled to take place late Friday afternoon on May 27, while the Jewish Sabbath begins that evening, leaving a small window of time for observant Jews to commute to their place of worship following the conclusion of the event.
“The scheduling of Baruch’s spring semester graduation ceremony essentially forces observant Jewish students and their families to choose between celebrating their academic accomplishments and adhering to their religious practices,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “We know Baruch College and the CUNY system did not purposely intend to inconvenience any of its students, and that scheduling conflicts are often difficult to avoid. However, we expect the institution to do everything it can to ensure that an undue burden will not be placed on certain students during such a special moment.”
In a letter to Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, ADL expressed the importance of being attentive to all students’ religious observances as “one simple way to promote respect for diversity.”