Haifa University adds Christian, Druze and Muslim holidays to school calendar

(JNS.org) Haifa University has become Israel’s first university to designate important Christian, Druze and Muslim holidays—Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha—to the school’s calendar, allowing students from those faiths to take off on those days.

The University of Haifa. Credit: Zvi Roger.

The new holidays, which will go into effect next academic year, however, will not come at the expense of any Jewish holidays.

“This is a precedent-setting decision that reflects our vision,” Haifa University President Amos Shapira told Haaretz.

“Academic excellence in research and teaching is our primary goal and we aim to accomplish this in a culture of tolerance and openness. Our students study together, they do research together and it seems only natural to us that they will also be able to mark the holidays that are important to them together,” Shapira said.

Haifa University, which draws many students from Israel’s diverse northern region, has a large Arab Christian, Druze and Muslim student population.

Posted on May 29, 2013 .