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September 3, 2015 8:49 am

Senator Calls Out Pennsylvania General Assembly for Scheduling Sessions on Rosh Hashanah

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Pennsylvania State Senator Senator Daylin Leach. His tweets about scheduled meetings for the Jewish high holidays may cause them to be moved. Photo: Facebook.

Pennsylvania State Senator Senator Daylin Leach. His tweets about scheduled meetings for the Jewish high holidays may cause them to be moved. Photo: Facebook.

A Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate called his state’s General Assembly to task on Tuesday for scheduling sessions on the Jewish high holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Senator Daylin Leach, who is Jewish, pointed out on Twitter that the Pennsylvania Senate recently slated meetings for Sept. 14-16, coinciding with one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar.

Leach tweeted : “So the Senate has scheduled us to go into session on Rosh Hashanah. I’m sure this means we’re also going to be in session on Christmas day.”

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When one of Leach’s Twitter followers replied that there is also a session scheduled for Sept. 23, which falls on Yom Kippur, the senator replied, “I didn’t even realize that. We’ll have to deal with that too.”

Leach told The Patriot-News  that because he is “not as religious” as some other Jewish lawmakers, he may attend a legislative session during Rosh Hashanah, depending on its agenda. But, he said, he is concerned that his Jewish colleagues and staffers would feel uncomfortable working during the holiday.

“We don’t want to put them in that position,” he said.

Assuming the scheduling was an oversight, not a purposeful slight, Leach said he believes his having called attention to it may lead to efforts to reschedule the sessions.

Senate Republican Caucus spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher told The Patriot-News that no decision has been made on whether to change the session dates. She said that though the meetings were scheduled inadvertently on the Jewish holiday, they had already been moved from dates in August.

Kocher added, however, that if the sessions do take place on Rosh Hashanah, she would not expect observant staffers and legislators to attend.

“We’re extremely respectful of the religious holiday that’s coming up,” she said.

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  • I am Jewish, and this is surprising. When someone schedules something like this, they should look at the calendar. Unless they did, and simply did not care. That happens too, right?

    Steven Burda
    Audubon, PA

  • Emanuel

    I mean what kind of surprise is planned for the Jews absence? vote on BDS? deporting American Jews to work camps? Will they have cake and refreshments? It really seems we are in 1930’s Germany.

  • It is OK for this Senator to not attend a legislative session due to Rosh Hashanah, but not OK to vote for a Nuclear Treaty that could destroy the State of Israel. What does he think is more important?

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