Virginia Beach City public schools will have classes on three Saturdays to make up for days lost from a major snowstorm last month.
"We hope our community could be reassured that our religious needs can be met," Rabbi Israel Zoberman of Beth Chaverim, a Reform congregation in Virginia Beach, told the local media. "We don't want anyone to pay a price for the snow that came upon us."
Zoberman told WAVY-TV, “I would like to believe that someone overlooked the fact that on Saturday Jews meet at worship. We also have pre-arranged special events such as bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs.”
At least one seventh-grader's bar mitzvah is scheduled for one of the makeup days. Phillip Goldstein is worried that none of his friends will be able to attend the morning service on April 26, according to The Virginian-Pilot columnist Kerry Dougherty.
Along with April 26, the other makeup days are Feb. 15 and March 29.
"Designating makeup days for time lost due to inclement weather is one of the most unpopular decisions a superintendent makes," Sheila Magula, the superintendent of Virginia Beach Schools, said in a statement. "There is never a day that is convenient for all of our students, staff and families."
School board member Leonard Tengco told the local ABC affiliate WVEC that the school district's online calendar has stated "for years" that Saturdays are an option for makeup days.