People who want to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Shabbat in the United States are now encouraged to do so without any Jewish symbols at all, according to a new regulation.
The regulation issued by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (OFO) on Monday also mandates that any holiday displays that include the word “holiday” must be in observance of a “non-Jewish holiday.”
The new rule applies to both national and state holidays, with the Jewish holidays included in both categories.
A number of major Jewish holidays, including Passover, Yom Kippur, Yuma, Shavuot and Hanukkah, are excluded from the new policy.
This means that observant Jews are now required to use a white, secular holiday tree and not include any Jewish holiday imagery.
OFO officials say they will begin enforcing the new rule, as it’s the most comprehensive such requirement in the country.
“Our intention is to keep the Jewish calendar on the straight and narrow and to not be insensitive to religious observance,” OFO’s executive director, David Shavit, said in a statement.
The holiday season is traditionally celebrated with a series of feasts, including Pesach, Hanukah and Yom Ka-Baran, in addition to other Jewish holidays.
In 2016, OFO released a report concluding that the number of people who attended Jewish services in the U.S. increased by an estimated 3 million during the last year, while Jewish attendance in schools declined by 7 percent.
“As Jewish Americans grow in their numbers, they are increasingly the target of hateful and violent hate crimes,” OFI director of public policy Rachel L. Gittman said in the statement.
We also know that many other people of faith are not being protected by the current system. “
We know that Jewish Americans are not the only people targeted for hate crimes.
We also know that many other people of faith are not being protected by the current system.
We know that Jews and non-Jewish Americans face the same barriers and are denied the same rights.”
OFO was created in 2009 to ensure the safety and security of Jews.
“There are still many Jewish families that remain in fear for their safety and the safety of their children and grandchildren because of the lack of protections,” Gittmans statement said.
The new regulation has been in the works for years, but its implementation could affect thousands of businesses and institutions.
In December, a federal appeals court ruled that OFO should enforce its policy even if Congress doesn’t agree to it.
OFI officials are scheduled to make their final decision on the rule on January 28.