Respect Faith Practices
It is University policy (University Regulation on Attendance, Book 2, 2.47B, formerly 60.14f) to excuse without penalty students who are absent because of religious observances; or participation in University-sponsored intercollegiate athletics contests, practices, associated travel, and other similar obligations; and to allow the make up of exercises or examinations missed because of such absence. Except when related to clinical assignments, examinations and special required out-of-class activities shall ordinarily not be scheduled on those days when religiously observant students refrain from participating in secular activities. Absences for reasons of religious obligation shall not be counted for purposes of reporting. To learn more, read the university policy on course attendance.
Rutgers University recognizes and respects the religious diversity of its employees. The university prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s religion or creed and will provide reasonable accommodations for employees to enable them to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs. To learn more about accommodations for staff employees, visit the Office of Employment Equity religious accommodations page. To learn more about accommodations for faculty, visit the Office of Academic Labor Relations religious accommodations page.
It is the policy of the University not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students should exercise their own judgment as to attendance in accordance with the dictates of specific school or program policies and requirements governing class attendance. To learn more, read the university policy on course attendance.
For some traditions, the interruption of regular activities and/or work is a component of the observance; this may impact participation and completion of assignments. Many religious traditions also observe specific times of fasting, which may impact focus and energy levels.
For Jewish and Islamic holidays, the observance may begin at sundown on the day before the holiday. Jewish holy days will end one hour after sunset of the closing day. The observance of Islamic and Hindu holy days may also vary depending on the sighting of the moon.
Members of the Interfaith Alliance have provided resources to support Islamic and Jewish communities during selected days of observance.
For our Muslim students who observe Ramadan, this may be your first time navigating Ramadan during college and during the academic year. Chaplain Kaiser Aslam has put together some information to help support Muslim students at this time with the CILRU Ramadan Guide.
Rutgers Hillel has provided this sheet to serve as an introduction to some typical practices that Jewish students might engage in during the High Holidays that could affect their time in and out of the classroom.
Some Major Religious Holy Days and Observances
The list below compiles dates to be mindful of during the 2023-2024 academic year. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all holidays or observances, nor is it an active catalog of religious communities on campus. It is a starting point to recognize and respect the array of faith traditions found within our beloved community.
*Note that Jewish and Muslim holy days begin at sundown on the first day and are indicated by an asterisk.
Holiday or Observance
September 15-17, 2023* Rosh Hashanah Jewish September 24-25, 2023* Yom Kippur Jewish September 26-27, 2023* Mawlid al-Nabi Islamic September 29 - October 6, 2023* Sukkot Jewish October 6-7, 2023* Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah Jewish October 15-24, 2023 Navratri Hindu November 1, 2023 Feast of All Saints Christian November 2, 2023 All Souls’ Day Christian November 12, 2023 Diwali Hindu/ Jain/ Sikh December 7-15, 2023* Hanukkah Jewish December 8, 2023 Feast of the Immaculate Conception Christian December 24, 2023 Christmas Eve Christian December 25, 2023 Christmas Christian December 26, 2023 - January 1, 2024 Kwanzaa
Holiday or Observance
February 10, 2024 Lunar New Year Confucian/Daoist/Buddhist February 14, 2024 Beginning of Lent Christian Orthodox February 14, 2024 Ash Wednesday Christian March 8, 2024 Maha Shivaratri Hindu March 10, 2024* Beginning of Ramadan Islamic March 23-24, 2024* Purim Jewish March 25, 2024 Holi Hindu March 29, 2024 Good Friday Christian March 31, 2024 Easter Christian April 6, 2024 Lailat al-Qadr Islamic April 8, 2024* Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Islamic April 17, 2024 Ram Navami Hindu April 22-30, 2024* Passover (Pesach) Jewish May 3, 2024 Orthodox Good Friday Christian Orthodox May 5, 2024 Orthodox Easter Christian Orthodox
Accommodations for Religious Observances
Students are responsible for notifying their professor of conflicts with course materials and religious or cultural observance in a timely manner. The expectation is that an arrangement can be made between the professor and the student. The student is responsible for managing the lost study and work time as a result of an observance. Students should not be penalized for excused absences and are required to make up materials missed from an accommodation. Given the impact that fasting can have on a student’s ability to fulfill their academic responsibilities, some students may request alternative scheduling for exams and assignments during these periods. If you are in need of assistance, contact the Dean of Students office on your respective campus.
The Office of Employment Equity (“OEE”) is responsible for overseeing and coordinating requests for accommodation received from faculty and staff employees based on religion. In order to request a religious accommodation, the employee needs to complete an Accommodation Request Form or complete the form through the portal here. Learn more about the religious accommodations process for staff and faculty by visiting the Office of Employee Equity webpage or calling OEE with specific questions regarding the religious accommodations process at 848-932-9373.