Opinion: Short Fridays Should be Year Round


Jonah Beinart

The traditional items used to welcome Shabbat every week

Ari Werbin-Gradel, Features Editor

Short Fridays are enjoyable and a well-deserved reward, so it is unfortunate that they only last for the winter. Short Fridays are meant to give us time to commute home and prepare for Shabbat, but it is also a one and a half hours head start to the rightfully earned weekend. So why should they end in the winter? 

Many students at our school are observant of Shabbat and most students have a Shabbat dinner every Friday night. Therefore, short Fridays benefit the majority of JDS families.

The intention of short Fridays is to allow every family to have time to prepare for Shabbat. Families who aren’t observant still need time to prepare their Shabbat meals, and with short Fridays, they are able to do it with extra time for relaxing.

Switching to long Fridays can be very confusing for a lot of students, especially due to the schedule change. It’s better to have a standard schedule that everyone follows all year. 

When you walk into the school on Friday morning and throughout the day, Fridays have a unique buzz. The week is almost over, Shabbat is almost here and everyone is more positive.  The idea of making Shabbat distinct from the rest of the week and building excitement for Shabbat on Fridays is important in Judaism. Short Fridays make Shabbat feel special, which connects the entire JDS community to the holiday, even if they don’t observe Shabbat at home. 

Another main reason why short Fridays should be year-round is that many observant students have a hard time getting their homework done because they only have Sunday to complete their work. This puts non-religious students at an unfair advantage at times. If students have short Fridays during the winter, students are able to use that extra time to get a head start on the weekend’s work before Shabbat. 

Most MCPS high schools end school around 2:30-2:50 every day. Yes, JDS is not a public school, but we are a private Jewish school. If we are going to have one out of five days a week where we end early, it should be Friday, and it should not stop when daylight savings commences. 

If short Fridays didn’t exist at all, it would be a whole different story. However, they do exist and are what everyone in the school looks forward to. Why take that away? Ultimately, for spiritual, religious, studious and mood-boosting reasons, JDS should keep short Fridays every week of the year.