The unspoken rules about Valentine’s Day


Ari Kittre and Jonah Beinart

The idea of Valentine’s Day is taboo at CESJDS and is prohibited according to school rules.

Maiya Blumenthal, Reporter

On Feb. 14, public schools across the nation are filled with heart decorations and Valentine’s gifts are exchanged among friends and loved ones. However, at CESJDS, the day is no different than any other day.

Though Valentine’s Day has become a secular celebration of love, the holiday originates from Christianity. Because of this religious connotation, students at JDS are not permitted to celebrate the holiday within the school grounds. 

Holidays such as Halloween and Valentine’s Day that have their origins in other faith traditions are not part of our School’s practice,” the High School Family Handbook states. “Valentine’s Day is not celebrated in the school and students are asked not to bring in or distribute cards or gifts of any kind to friends.

Valentine’s Day was originally named St. Valentine’s Day to honor the death of St. Valentine on Feb. 14, 269 AD, so many Jews feel uncomfortable celebrating the holiday. Sophomore Josie Silverberg thinks, along with the school, that the holiday’s religious history should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to celebrate it. 

“It’s become more of a universal thing that I feel like everyone can make their own choice,” Silverberg said. “If you’re worried about the history behind it, then you can make your own choice about that. And I think it’s important when celebrating to understand what you’re doing and the impact that it could have, who St. Valentine’s Day was.”

Similar to Silverberg, Junior Eliot Rogal agrees with the school’s policy around celebrating the holiday in school but does not think that there is an issue with people celebrating outside of school. 

“I don’t think they really need to acknowledge it as a school,” Rogal said. “Obviously, as people, people can do whatever they want … at this point It’s really a secular holiday. I feel like it’s not any different for Jews as it is for Christians and Muslims.” 

While a common concern about Valentine’s Day is its connection to Christianity, Jewish text teacher Rabbi Reuvane Slater’s main issue is that the holiday does not fully align with Jewish values. 

“The concept, obviously, is a wonderful concept,” Slater said. “… It’s Ahavta Lereacha Kamocha, a sense of loving someone like you love yourself. It’s a much deeper concept than just a hallmark day.”

Although there are many reasons why Jews do not celebrate Valentine’s Day, Slater feels that a core Jewish value is a continuous love and appreciation that involves developing oneself and their relationships, it shouldn’t be limited to one day of the year. 

“The concept of love itself is not just showing an appreciation for somebody, but it’s a real sense of looking in yourself and seeing what you feel about yourself and how does that affect how you then treat others,” Slater said “… Work on figuring out ‘how can I first fix myself a certain sense of love,’ and then it can automatically outpour [on]to other people.”