There are currently six American holidays, two Christian and two Muslim holidays, but none for Judaism.
In addition to full-time representation as a non-governmental entity at the United Nations, B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin was published in The New York Times, explaining the importance of respect and inclusiveness in recognizing Yom Kippur.
He further expands on his sentiments in an article published on JNS.org. Read the highlights from it, below:
In July, amid Israel’s summer war with Hamas and global anti-Israel protests, U.N. ambassadors from 32 countries wrote a letter to a U.N. General Assembly committee that urged the recognition of Yom Kippur (Oct. 3-4 this year) as an official U.N. holiday.
A number of major Jewish organizations and leaders are also advocating for Yom Kippur’s recognition at the U.N.
“Including Yom Kippur on the calendar would speak to that issue of inclusiveness of the Jewish people,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, who co-wrote a New York Times op-ed on the issue in August, told JNS.org.
“It would speak to the entire worldwide Jewish community and send a very important message that we hope will resonate to the rest of the world,” he said.
Yom Kippur’s U.N. recognition “should be a non-controversial issue,” B’nai B’rith’s Mariaschin said.
“[Yom Kippur is] observed in Israel, but it’s also observed by Jews all over the world,” he said. “If a country were to vote against this proposal on the basis of this being a Jewish holiday, or because Jews are connected to the state of Israel, I think it would speak additional volumes about the U.N. and how it treats Israel and the international Jewish community.”
At the same time, recognizing Yom Kippur should not be seen as a cure for anti-Israel bias, which is “a serious inherent problem in the U.N. system,” Mariaschin cautioned.
“While we want Yom Kippur to be on the [U.N.] calendar… we would not want to see that as compensation for dealing, as is often done, so harshly with Israel,” he said. “It shouldn't be seen as one or the other.”