Jewish Employers, Employees and Students Guidelines

Jewish employees are entitled to a fair go as is everyone else. In New South Wales many types of discrimination are against the law. The laws dealing with discrimination help give everyone in New South Wales equal opportunities.

It is generally against the law to discriminate against or harass job applicants, employees, or those to whom one provides services or goods, on the basis of their (or any of their relatives’, friends’ or colleagues’) ethno-religious origin. This protects a Jewish person’s ethnic-religious background. Discrimination means treating someone unfairly because they belong to a particular group of people.

The same law also protects against discrimination in the areas of education (refusing to accept applications for admission as students, terms of admission, denying students or limiting their access to a benefit, expelling students or subjecting them to a detriment) and also applies to rights to accommodation and to participate in registered clubs.

Jewish employees from time to time experience discrimination because they are Jews or because they observe the practices of the Jewish religion.

Holy Days

Jewish employees have, from time to time, experienced discrimination when applying for leave.

A request for leave arises from a genuine and conscientious wish to observe a Jewish Holy Day – which applies to the weekly Sabbath and the festivals. There is, in Jewish Law, a prohibition on ‘work’ on such days. Jewish traditional interpretation of the word ‘work’ includes any kind of creative activity: writing, spending or handling money, operating equipment (even telephone), travelling (other than on foot), engaging in commercial transactions and many other activities which may not be assumed to be ‘work’ in ordinary parlance. Indeed, Judaism is unique in this “injunction” on work on Holy Days.

There is no provision in Jewish Law for ‘dispensation’ to be given by a rabbi from these restrictions and obligations; but every individual Jew is free to decide on his or her own level of observance.

If a request for time off is made by an individual Jew, it should be regarded as a genuine and conscientious wish to observe a Holy Day.


Jewish Holy Days

Jewish Holy Days always commence immediately before dusk and terminate at nightfall the following day – a 25-hour period. If there are two consecutive Holy Days, as indicated on the calendar, the laws continue over both days, terminating at nightfall on the second day.

Employers receiving applications for leave of absence are requested to note that Jews will want to reach home in good time to prepare for the Holy Day.

For Yom Kippur, a 25-hour fast, usually occurring in late September or October, it is imperative that time be allowed for a full meal to be taken at home immediately before the festival commences. The two days of Rosh Hashanah and the day of Yom Kippur hold a special significance for all Jews, regardless of their level of observance.


The Jewish Sabbath

Shabbat (Hebrew word for “Sabbath”) is the weekly day of rest, commencing at dusk on Friday and terminating on Saturday at nightfall.

Observant Jews will wish to reach home in time to welcome the Sabbath, and in the winter months this could entail leaving work, school or college on Friday afternoon.

Times of the commencement of Shabbat vary according to local sunset times and are published in the Jewish media.

What to expect from Jewish employees

Jews – whether as employees, students, pupils or teachers – do not expect “special treatment”. Being a team player and giving a fair go to one’s mates are as much a part of the Jewish ethos as they are a part of the Australian way of life.

Most Jews will take leave for their Holy Days as part of their annual leave entitlement or enter into swapping or other reciprocal arrangements and agreements, including offering to work on Sundays or national holidays.


Harassment Issues

An employer, a supervisor and workmates are not permitted to harass a Jewish employee at work. The employer must do his/her best to ensure that there is no harassment in the workplace. It does not matter if the Jewish employee is permanent, full-time, part-time or casual.


Where to get help

If discrimination or harassment occurs, the employee should courteously, respectfully but firmly complain and ask that it be stopped by the employer.

If the employer does not stop the harassment, or treats the employee unfairly for having complained, the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board can assist.


Help and Advice

NSW Anti-Discrimination Board

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board administers the law in NSW, and its officers are skilled at helping resolve discrimination issues.

Confidentiality can be expected in the handling of discrimination complaints.

Most complaints are conciliated although some proceed to the Equal Opportunity Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of NSW.


NSW Jewish Board of Deputies

The Board of Deputies is always available to help and advise in cases of difficulty.

It is actively engaged in working against racial discrimination, and has strong relations with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board.


Other sources

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

The Stockholm International Forum – Combating Intolerance

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

NSW Public School Terms 2019 & 2020


Term 1


Term 2


Term 3


Term 4











Tuesday 29/01/2018

Friday 12/04/2018

Monday 29/04/2018

Friday 05/07/2018

Monday 22/07/2018

Friday 27/09/2018

Monday 14/10/2018

Friday 20/12/2018


Tuesday 28/01/2018

Thursday 09/04/2018

Monday 27/04/2018

Friday 03/07/2018

Monday 20/07/2018

Friday 25/09/2018

Monday 12/10/2018

Friday 18/12/2018



Emanuel School

Kesser Torah College

Masada College

Term 1 First Day


Term 1 Last Day

Preschool, Yrs 1-12 Wed 31 Jan

Kindergarten Thu 1 Feb

Fri 12 Apr

Thu 31 Jan


Fri 12 Apr

Thu 31 Jan


Fri 12 Apr

Term 2 First Day

Term 2 Last Day

Tue 30 Apr

Fri 5 Jul

Wed 1 May

Fri 5 Jul

Mon 29 Apr

Fri 5 Jul

Term 3 First Day

Term 3 Last Day

Tue 23 Jul

Fri 27 Sep

Tue 23 Jul

Fri 4 Oct

Tue 23 Jul

Fri 27 Sep

Term 4 First Day

Term 4 Last Day

Thu 17 Oct

Tue 10 Dec

Thu 24 Oct

Thu 12 Dec

Thu 17 Oct

Thu 12 Dec


Moriah College

Mount Sinai College

BJE and State Schools

Term 1 First Day


Term 1 Last Day

Yrs 1-6, Yrs 7 & 12 Fri 1 Feb

Yrs 8-11 & Year K Mon 4 Feb

Thu 11 Apr

Thu 31 Jan


Fri 12 Apr

Tue 29 Jan


Fri 12 Apr

Term 2 First Day

Term 2 Last Day

Tue 30 Apr

Thu 4 Jul

Mon 29 Apr

Fri 5 Jul

Mon 29 Apr

Fri 5 Jul

Term 3 First Day

Term 3 Last Day

Tue 23 Jul

Thu 26 Sep

Mon 22 Jul

Fri 27 Sep

Mon 22 Jul

Fri 27 Sep

Term 4 First Day

Term 4 Last Day

Wed 16 Oct

Fri 13 Dec

Wed 16 Oct

Thu 12 Dec

Mon 14 Oct

Fri 20 Dec

Principal Festivals and Fasts 2019

Festival or Fast

Tu Bishvat*

Fast of Esther


Shushan Purim*

Fast of the First Born

Pesach day 1*

Pesach day 2*

Pesach day 7*

Pesach day 8*

Yom Hashoah*

Yom Hazikaron*

Yom Ha’atzmaut*

Lag B’omer*

Yom Yerushalayim*

Shavuot day 1*

Shavuot day 2*

Fast of Tammuz

Tisha b’Av*

Rosh Hashanah day 1*

Rosh Hashanah day 2*

Fast of Gedaliah

Yom Kippur*

Succot day 1*

Succot day 2*

Shemini Atzeret*

Simchat Torah*

Chanukah day 1*

Chanukah day 8

* Indicates also preceding evening

Hebrew Date 5779-5780

15 Sh’vat

13 Adar

14 Adar

15 Adar

14 Nissan

15 Nissan

16 Nissan

21 Nissan

22 Nissan

27 Nissan

3 lyar

4 Iyar

18 Iyar

28 Iyar

6 Sivan

7 Sivan

18 Tammuz

10 Av

1 Tishrei

2 Tishrei

3 Tishrei

10 Tishrei

15 Tishrei

16 Tishrei

22 Tishrei

23 Tishrei

25 Kislev

2 Tevet

2019 I 5779-5780

Monday 21/Jan

Wednesday 20/Jan

Thursday 21/Jan

Friday 22/Jan

Friday 19/Jan

Saturday 20/Jan

Sunday 21/Jan

Friday 26/Jan

Saturday 27/Jan

Thursday 02/Jan

Wednesday 08/Jan

Thursday 09/Jan

Thursday 23/Jan

Sunday 02/Jan

Sunday 09/Jan

Monday 10/Jan

Sunday 21/Jan

Sunday 11/Jan

Monday 30/Jan

Tuesday 01/Jan

Wednesday 02/Jan

Wednesday 09/Jan

Monday 14/Jan

Tuesday 15/Jan

Monday 21/Jan

Tuesday 22/Jan

Monday 23/Jan

Monday 30/Jan

Principal Festivals and Fasts 2020 – 2023

Festival or Fast

Fast  of  Tevet

Tu Bishvat

Purim Katan

Fast of Esther


Shushan Purim

Fast of the First born

Pesach day 1

Pesach day 2

Pesach day 7

Pesach day 8

Yom Hashoah

Yom Hazikaron

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Lag B’omer

Yom Yerushalayim

Shavuout day 1

Shavuout day 2*

Fast of Tammuz

isha B’av

Rosh Hashanah day 1

Rosh Hashanah day 2

Fast of Gedaliah

Yom Kippur*

Succot day 1

Succot day 2

Shemini Atzeret*

Simchat Torah

Chanukah day 1

Chanukah day 8

Fast of Tevet

* Yizkor said these days

Hebrew Date

10 Tevet

15 Sh’vat

13   Adar

14   Adar

15 Adar

14 Nissan

15  Nissan

16  Nissan

21  Nissan

22  Nissan

27  Nissan

4  Iyar

5  Iyar

18  Iyar

28  Iyar

6  Sivan

7  Sivan

17 Tammuz

9 Av

1  Tishrei

2 Tishrei

3  Tishrei

10  Tishrei

15  Tishrei

16  Tishrei

22  Tishrei

23  Tishrei

25  Kislev

2  Tevet

10  Tevet

2020 I 5780-5781

Tue 07/Jan

Mon 10/Feb

Mon 09/Mar

Tue 10/Mar

Wed 11/Mar

Wed 08/Apr

Thu 09/Apr

Fri 10/Apr

Wed 15/Apr

Thu 16/Apr

Tue 21/Apr

Tue 28/Apr

Wed 29/Apr

Tue 12/May

Fri 22/May

Fri 29/May

Sat 30/May

Thu 09/Jul

Thu 30/Jul

Sat 19/Sep

Sun 20/Sep

Mon 21/Sep

Mon 28/Sep

Sat 03/Oct

Sun 04/Oct

Sat 10/Oct

Sun 11/Oct

Fri 11/Dec

Fri 18/Dec

Fri 25/Dec

2021 I 5781-5782

Thu 28/Jan

Thu 25/Feb

Fri 26/Feb

Sun 28/Feb

Thu 25/Mar

Sun 28/Mar

Mon 29/Mar

Sat 03/Apr

Sun 04/Apr

Thu 08/Apr

Wed 14/Apr

Thu 15/Apr

Fri 30/Apr

Mon 10/May

Mon 17/May

Tue 18/May

Sun 27/Jun

Sun 18/Jul

Tue 07/Sep

Wed 08/Sep

Thu 09/Sep

Thu 16/Sep

Tue 21/Sep

Wed 22/Sep

Tue 28/Sep

Wed 29/Sep

Mon 29/Nov

Mon 06/Dec

Tue 14/Dec

2022 I 5782-5783

Mon 17/Jan

Tue 15/Feb

Wed 16/Mar

Thu 17/Mar

Fri 18/Mar

Fri 15/Apr

Sat 16/Apr

Sun 17/Apr

Fri 22/Apr

Sat 23/Apr

Thu 28/Apr

Wed 04/May

Thu 05/May

Thu 19/May

Sun 29/May

Sun 05/Jun

Mon 06/Jun

Sun 17/Jul

Sun 07/Aug

Mon 26/Sep

Tue 27/Sep

Wed 28/Sep

Wed 05/Oct

Mon 10/Oct

Tue 11/Oct

Mon 17/Oct

Tue 18/Oct

Mon 19/Dec

Mon 26/Dec

2023 I 5783-5784

Tue 03/Jan

Mon 06/Feb

Mon 06/Mar

Tue 07/Mar

Wed 08/Mar

Wed 05/Apr

Thu 06/Apr

Fri 07/Apr

Tue 12/Apr

Wed 13/Apr

Tue 18/Apr

Tue 25/Apr

Wed 26/Apr

Tue 09/May

Fri 19/May

Fri 26/May

Sat 27/May

Thu 06/Jul

Thu 27/Jul

Sat 16/Sep

Sun 17/Sep

Mon 18/Sep

Mon 25/Sep

Sat 30/Sep

Sun 01/Oct

Sat 07/Oct

Sun 08/Oct

Thu 07/Dec

Thu 14/Dec

Fri 22/Dec

The Jewish Calendar

The Jewish calendar is based on the revolutions of the moon around the earth, whereas the Gregorian (common) calendar is based on the earth’s rotation around the sun. The lunar year comprises (in a normal year) twelve months each of 29 or 30 days. In a leap year a thirteenth month is added, known as Adar II. A leap year occurs seven times in each cycle of nineteen years; in the  third,  sixth,  eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth and  nineteenth years.  By adding the extra month, the lunar year of 354 days is made to harmonise with the solar year of 365 days.

The Hebrew names of the months were adopted from the Babylonian calendar during the Babylonian exile in 586 B.C.E. The first written calendar was compiled by Hillel II  in  359  C.E. The days of the New Moon are considered important days in the Jewish calendar and are known as Rosh Chodesh.

Read more about the Jewish Festivals, Descriptions and Dates.