The (November and) December Dilemma: Holiday Guidelines for Public Schools and Public Spaces

  • November 11, 2021

Hanukkah starts early this year! As the winter holidays approach, school administrators and teachers face the challenge of planning holiday programs and activities within and outside the classroom that demonstrate a respect for students of all faiths and religious beliefs. Civic officials similarly may face difficult questions about the placement of religious displays on public property. While acknowledging the December holiday season, it’s important to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of all members of our religiously diverse society.

ADL is pleased to offer guidance on navigating these questions. To help school and civic officials comply with the United States Constitution and create an environment that communicates respect for religious diversity, we offer several resources for developing December holiday curricula and displays.

 Visit ADL’s web page devoted to teaching about the December holidays including guidelines for public schools, a webinar recording and other resources here. Resources include:

You may also want to review the ADL publication Religion in the Public Schools, a comprehensive look at the law of religion in the public schools in an easy to understand and use format.

Wishing you happy, healthy and inclusive holidays this winter!