Jewish University 2019

Academic Policies About Religious Life

Policies Regarding Absences from Classes for Religious Observance

Students at an institution of higher education in New York State are excused from required course work due to religious observance.  Therefore, on major religious holidays that coincide with class days, students may choose to not attend classes and cannot be penalized.  They must also be given equivalent make up work by the instructor.

This policy is codified in New York State Education Law section 224-a. 

You may download a copy of this law here.

You can find a copy of the university's policy regarding religious holidays on the Provost's website here.


We strongly advise students to inform their instructors at the earliest possible time if they will be missing classes due to religious observance so that make up work can be planned accordingly.

The attached letter may be downloaded or printed and given to any faculty member regarding your absence from class on any Jewish holiday.

Stony Brook faculty have been informed by the Provost of the University that exams should not be given on major religious holidays and the faculty has been provided with the dates on which they fall.



Students should never feel that they do not have the right to observe religious holidays according to their tradition and should in no way feel compelled to choose between academic work and religious observance or to violate their beliefs. 

Any student who feels they are being treated unfairly should contact Rabbi Joseph Topek