November 26, 2014
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Council meeting subject to change due to Jewish holiday

There’s a possibility the Sept. 17 council meeting will be re-scheduled for Sept. 19, as the 17 is Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish high holy day.

Council President Bruce Place drafted a resolution that would switch the dates if approved by the council at the upcoming Sept. 10 meeting.

Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson, who is one of seven Rhode Island Commissioners for Human Rights responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the state, voiced her concern about the date at the last meeting, which was held Aug. 15.

“It was brought up by Councilwoman Vella-Wilkinson at the last meeting but it was just brought up under general communications – nobody docketed anything,” Place said Monday morning during a brief phone interview.

Place went on to say that when the council and the Clerk’s Office originally planned the calendar, they thought the holiday fell on a Sunday, and therefore would not conflict with a meeting.

“We didn’t realize it,” Place said.

However, Place said a local Rabbi contacted him shortly after the Aug. 15 meeting and explained that the holiday lasts several days, not just one. He requested the council change the date so residents may observe the holiday without missing a meeting.

At that point, Place decided to draft the resolution.

“I put through a resolution under unanimous consent that will be voted on at the Sept. 10 meeting,” he said. “I can’t imagine anyone not voting for it under the request of the Rabbi.”

If all goes accordingly, said Place, the council will simply postpone the meeting [to] after Rosh Hashanah ends.

“We do it by the book,” said Place. “Anyone can object to it and it will cause it not to happen, but I do see that happening. I contacted the Rabbi to let him know what we’re doing and he appreciates it. Hopefully, it will go along fine. But I don’t see any reason that it shouldn’t.”

Place also said he contacted the rest of the council to inform them of the situation.


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