For the first time, the United Nations will recognize a Jewish holiday – Yom Kippur – as an official U.N. holiday.
Until now, the U.N. had recognized 10 official holidays, including Christmas and Eid Al Fitr.
Adding Yom Kippur means that no official meetings will take place that day and that Jewish U.N. employees may observe the holiday without the need to take the day off.
Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, hailed the recognition, saying: “Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish People, and the U.N. should have recognized this holiday many years ago. Finally an official place for the Jewish religion in the world’s parliament.”
Israel’s Mission to the U.N. has been seeking this recognition for the past two years. Danon said it was achieved with the help of the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power. The partnership prevented the anti-Israel majority in the U.N. from blocking the resolution.
“The American-Israeli partnership at the U.N. stands for good versus bad and right versus wrong,” Danon said. “The value of justice, anchored in Jewish tradition and thought, will finally find its place in the family of nations, and be a part of the UN’s history.”