To enable Jewish students to participate in activities during the week leading up to its annual homecoming game, Rutgers University has switched the date of next fall’s football event.
The game — against Tulane University — had been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27. Because Rosh Hashana falls on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 25 and 26, observant Jewish students would have been left out of pre-game activities on those days.
After being contacted by Rutgers Hillel associate director Rabbi Esther Reed, the athletic department moved the game to Saturday, Nov. 1, against the University of Wisconsin.
“The games are on Saturdays, which is always a problem for our students, but if homecoming was held the week of Rosh Hashana or right after Sukkot or Simhat Torah, many of them would miss activities for homecoming,” explained Reed; those holidays always fall on the same days of the week as Rosh Hashana.
For many Saturday home games, students walk as a group from Hillel on the New Brunswick campus to the stadium in Piscataway, where they hold a kosher tailgate.