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Muslims look to Jewish example in campaigning for school days off
by Ben Sales
When Jessica Abdelnabbi-Berrocal wanted her local public schools in Jersey City, New Jersey, to close for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha in September, she looked to her Jewish heritage.
The daughter of a Sephardic Jewish mother and Catholic father, Abdelnabbi-Berrocal never had any trouble celebrating the holidays of both religions as a public school student in Queens, N.Y. Her schools were closed for the High Holidays, as well as for Christmas and Easter. She remembers learning about dreidels in class.
But Abdelnabbi-Berrocal, who converted to Islam at 20, has faced the difficulty of sending her own child to public school on holy days. To celebrate Eid, which commemorates Abraham's binding of his son, her 13-year-old daughter must choose between classroom and mosque.
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