Friday News Roundup: Happy Birthday!

istock_000003001750xsmallIn New York City this week, all eyes were on Mayor Bloomberg:  Will New York make the two Eids (Islam’s holiest days) official school holidays?  A few years ago, the state agreed not to schedule official exams on the Eids; now it’s the city’s move.

There’s also a new study (isn’t there always?), some interesting workplace news and an anniversary dear to Tanenbaum’s heart.  Take the jump!

The school news first: Last week, a subset of the City Council voted 10-1 for making the Eids official holidays.  This week, it went before the full Council, which voted for two Muslim school holidays (New York Times) and sent a resolution to Mayor Bloomberg.  Interested parties waited for the Mayor’s verdict…

…”City Council resolution calls for Muslim school holidays; Mayor Bloomberg says no to recommendation.”  (New York Daily News)

Blogs Gothamist and Politcker both weighed in on the Mayor’s decision.  (Won’t you?  Don’t neglect our comments!)

In other news, the Pew Research Forum is busy as ever, releasing a new study on aging yesterday.  Although it’s not all relevant to what we do here at Tanenbaum, there is one section that jumps oupew grapht:

“Religion is a far bigger part of the lives of older adults than younger adults. Two-thirds of adults ages 65 and older say religion is very important to them, compared with just over half of those ages 30 to 49 and just 44% of those ages 18 to 29. Moreover, among adults ages 65 and above, a third (34%) say religion has grown more important to them over the course of their lives, while just 4% say it has become less important and the majority (60%) say it has stayed the same. Among those who are over 65 and report having an illness or feeling sad, the share who say that religion has become more important to them rises to 43%.”

We’ve known for a while that there’s a tendency for older Americans to become a bit more religious, but this gap is wider than ever (and the new data is broken down into more demographic categories, also helpful).

Next, religion and workplace issues popped up in both the US and Canada.

In Greeley, Colorado the JBS meatpacking plant is hoping to avoid another year of Ramadan-related tension with its substantial Somali Muslim population.  Workers walked off the job last year when the company wouldn’t give them needed time to pray at sundown during Ramadan.  They don’t seem to have reached a firm conclusion, but the Greeley Tribune reports optimism this year.  We’ll keep an eye out.

Our neighbors to the north come off as more inclusive than the US or Europe, but that doesn’t mean they have any less religiously motivated tension.  “Quebec’s ‘reasonable accommodation’ hearings have heard from people who were upset by the sight of women wearing headscarves in Montreal, or by too much kosher food in their supermarkets.”  More info at Macleans.

Finally: As we in the States get ready to celebrate the anniversary of our independence, here’s a less well-known anniversary: The anniversary of Title VII.  On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act into law, officially prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, and religion (among other categories) and creating the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

Happy Birthday, Title VII!