Today is a significant, holy and special day for many of our faculty, staff and students of the City College of San Francisco community. For our friends and colleagues who follow Islam and the Jewish faith this week marks the New Year:

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and the first of the Jewish High Holy Days. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration that began on Sunday, September 9 and ends Tuesday evening. It is a time to both rejoice and engage in self-reflection, according to the teachings of Judaism and the Hebrew Bible. It marks the beginning of the year, the traditional anniversary of the creation of the first man and woman and thus the inauguration of humanity's role in God's world. It is customary to “raise a noise” of celebration and thanks, and to offer prayers for a good year.

Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic New Year and based on the new moon sighting it will begin on Tuesday, September 11. This sacred month is one of the most important for Muslims around the globe. Muharram is marked with fasting, prayer and commitment to peace. It is a time during which Muslims reflect on significant historical and personal events and their own mortality by reciting Quranic verses and holding special prayers and sermons at public halls and mosques.

I know the entire City College community joins me in offering our gratitude for the presence of our Jewish and Muslim faculty, staff and students. This gratitude extends to expressing our profound respect and the gracious offer of accommodation to anyone in our community who requests one for religious observances, now and always.

The Jewish and Islamic faiths have sustained us for thousands of years. A sustainable future for all of us depends in part on drawing upon these faith traditions for the wisdom that every human is special and deserves love and care.

With best wishes for our New Years,

Dr. Mark Rocha, Chancellor
City College of San Francisco

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