After Diplomatic Battle, UN Recognizes Yom Kippur As Official Holiday


united nationsToday, the United Nations recognized Yom Kippur as an official holiday, following diplomatic efforts by Israel with American support.

The Israeli delegation to the United Nations touted the achievement as the culmination of a joint effort by Ambassador Danny Danon and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Israel launched a campaign in May 2014 to make Yom Kippur a UN holiday.

Yom Kippur now joins the Christian holidays Xmas and Good Friday and the Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in the list of 11 official UN holidays. The six others are major US holidays — New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

No official meetings will take place on Yom Kippur and Jewish UN employees can observe the Yom Tov without taking vacation.

Last year 32 ambassadors signed letters calling on the UN to recognize Yom Kippur.