As the Jewish holiday of Passover concluded Tuesday, several students at the University of Maryland reflected on their experiences celebrating while balancing being full-time students.

During Passover, which lasted from April 22 to April 30 this year, Jewish people commemorate their freedom from slavery in Egypt, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. The first two and last two days of Passover are observed through abstaining from work, electronics and driving.

As a result, students who choose to fully observe Passover can’t attend classes or do schoolwork during those first two and last two days, which some students said can be a challenge.

Celebrating Passover while staying on top of classes has been difficult, sophomore environmental science and policy major Gabriella Ross said.

“A lot of other religious people I’ve talked to have just said that no matter what, whenever all the holidays are going on, their grades just go down,” Ross said. “You pretty much never catch up once you start having to rearrange your schedule.”

Ross’ professors have been accommodating about her absences, she said, but it is still overwhelming to catch up on so many extensions.

As soon as Passover ends, observing students have many assignments to complete, Ross said.

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According to this university’s policies, students cannot be penalized for observing a religious holiday and must be given an opportunity to make up missed assignments “within a reasonable time.” Jewish students can request a holiday exemption letter through Maryland Hillel to give professors if necessary, according to Hillel’s website.

Other students echoed Ross’ sentiments, including Liana Tare, who traveled home to New York for the entirety of Passover.

Tare, a freshman enrolled in letters and sciences, said she anticipates it will be difficult to get back on track with the rest of her classmates when she returns to school.

In addition to rules about activities permitted during Passover, people who observe the holiday refrain from eating anything containing leavened grains such as wheat, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. This is called eating kosher for Passover.

This university’s dining halls are unable to provide strictly kosher Passover meals, according to Dining Services spokesperson Bart Hipple. This is partially because food must be prepared under the supervision of a Mashgiah, a Jewish supervisor who ensures the food meets Kashrut requirements to be kosher, Hipple said. Due to the scale of this university’s dining halls, it is unable to provide that, according to a Dining Services statement.

The dining halls still serve cultural foods for students such as matzo ball soup or made-to-order matzo pizza, Hipple said.

“Dining Services will continue to listen and seek student feedback on how best to accommodate needs while searching for solutions that provide the very best experience for our campus community,” according to a statement from Dining Services.

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Students on campus who adhere to the food restrictions can get a kosher meal plan for Passover from Hillel, Dawn Savage, Hillel’s assistant director, said.

According to Savage, eating kosher for Passover can be challenging for observant students as Hillel is the only location on campus that offers full kosher meals. Additionally, Hillel isn’t centrally located on campus, she said.

Ross, who eats kosher for Passover, didn’t get a Hillel meal plan because she doesn’t have the time to go there throughout the day, she said.

“I’ve literally just been eating fruit and just not eating real food,” she said.

Jewish Student Union treasurer Isaac Shiner has used Hillel’s meals during Passover. The sophomore journalism and government and politics major said he has been “pretty okay” combining Hillel meals with food he brought from home.

“Hillel, Chabad are definitely as supportive as they can ever be for Jewish students,” Shiner said. “Their whole point is to be there for us and to make sure we have all the resources that we need to be successful while also being Jewish on campus.”

During Passover, Jewish people hold ritual feasts — known as seders — the first two nights of the holiday and retell the Passover story, according to Jewish Virtual Library.

Jewish students on campus for Passover can attend seders at Hillel or Chabad.

Close to 200 people attended Hillel’s first seder and about 75 people went to the second night seder, according to Savage.

The Hillel seders are open to both Jewish and non-Jewish community members, she said.

“Our Passover seders have been growing, which is amazing, and so it’s so wonderful to continue to see the Jewish community grow and be a part of this holiday,” Savage said.