What Is “Fellow Standard Time”?

Jewish Standard Time (noun): The justification for Jewish events or Jewish people running late.

Fellow Standard Time:  (noun): Nothing standard about it all…

Thriday (noun): The combination of Thursday & Friday, used when Thursday is the last day in the
office. Common element of Fellow Standard Time.

There’s a lot of talk about the differences between Jews in the North and Jews in the South. Some differences certainly do exist. But in a world where the Jewish experience can be so drastically different based on where you live, there is one thing that binds all Jews together, from New York to Alabama:
Jewish Standard Time.

In the Jewish world, when events are late to start or people are late to arrive, you’ll often hear it blamed on “Jewish Standard Time.”

Person A: “It’s ten after. When do you think we’ll get started?”
Person B: “Oh, we run on Jewish Standard Time around here.”

OK, in the South there might be a “y’all” thrown in there, but the conversation would sound more or less the same anywhere. Hearing this phrase uttered so often in my community and the communities to which I travel got me thinking about life as a Fellow and the way we spend our time. What is Fellow Standard Time?

Turns out it has even more to do with calendars than with clocks. Our whole week is shifted off-kilter from the rest of the world’s week!

For most people with full-time jobs, the week starts on Monday and ends on Friday. It’s a little different for an ISJL Education Fellow. On Fellow Standard Time, our weeks generally start on Tuesday and end on Sunday (yes, you read that right). On Tuesday and Wednesday we are in the office having meetings, brainstorming, touching base with our communities, and planning for our upcoming visits. Then comes Thursday, the day most others celebrate as a final push before the weekend. It’s a final push for us too, but in a different way. At the ISJL office, Thursday becomes “Thriday” (the natural hybrid word of Thursday/Friday) since Thursday is our last day in the office before we head off on our trips.