Following the intervention of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Jewish schoolchildren in his country will be able to postpone their matriculation exams in light of the approaching holiday of Shavuot.

The national exams, which are scheduled for this Friday – when Jews the world over will attend synagogue to celebrate the giving of the Torah 3,321 years ago – were brought up in an emergency meeting last month between Medvedev and Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary. At the meeting, which came days after a letter from Russian Ministry of Education announcing the exams, Lazar explained to the president the importance of the holiday and the prohibition of performing work on the day.

In a letter to Lazar last week, Educational Minister Andrei Aleksandrovitch Forsenko cited the Constitution of the Russian Federation in explaining that students in the Ohr Avner Chabad network of Jewish day schools and Jewish children in public schools could take their exams no later than June 17.

The constitution “guarantees the freedom of religion,” wrote Forsenko. In addition, “international rules stipulate that … education [programs] respect the rights of parents [to adhere] to religious and philosophical [mandates].”