Texas Jewish Basketball Team Granted Shabbat Exception,
Set to Play in State Semifinal
By Zachary Lichaa in The Algemeiner Journal
The Beren Academy Boys Basketball team has just claimed a big victory
off the court which will allow them to go for one on it.
The 23-5 team, which was planning to forfeit its Friday night state
semifinal matchup against Dallas Covenant due to a scheduling conflict
with the Jewish Sabbath, has just been awarded an exemption that will
allow the game to happen.
We greatly appreciate the strong outpouring of support from so
many, the school said on Thursday.
We particularly want to acknowledge the many member schools in
TAPPS who supported efforts to change the schedule to enable our boys
to play. Special thanks to Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School
for allowing us to reschedule the start time of the regional finals game
this past Friday, February 24th.
Taaps is the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.Previously
the agency's nine-member board unanimously voted down a request by Beren
to have the game time moved.
This story garnered considerable attention nationally, with coaches,
administrators, and athletes all weighing in. Tamir Goodman, a basketball
star once dubbed the "Jewish Jordan" by Sports Illustrated,
told FoxNews that he had met with Beren players earlier this year and
admired their convictions.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/29/coach-orthodox-jewish-basketball-team-still-hopeful-for-texas-sized-miracle/#ixzz1oFGrhLWJ
When Berens joined years ago, we advised them that the Sabbath
would present them with a problem with the finals. In the past, Tapps
has held firmly to their rules because if schedules are changed for these
schools, its hard for other schools, Taaps Director Edd Burelson
told the New York Times.
Beren Academys head basketball coach, Chris Cole, said the school
was advised about the potential conflict. When their request was denied,
"We continued having light practices in case a miracle would happen.
We wanted to be prepared."
The sacred mission will trump excellence in the secular world,
Rabbi Harry Sinoff, Berens head of school, said Monday in a telephone
interview with the Times.
This is something that we did know and were made aware of. We would
just like there to be some sort of flexibility on the rare occasion that
we get this far, Cole told FoxNews.com earlier this week.
It appears that flexibility has been granted.
[From //Algemeiner.com, with some added material included in the links
to the NY Times and Fox News provided in the article]