You Can Play Ball… And Keep Shabbat Too

Yesterday Annette Powers wrote about the Robert M. Beren Academy’s basketball team which had qualified for the semifinals but could not participate because the  Texas Asscociation of Private and Parochial Schools refused to accomodate their observance of the Jewish Sabbath.

This story has a happy ending. Not only did it serve to unify the Jewish people as the Union for Reform Judaism petitioned the TAPPS to reschedule the game, but this petition along with a chorus of other voices prevailed upon the TAPPS who reversed course and will start the semi-final early to allow the Orthodox Jewish Beren Stars to compete.

A statement from the Beren Academy follows the jump.
Robert M. Beren Academy (RMBA) is pleased to announce that the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) has informed us that they will reschedule the Class 2A basketball schedule to permit the RMBA team to play this Friday without violating our Sabbath.

We are thankful to the TAPPS for ultimately making the right decision. The school administration and board was not involved in any legal action and we regret that it took a law suit filed parents to bring about this decision.

We greatly appreciate the strong outpouring of support from so many. We thank Mayor Anise Parker, Senator John Cornyn and others from throughout the city of Houston, the great state of Texas, the United States, and around the world. 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 round game on Friday, February 24th.

We are very proud of our basketball team, the Beren Stars.  Not only have the boys demonstrated considerable skill on the court this season, they have handled the stress of the past week with extraordinary maturity and composure.  We also thank Coach Cole, the RMBA Athletic Director, for his outstanding leadership.

The Beren Stars look forward to competing in the state semi-final round tomorrow afternoon.



  1. Publisher says

    The Beren Stars played in the semi-finals before Shabbat and won 58-46 over Dallas Covenant.

    The finals where originally set of 2pm but they were rescheduled until after Shabbat. Ultimately the Beren Academy of Houston’s basketball team fell short 46-42 in Abilene Christian.

    Congratulations to all of the young athlete for being such good role models.

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