Jewish school's playoff run halted by Sabbath


HOUSTON - An Orthodox Jewish school in Houston has found that its boys' basketball team can't play for a championship this weekend without breaking the Sabbath.

The Beren Academy advanced to the semifinals in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools' 2A tournament with a 23-5 record and was scheduled to play Dallas Covenant at 9 p.m. on Friday.

But the Beren players observe the Sabbath between Friday night and Saturday night and won't play basketball during those hours.

The academy filed a written appeal to TAPPS to have their game time moved, but the agency's nine-member board unanimously voted it down.

"When Beren's joined years ago, we advised them that the Sabbath would present them with a problem with the finals," Edd Burleson, the director of TAPPS, told the New York Times. "In the past, Tapps has held firmly to their rules because if schedules are changed for these schools, it's hard for other schools. If we solve one problem, we create another problem."

Now the school can only hope that the private school organization has a change of heart and allows the game to be rescheduled.