The Robert M. Beren Academy, a Jewish day school in Houston, Texas, has opted out of the state basketball championship game because the game falls on the Jewish Sabbath, CNN.com reports. The Orthodox Jewish school observes the Sabbath, called Shabbat in Hebrew, each week from sundown Friday to sunset Saturday, and the semifinal and championship games, which the school has qualified for, both fall on Saturday.
The school has reportedly appealed to the league for a change of time, but so far has been unsuccessful. Appeals are ongoing, though, as CNN reports:
"If we give up this opportunity for our religion it just shows how much we deeply care for it," Isaac Buchine, a player on the Beren Stars, told KPRC.
"We are hopeful that the TAPPS league will move the games a few hours so that we can compete," the school said in a statement posted on its website.
"This is a testament to our school and to Coach Cole for his support and dedication, that, independent of the desire to compete, is the desire to uphold our Jewish values," the statement continued. "We are proud of who we are, and have the courage to act accordingly."
By Wednesday, more than 5,000 people had signed an online petition, supported by the school, to move the Beren Stars' semifinal game to Friday morning.
Image: Basketball, via Shutterstock.