Go Rocky Mountain HA!

From Sports Illustrated (when’s the last time we saw a story about Jews in this mag?):

State senators have taken up the cause of a Jewish boys basketball team whose playoff run may be halted because its players can’t play on the Jewish Sabbath.

The Herzl/Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy team could be headed for a regional championship on Saturday, March 8, if it wins one more game. But the Denver team’s religious beliefs prohibit students from playing on the Jewish Sabbath between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.

If Herzl/RMHA makes it to the regional championship and refuses to play a Saturday game, another school would be chosen to take its place, CHSAA commissioner Bill Reader said.

Earlier this month, the Colorado High School Activities Association, which governs sports and other high school activities, rejected the team’s request for a schedule change.

At the end of morning debate in the state Senate on Wednesday, Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, called on the CHSAA to be more flexible.

Senate President Peter Groff, D-Denver, said the CHSAA’s decision was ironic because it has a rule barring games from being played on Sunday for religious reasons.

Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Sedalia, said there must be a way for the CHSAA to accommodate the team.

“It just seems like the bureaucracy has run amok here,” Wiens said.

Bruce H. DeBoskey, mountain states regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said the group was disappointed by CHSAA’s decision.

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2 Comments

  • Something similar recently happened with the Frankel Jewish Academy in Detroit. Earlier this month a final decision was handed down barring the Athletics Association from discriminating against the school by holding playoffs on Shabbat when FJA is participating. The suit took over a year, but if Colorado has any civil rights statutes like Michigan, there is certainly action that can be taken.

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