Texas Jewish school not welcome

The Beren Academy Orthodox Jewish day school should never have been accepted to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, the association’s director told a Texas newspaper.

“We shouldn’t have accepted them in the first place,” Edd Burleson, director of TAPPS, told the Dallas Morning News in an interview published April 1.

The Robert M. Beren Academy of Houston made international headlines last month after requesting that a semifinal championship basketball game be rescheduled to avoid a conflict with Shabbat.

The game was rescheduled after a group of parents sued the association in court.

In a statement posted on its website following its decision not to change the semifinal, TAPPS said that when the Beren Academy first met with the association’s board in 2009 to discuss membership, it was told that tournament games are scheduled on Friday and Saturday and that the school’s athletic director said he “understood” and “did not see a problem.”

The Texas Catholic Conference Education Department, representing 43 Texas Catholic high schools, told the Houston Chronicle that Burleson’s comments came as a surprise and that the group is committed to reforms that will make TAPPS more welcoming to a diverse membership.

If Burleson’s position remains the same, the department said, Catholic schools “will reconsider their future affiliation with TAPPS.”

TAPPS rejected a Muslim school from Houston for membership in 2010. — jta