The Yankles In Texas

March 3rd, 2012

Earlier this year, I saw an independent film at the Pittsburgh Jewish Festival, called The Yankles. The plot is not too important, but long story short, it involves a Yeshiva who fields a baseball team that does surprisingly well. And, the championship game–at the urging of the evil owner of the league–is scheduled intentionally on Shabbos. And, of course, the league comes to its senses, and reschedules the game. The same thing seems to have just happened in Texas with the Beren Academy of Houston. The team could not play the championship game Friday night, so the game was rescheduled.

“Legal concerns” brought about the schedule change,” said Burleson, adding: “I really don’t think our board was going to yield to the negativisms. They felt they had a reason, but in this particular case, they felt that it was in our best interest not to fight and delay the tournament.”

Lawyers representing players and parents of Beren Academy players filed a complaint and an application for a temporary restraining order Thursday morning in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.

Nathan and Alyza Lewin, a father-daughter legal team based in Washington, said they heard about the situation Monday night. Nathan Lewin has argued several religious freedom cases before the Supreme Court, including cases involving the wearing of a skullcap while on military duty and the display of menorahs on public property.

On Tuesday morning, the Lewins contacted Richard A. Rohan and Tim Gavin, lawyers with Dallas-based Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, who agreed to take the case. All four agreed to work pro bono.

“Either way, we could see this was going to serve as a great life lesson for the kids,” Rohan said.

And what life lesson is that? When things don’t go your way, file a lawsuit. It’s the American way!’

Update: And, they lost to Abilene Christen.

 An inspired comeback in the fourth quarter fell short Saturday night and a state title eluded the Orthodox Jewish high school basketball team from Houston.

Robert M. Beren Academy closed a 12-point deficit to two in the final minute, but could get no closer in a 46-42 loss to Abilene Christian in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ Class 2A championship game at Nolan Catholic High School.

They’ll win in the movie version, I’m sure.