Herzl/RMHA School Calls on ADL After CHSAA Refuses Religious Accomodation

  • March 6, 2008

After the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) turned down a request from Herzl/RMHA school for religious accommodation in scheduling postseason basketball games, the school turned to the Anti-Defamation League for help.

“Herzl/RMHA went to ADL for help with CHSAA because of ADL’s outstanding track record of supporting justice and fair treatment for all,” said Avi Halzel, the President and CEO of the Denver Campus for Jewish Education, which is home to Herzl/RHMA. “ADL sent a letter to CHSAA, provided guidance to the school, brought our issue to the media, met with CHSAA and moved our position forward in ways we could never have done ourselves.”

ADL wrote to CHSAA asking them to reconsider and make reasonable accommodations by not scheduling Herzl/RMHA’s games during the Jewish Sabbath, especially since CHSAA automatically accommodates students who observe a Sunday Sabbath by not permitting any games to be scheduled on Sundays.

When CHSAA refused ADL’s request, several Herzl/RHMA parents contacted the media, and ADL issued a public statement renewing its call for CHSAA to make reasonable religious accommodations. Although the Herzl/RMHA teams are no longer in the state basketball playoffs, ADL will continue to meet with CHSAA to advocate for flexibility in scheduling high school events, so all students can participate without having to choose between pursuing their athletic dreams or following the tenets of their faith.