Like the Maimonides mock trial team, another group of Orthodox Jewish high schoolers are struggling to balance their religious commitments with tournament play.
MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — What the girls basketball team from Northwest Yeshiva High School used to dream of is now reality.
The team of only seven active players is heading to the state tournament in Yakima.
"There’s been no Jewish school go to the state tournament all across the U.S., so this is really a big deal and would be really great to get this to work out for us," said sophomore Julia Owen.
They’ll arrive in Yakima Tuesday night and play their first game on Wednesday.
Northwest Yeshiva is strictly Orthodox Jewish, and the team is nicknamed "the 613s" for the number of commandments they observe.
If the girls win on Wednesday, they’ll play a night game on Thursday. If they lose, they’re supposed to play a day game the next day. And that’s a big problem, because Thursday is one of several fasting days of the year. The team cannot eat or drink until after sunset.
"For them to play a game without hydration, without being able to drink, we would not feel comfortable with that," said Rabbi Bernie Fox of Northwest Yeshiva High School. "That’s not in the best interest of their safety."