(JTA) — Jewish students at the University of Texas are working to change the date of next year’s football game against rival Oklahoma because it falls on Yom Kippur.
The university’s Student Government voted unanimously last week to call for the rescheduling of the Oct. 8, 2011 game, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
At least 1,200 people have signed an online petition urging the rescheduling of the game.
More than 4,000 University of Texas undergraduate students are Jewish.
The Texas-Oklahoma game, widely known as the "Red River Rivalry," is traditionally played each year at the Cotton Bowl during the Texas State Fair.
The game has been played on Yom Kippur five times in the past, the first time in 1940 and most recently in 1997, the Statesman reported. The 2014 game also is scheduled for Yom Kippur.
The online petition reads: "Next year, Texas-OU weekend falls on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, a day dedicated to fasting and repentance. The event is more than the game itself. It is the state fair, the fried foods, college GameDay, and the atmosphere of a neutral site game that cannot be duplicated. Over ten percent of undergraduate students at the University of Texas (as well as countless alumni, season ticket holders, and other supporters) are Jewish. For them to be forced to choose between the holiest day in Judaism and the biggest day of the year for Texas football (and the events surrounding the game) is unfair."