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The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Team seeks rescheduling of Yom Kippur soccer game

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MONTREAL — A West Island children’s soccer team slated to play a crucial finals game on Yom Kippur has until Sept. 9 to officially submit the documentation needed to reschedule the game because four of the families don’t want their kids to play on that day.

But at least one of the families involved says the league will have to settle for his say-so that his family is Jewish.

“Why would I lie about it?” said Dollard des Ormeaux resident Allan Oberman, whose daughter, Hailey, 11, plays for the Dollard Dragons team in the double-A league.

“I’m not saying it’s anti-Semitism or discrimination,” Oberman told The CJN on Aug. 28. “I’m just saying they have no right to ask for proof that I’m Jewish.”

The team initially submitted a request to the Lac-St-Louis Soccer Association to reschedule the game after the four players said it conflicted with Yom Kippur. The families were then asked to submit documentation proving their Jewish identities, as stipulated by league’s rules. The association requires at least four players to seek a schedule change for religious reasons.

Oberman was not sure what the other three families were doing, but he is refusing to furnish family birth certificates or a rabbi’s letter as the league wants.

He was only willing to submit a letter stamped by a commissioner of oaths attesting to his faith.

 “The rabbi at the shul, where I am not a member, does not know who I am, so why would I ask him?” Oberman said. “I understand that the league can’t accommodate everybody,” and his own family is not especially observant, but “Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.”

Oberman feels a sports league would never consider scheduling a game on Christmas or Easter. He said another soccer team competing at the “inter-city single-A” level – also the Dollard Dragons – apparently succeeded in having a High Holiday game rescheduled when at least four families jointly submitted a letter signed by a rabbi.

Oberman thinks it’s ridiculous that such conflicts with Jewish holidays have happened too often previously, especially in DDO, which has a significant number of Jewish families with children.

“Having to prove you are Jewish is just ludicrous,” Hailey’s mother, Marnie, commented.

“If they don’t change it,” Allan Oberman said, “she just won’t play.”

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