(CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS) — At about 8 p.m. on February 27, constitutional attorney Nathan Lewin was sitting half-asleep in the aisle seat of an Amtrak train speeding south from New York City to Washington, D.C. Seated next to him was his daughter and law partner Alyza Lewin.
Shortly after crossing the bridge into New Jersey, as red and green track lights blurred past, his cell phone rang. Struggling against the din of a train car filled with passengers, and the exhaustion of a tiring day in Manhattan, Lewin tried to make out what was being said on the cell phone. “You are located where?” he asked. “Did you say Texas?”
From that Monday night moment and for the next four days, a frenzy of phone calls, text messages, emails, conference calls, and voice mails were unleashed between parents and attorneys in Texas and Washington. It would all change a number of lives forever, and make headlines worldwide as an international sports drama.
Beren Jewish Academy of Houston, an Orthodox Jewish high school, fielding a superb basketball team, had battled its way to the semifinals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Ironically, although TAPPS was a sports league of private and religious schools, the association was determined not to honor any Sabbath, except Christian Sunday.