When Allan Oberman found out his 11-year-old daughters' league had scheduled a game during the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur, he asked for a schedule change.
But in order to change an official schedule for religious accommodation, the Lac-St-Louis soccer association requires at least four players on a team to come forward with proof that their religion prevents them from playing.
“These requests must be submitted to the youth league chairman and competition coordinator with all official supporting documentation no later than 5 business days prior to the game,” the league’s policy states.
It lists examples of “official supporting documents” as a signed letter with a school, church, temple or synagogue letterhead.
Oberman says his daughters’ team has enough players to make their case, but he thinks he shouldn’t have to prove anything.
'I won't allow my daughter to play on the high holiday'
“They originally requested my marriage certificate, my birth certificate, my wife’s birth certificate, my child’s birth certificate,” he says.
But there is nothing on those documents that prove his religion. The alternative was to request a letter from a rabbi, but Oberman says he doesn’t belong to a synagogue.
“I don’t have a rabbi and even if I did, I was very offended that somebody would ask for proof of religion,” he says.
“I would love to see what would happen if a playoff game was scheduled on Easter or Christmas day and they were asked for proof that they were Catholic. I’m sure the uproar would be through the roof.”
In the end, Oberman obtained an affidavit from his lawyer, but he’s still waiting to hear if the league will accept it as proof.
“Hopefully they will reschedule, but I won’t allow my daughter to play on the high holiday,” he says.
Oberman says either way, this shouldn’t happen again.
He doesn’t understand why league officials don’t purposely schedule around Yom Kippur, instead of forcing parents to go through this hassle every year.
The Lac-St-Louis Soccer league was not available for an interview.