To all of our national finalists –
I am very much looking forward to seeing all of you at the Contest next Sunday (May 6th). Just to give you some idea of how the day will run:
- We will distribute maps of the YU campus, so don’t worry if you’re not sure where different buildings are as you read this email. You can also see the Wilf Campus map online at https://www.yu.edu/admissions/visiting-yu/tours/ or https://www.yu.edu/uploadedFiles/Admissions/Visiting-YU/Visiting-YU-Placeholder/Campus_Tours/Wilf_Campus_PDF.pdf
- You should aim to arrive between 9 and 9:30 AM. As soon as you arrive, you should go over to the registration table and sign in, so that we can know who has shown up.
- Registration and the opening assembly will take place in the Lamport auditorium, which is in Zysman Hall, the building that takes up the entire block of Amsterdam Avenue between 186th and 187th Streets on the western side of the street. There will be plenty of room in Lamport for friends, family, and anyone who wants to watch the Chidon.
- At 9:30, we will begin the opening assembly, in which we will hear brief remarks from a rabbi at Yeshiva U. and will also show a brief video presentation. Following that assembly, you will be sent to the exam rooms, where the written contest will take place from roughly 10 AM to 12:30 PM. There will be 2 parts to the exam, with a short break in between them. All classrooms for the exams will be in Furst Hall (500 west 185th St) on the 2nd floor. Only actual contestants are allowed in the classroom area where the exams take place.
- Please be sure to bring a #2 pencil, because the exam will require you to fill out a scantron form. In addition to bringing pencils, students are allowed to bring snacks with them into the testing area.
- While students are taking the written exams, parents and family members are welcome to attend the 10:30 AM adult-ed. lectures that YU offers, called Kollel and Midreshet Yom Rishon. Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg (a YU Rosh Yeshiva who is also a former Chidon champion) will be presenting a shiur for men in the Rubin Hall synagogue and Mrs. Rachel Besser will be presenting a shiur for women in the Shenk Synagogue (185th St. between Audobon Ave. & St. Nicholas Ave.).
- After the exams, contestants will be able to pick up a free pizza lunch in the YU Cafeteria by presenting the attached sheet. Please note that YU students will be eating lunch at the same time. In order to get your pizza, you must go to the part of the cafeteria that has been sectioned off for the Chidon contestants. The YU cafeteria is located in the basement of Rubin Hall, on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue at 185th St.
- Unfortunately, we cannot provide free lunch for family members, or other non-contestants. However, YU has several kosher eateries on campus. There are 2 kosher pizza shops and 2 kosher meat restaurants across the street from Lamport auditorium. There is also a kosher Chinese restaurant on the SW corner of Amsterdam Ave. & 184th St. (There are also non-kosher restaurants on the same streets, so be suer to check that you are going somewhere kosher).
- The closing assembly will begin in the Lamport auditorium around 1:15 PM. We will hear from our most recent champion, as well as from a couple of additional speakers, and we will show the video questions for the high scorers from the morning’s written tests. At the end of the closing assembly (around 2:30PM), we will present the winners with their prizes and conclude by singing HaTikvah. Again, Lamport is significantly larger than the room that we’ve used the last few years for the assemblies, so there will plenty of room for spectators.
For those of you who do not live locally, you may need to order a cab to take you to the airport at the end of the program. YU recommends 2 companies in the area –Family: 212-927-7900 and Riverside: 212-923-1111. (I have no personal experience with either company.)