The following communication was sent out to parents of National Finalists today. Please be in touch with your respective Chidon Coaches/Teachers with any questions/concerns.
Chidon National Finalists,
I hope your studies are progressing well! You should be proud of yourselves for what you have learned, and for earning the title of Chidon National Finalist. I look forward to seeing you, our 200 Chidon National Finalists from around the entire country, assembled in one room in under two weeks. I would like to share a few important points with you in advance of the National Chidon Finals on Sunday, May 14th at Manhattan Day School (310 W 75th St, New York, NY 10023 )
1) Registration is from 9:00 A.M to 9:25 AM. Please be prompt.
2) At 9:25, we will begin the opening assembly, welcoming contestants from around the country. Contestants will be sent to the exam rooms at 9:45. The written contest will take place from roughly 9:45 AM to 12:30 PM. There will be 2 parts to the exam, with a short break in between them. Only actual contestants are allowed in the classroom area where the exams take place.
3) After the exams, contestants can pick up a free pizza lunch. The pizza will be located in the same large auditorium in which the opening assembly took place. Exciting addition to Chidon: After taking the two written exams there will be trivia games set up around the room for kids to participate in,showcase their knowledge, and win raffle tickets for prizes at the
end of the competition.
4) The closing assembly will begin in the auditorium at approximately 1:45 PM. Parents, family, and friends are encouraged to attend. At the closing ceremony, we will conduct the final round of the Chidon for the highest scorers from the morning’s written tests in each of the divisions. Chidon finalists who are not called up to the front for this final round will be able to text their answers in to video questions for a chance to win prizes as well. Be sure to bring a cellphone if you’d like to participate. The ceremony will conclude at the latest by 3:00 with the announcement of winners and the singing of HaTikvah. Please note that every kid will receive a commemorative Tanach and an individualized certificates of accomplishment by the conclusion of the ceremony.
Other Important Info
5) Bring Pencils and Snacks: 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.
6) Parking: Parking can be difficult in Manhattan. If you have a choice, I recommend using public transportation, with the 1 train being the closest subway line to MDS. There are several lots where you can pay to park near MDS, with High Rise Parking (210 West 71st Street) being the most affordable option that I know of.
7) Minian: If anyone would like to pray Shacharit near the Chidon, the West Side Institutional Synagogue (120 W. 76th St., New York, NY 10023) has an 8:30 AM minyan and is a 5-10-minute walk from MDS. There will also be an open space in the Beit Midrash on the second floor of MDS for davening which will begin promptly at 8:30 AM.
8) What to do during exam: While students are taking the written exams, we are honored to have two renowned Tanach educators deliver lectures, Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot (http://netivotshalomnj.org/about-us/our-rabbi/) and Rabbi David Fohrman (https://www.alephbeta.org/). The lectures will be back-to-back beginning at 10 and will be open to parents of all backgrounds and knowledge levels. More information regarding exact timing and titles is forthcoming. In addition, there are many interesting museums and attractions within walking distance of MDS, which you are welcome to visit while your children are taking the written exam ( the Museum of Natural History and Central Park are nearby).
9) Food: There will be pizza provide for contestants after the written exams. We cannot provide free lunch for family members, or other non-contestants. However, there are several kosher eateries in that neighborhood. For recently-opened kosher eateries in the neighborhood, see http://www.koshertopia.com/blog/tag/upper-west-side.
10) Shabbat: Rabbi Adam Hertzberg of the Joseph Kushner Academy has offered to put together a Seuda Shlishit together for Chidon contestants planning on spending the Shabbat in the Teaneck area. If you are interested in joining in, please be in contact with him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are still in need of a place to stay next Shabbat, please email me directly with details of who/how many people you need a place for. There are many people from around the tri-state area who have generously offered to host fellow “Chidoners.”
11)Luggage: For those who need, there will be space to store luggage at Manhattan Day School.
I’ve attached a simplified schedule to this email as well. The attached schedule is not comprehensive. Please be sure to read all of the information above as well. Please continue to be in contact with your respective coaches regarding Chidon questions unless they are of an immediate concern. For sample tests, more information about the Chidon, or to watch the recent Chidon in Israel, please see our website https://chidonusa.wordpress.com/ See you soon!