By COLlive reporter
Anticipation is building up for Sunday’s final showdown.
139 finalists in the Sefer Hamitzvos Chidon competition descended upon the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights on Thursday. This followes the girls competition last week.
They were divided up into three teams: “Yad Hachazaka” “Sefer Hamitzvos” and “Peirush Hamishnayos,” and given ID cards to match.
Head staff welcomed each participant with packages full of goodies and Chidon sweatshirts and counselors greeted their teams with warm smiles.
“It feels like such a big responsibility, to have such powerful children in my charge,” says counselor Eli Weiss. “Just to think of how much they had to work and how many horus they studied to get here—it’s amazing!”
Chayolim started off their first Shabbaton day like Chassidim—with preparations for the Ohel. After writing their panim, buses were loaded. “Listening to the chayolim sing niggunim together the entire ride was heartwarming,” says head counselor Yitzi Oster.
The chayolim and staff were then treated out to a full day of fun, starting with bowling, then ice-skating, and a jumping session at Bounce trampoline sports.
“These kids have worked incredibly hard to make it this far,” says Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum, Chidon coordinator and Director of Chayolei Tzivos Hashem. “They deserve all this and more!”
The day didn’t wind down from there: there was a concentration-filled mincha at 770 and a lively barbeque back at United Lubavitcher Yeshiva. The unforgettable day climaxed with a concert by singing sensation Chaim Fogelman, before chayolim turned to each other with regretful goodbyes.
On Friday, the children woke up early, davened in 770 and had a satisfying breakfast before taking the final test, which will be the determining factor of who will win a gold, silver, or bronze medal. “Even if I don’t win, I’m proud of myself for making it here,” says Yehuda Sneiderman, a MyShliach contestant from Newark, Delaware.
There are only 41 seats left at the grand Chidon game show on Sunday. Get your ticket at Chidon613.com