A delegation of 65 boys from the Lubavitch Educational Center in Miami, are on their way to represent the school at the international Chidod Sefer Hamitzvos Rambam Competition in Brooklyn, New York.
The competition bringing thousands of students from across the globe to compete and represent their hometowns is the largest international Torah learning competition. The 65 boys who traveled from grades 4-6 were the largest delegation of students that flew in from anywhere in the world.
The students spent the entire flight studying for the upcoming competition test and game show and left a strong impression on all those they encountered. Principal Mrs. Shevi Sossonko was present as the students embarked on the trip and personally congratulated each contestant.
A flight attendant commented she’s never seen such a large group of young boys whose manners including please and thank you was so natural. She went so far as to take a picture to post on the internal Delta blog calling them amazing “Yeshiva Boys” – most remarkable group she has ever seen on her flight and congratulated each contestant.
At one point, the pilot handed off the microphone to Elementary Program Director Rabbi Yakov Garfinkel who explained to passengers and students where the students were headed.
Airport employees were high fiving the boys as they trecked through both airports and the pilot made a series of remarks congratulating the students and telling them to “bring home the gold!” Passengers cheered as they got on and off the flights and hometown pride filled the plane.
Accompanying the students was Rabbi Mendy Engel, Rabbi Chaim Schechter, Coach Segev BenSalel, and Rabbi Garfinkel, Mr. Paul Hellinski, Mr. Shloimy Herz, and Rabbi Aryeh Citron.
The trek began 5 months ago with 94 students attempting the daunting task of qualifying for the Chidon, after 3 arduous and grueling tests 65 boys qualified. Rabbi Weinbaum himself even flew down to congratulate the boys at the keynote school event with over 800 people. The new quest began. A quest for gold medals and plaques.
Students studied during lunch, during recess breaks and at home, Sefer Hamitzvos was being discussed all day every day by the amazing contestants. The students arrived to Crown Heights wearing their personalized Palm Tree and Sun Yarmulkas with the embroidered ” Chidon Champion” quote on it.
Inside the yarmulka a quote which students heard daily ” You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” A true representation of who they were and where they were coming from. Competing against and with hundreds of students from across the globe is no easy feat, but Miami students would do it in style.
The students left decorated and proud. The main event on Sunday was a true culmination of effort and pride. The LEC Miami students held huge posters of their fellow classmates who had made it up on the big stage, and with a true brotherhood cheered them on every step of the way. The 10 Gold Medalist and 34 second place plaque winners were coming home to a welcome celebration in Miami. On the flight back the Pilot took the opportunity to congratulate all levels of winners and thanking the students for bring the Gold to Miami!
A special shout-out to the Girls elementary and middle school department spanning 4th – 8th grades of LEC which participated in the same competition for girls a week earlier and had the largest delegation of flying students worldwide as well. Representing LEC Girls was 91 students. Yehudis Korf of 8th grade brought home the Silver Trophy. A true nachas to her principal Mrs. Chaya Sara Dalfin and the entire school.
This program was organized and implemented by Dean Rabbi Benjy Korf, and Principal Mrs. Shevi Sossonko. A special thank you to Ms. Chaya Mushka Amar for her tremendous effort ensuring a successful program.
The Lubavitch Educational Center owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum of Tzivos Hashem international for organizing such an inspiring chidon. Together with his staff Mushka Greene, Esther Zucker, and Mirel Zirkind and countless others we sincerely appreciate their efforts throughout.
Representative Medals and plaque l Winners
Menachem Mendel Diamont
Shneur Zalman Steinberg
Yechiel Michel Wolff
Medal and plaque Winners were
Menachem Mendel Garfinkel
Plaque Winners were
Menachem Mendel Andrusier
Dov Ber Balkany
Chaim Yonoson Cohen
Ephraim “leiv” Goldberger
Menachem Mendel Levin
Schneur Zalman Liberow
Menachem Mendel Schapiro
Shneur Zalman Weiss
Certificate winners were
Menachem Mendel Gold
Menachem Mendel Korf
Avraham Zev Rosenberg
Menachem Mendel Schvetz
Menachem Mendel Yerushalmy