Editor’s Note: The METNY region is sort of an anomaly in USY. They are the smallest geographically, yet their membership numbers stand tall. In the Tri-State area, where the only correct way to eat pizza is folded over, and the USYers are probably late to convention because the subway is delayed again, METNY region reigns supreme. And at METNY encampment, competition is the name of the game, and METNY’s Dylan Landman and Stephen Bartell take us there in the first regional spotlight of the 2019-2020 programming year.
At our annual Encampment, METNY’s three incredible divisions (Emek, Ruach, and Sababa) go head-to-head in an insanely spirited trivia competition known as Bible Bowl. Everyone gets completely decked out in their division’s color: green for Emek, blue for Ruach, and red for Sababa. One by one, each of the three divisions parade into the Beit Am, passionately screaming their divisional chant. The winning division from the previous year is the last to enter the room and proudly displays the Bible Bowl, a metal bowl given to the victorious division. After an amazing dance party and a few introductory remarks, it’s time for the competition to begin.
For each round of Bible-themed trivia, each division sends up four representatives who sign up to participate earlier in the day. After each question is asked and each team is given some time to deliberate, each division holds up their answer on a sheet of paper. When the correct answer is revealed, the room erupts in cheer. Even teams that answer incorrectly stand up to clap for their teammates and congratulate the other divisions. The score is updated in the front of the room and a new set of competitors from each division is called up for the next round.
By the end of the night, one division is inevitably crowned the winner. They receive the coveted Bible Bowl, which is passed down from year to year. When the competition is over, everyone leaves the Beit Am and marches to a nearby basketball court for the opening ceremony of Maccabiah. The Regional President marches across the court holding a massive torch, followed by representatives from each of the three divisions who carry their division’s Maccabiah banner. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and Hatikvah, Maccabiah is officially opened and even more competitions break out.
Everybody heads back to their bunks for the night. They need to get a good night’s sleep to be ready for a full day of Maccabiah competitions the next day. These include sports competitions, field events, and lake activities. Bible Bowl and Maccabiah are an amazing way for METNY USYers to show off their divisional pride, and many USYers look forward to them each year. Regardless of which division wins, the competitions are always filled with fun, laughter, and amazing energy.
Dylan Landman is a senior from METNY USY (Metropolitan New York). He is a proud member of South Huntington USY (SHUSY) in the Ruach Division. Dylan is currently serving as Regional Communications Vice President.
Stephen Bartell is a senior from METNY (Metropolitan New York). He is a proud member of Beth El Synagogue Center of New Rochelle in the Emek Division. Stephen is currently serving as Regional President.