HAFTR Highlights

Preparing for the second ‘Challenge’ round


The Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR) varsity College Bowl team returned to the set of MSG Varsity’s “The Challenge” to compete in round two on Feb. 11. It was so exciting to make it to the next round of competition and the whole team was bursting with HAFTR spirit!

When my teammates and I found out that we were advancing in the game, we were all very excited — I think I was the most excited of all of us! We were all grateful to have the opportunity again, and we weren’t willing to waste it.

So, the week before, all the players sat down and discussed who was going to play in the next round. We made the decision that our two alternates, Ben Dubow and Austin Feit, were going to play and that my captain, Avery Feit, and I also would play. We felt that by having the four of us play, we would cover all the bases with Ben’s expertise in science, Avery’s knowledge of geography, Austin’s expertise in sports, and my knowledge of pop culture and English Literature.

When we arrived in the studio, competitors were escorted back to the green room, along with the alternates for this particular round (Jake Kaufman and Matthew Goldstein), our College Bowl coach, Karen Wolf, and Jason Sulzberger, our photographer. Ben, Avery, Austin, and I then had someone put on stage makeup for us. I couldn’t stop laughing at how uncomfortable the boys looked when they were getting makeup put on. Jason and I took many pictures of this amusing situation.

When we got to the actual stage and were waiting to be “miked,” I asked my teammates how much they wanted to bet me that I was going to have to stand on a box again. They told me, “It’s not worth even betting this because we all know that it’s going to happen again.” It turns out they were right – I had to stand on two boxes to make up for the height of my teammates.

Another thing that I thought was really funny was that during a break we were able to stretch our legs. When I walked by the podium of the host, Jared Cotter, I saw a sticker that said, “Chaviva – like you are clearing your throat.” I started laughing because when I was on the show the first time, I said that you pronounce the first part of my name like you are clearing your throat. When my teammates asked me why I was laughing, I showed them the sticker, and they started to laugh as well. It was another of many memorable moments.

In the next article, I’ll tell you about my experience watching the show itself. The second episode premieres on March 17 at 6:30 p.m. on MSG Varsity, Optimum Channel 14 or on Demand Channel 614.