Thursday, January 24, 2019

The third annual Shomrei Torah of Fair Lawn table tennis tournament is set for Saturday night, January 6, at 8:00 p.m. This one promises to be different from the others on a number of levels, with all sorts of twists.

Playing for charities has been the common thread throughout these tournaments. For next week’s event, the theme, as well as the recipients, will be local elementary school yeshivas.

The Setup

There will be five distinct divisions and a total of 21 teams. Unlike past matches, which only involved singles competition, this time all matches will feature doubles teams. In keeping with the theme, the first division, which will include five teams, will consist of a staff rabbi from an area yeshiva along with one of his students. Yavneh Academy, RYNJ, Sinai School, Yeshivat Noam and Yeshivat He’atid will all field teams and compete for bragging rights. Representing Yavneh will be seventh-grade teacher Rabbi Menchel. RYNJ will weigh in with second-grade teacher Rabbi Hyman. For Sinai, it will be Jordan Silvestri, its director at Heichel Hatorah. Seventh-grade teacher Rabbi Nadler with play for Noam. For He’atid, attendees will get to see assistant principal Rabbi Daar compete.

It’s an opportunity for students and parents to witness a side of a school rabbi they’ve never seen, and root for their home team. On another level, it will bring a rebbi and his student together in a non-academic setting, which can only serve to enhance their relationship.

Division two will consist of Fair Lawn shul rabbis. Three teams will be set to compete in a round-robin format. Team one will pair Rabbi Donath of Darchei Noam with Rabbi Markowitz, Shomrei Torah’s associate rabbi. Representing the Saddle River Road area will be Rabbis Belizon of Young Israel and Shestack of Ahavas Achim. The third group will be team Anshei Lubavitch, and will include Rabbi Neubort and Associate Rabbi Bergstein. Who, if anyone, will be revealed to be a table tennis prodigy is anyone’s guess, but watching this division alone play could well be worth the price of admission.

Division three will have adult pairs who have opted to play together. Rounding out the circuit are division four, consisting of husband/wife teams, and division five, which will include multi-generational competitors. This last group will include parent/child, grandparent/grandchild and potentially even great grandparent/great grandchild teams.

Each divisional team winner will receive a trophy, along with a monetary prize for the yeshiva of their choice. The competition will conclude with a championship round, with the overall winning team seeing their monetary prize doubled.

This promises to be a fun and lively evening, with plenty of opportunities to give chizuk to the yeshiva, shul, friends or family members of your choice. The cost per person is $18, which includes a light dairy meal. Those interested in sponsoring a team or simply just attending can contact program chair Mendy Aron at [email protected].

By Robert Isler

 Robert Isler is a marketing researcher and a senior content writer who lives in Fair Lawn. He can be reached at [email protected].