Competitions & Teams

Chess Club

“The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake,” said Savielly Tartakover. At chess we joke around and say funny comments like this. However, the chess team IS NOT all fun and games! “I give 98 percent of my mental energy to Chess. Others give only 2 percent,” said the great Bobby Fischer. The Ramaz Rams Chess Team gives it more than the great Bobby Fischer! We give one hundred percent. The Chess Club is one of Ramaz’s finest co-curricular activities. Everyone is invited to attend and play chess during these meetings. The team competes in the interscholastic tournaments of the Yeshiva Chess League.

Faculty Advisor: Mr. Eli Vovsha

Chidon Hatanakh

Chidon HaTanakh, the National Bible Contest, is a great club for those who love Tanakh and want to learn. The contest consists of three regional exams, administered at Ramaz in December, February, and March, followed by the national exam, in May, for those students who score in the highest score range on the regional exams. All questions are multiple choice. The regional exam is not too difficult. The national exam requires more precise knowledge of the same material. First place national winner goes on to compete in the International Bible Contest held in Jerusalem on the following Yom Ha'atzmaut. Ramaz has had close to a dozen winners in recent years! The atmosphere at the meetings is relaxed; nevertheless, a great deal is learned. All are welcome.

Students who participate in this club will have an opportunity to exempt themselves from taking their Tanakh final in January. An exemption will be given to any student who performs well on a series of in-house quizzes on the same material administered throughout the semester.

Faculty Advisor: Rabbi Ezra Frazer

College Bowl

The Ramaz College Bowl team is one of our school’s most successful co-curricular clubs. Small in size, almost by definition, the club emphasizes a wide expertise and a mastery of random trivia. The team generally prepares for competitions by working on reaction discipline and exploring team members’ strengths and weaknesses to determine primary levels of responsibility in given fields. Questions are provided by an impartial private service. While the team has no formal “meetings” outside of their annual competition schedule, it has always prided itself on being a close-knit group that has developed an uncanny ability to discuss topics which invariably appear in the meets. Recently a single conversation made reference to Punic, runic, and The Magic Flute, all of which were the subject of later queries.


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ethan Rotenberg

Debate Team

Members of the Debate Team, chosen after a tryout procedure held in September, learn many skills and have the opportunity to use these skills in both intra- and inter-school debates. Each member learns the format of a formal debate (e.g., first affirmative, second negative, etc.), the terminology (e.g., resolved, status quo, etc.), and he/she also learns how a true debater prepares for a debate: research. During meetings, members discuss the issues of upcoming debates, helping to devise a winning strategy.

Faculty Advisor: Mr. David Deutsch

The George Jacobs Mock Trial Program

The George Jacobs Mock Trial Program team consists of six lawyers, six witnesses, and several alternates. Each year the team participates in a statewide competition sponsored by the New York State Bar Association. Every participating school is given a set of stipulated facts and witness statements concerning a hypothetical case. Opposing schools represent different sides of the case before a “judge” in an actual courthouse. Lawyers must develop effective questions and learn the proper procedure for questioning witnesses. Witnesses must be able to act their parts well. Tryouts begin in late October. In addition to being New York State champions in 2002, the Ramaz George Jacobs Mock Trial Program Team has won the NYC Championship four times and has been a finalist or a semi-finalist an additional six times.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jon Jucovy

Math Team

The Ramaz Math Team competes in the New York Math League (NYML) and the Mandelbrot Competition. Practice sessions and matches are held after school on Tuesdays.All students in grades 9-12 are welcome.The top five scores in each match are used to form a team score.After the match students receive solution sheets so that they can study further.

Faculty Advisor: Rabbi Ely Stern

Model Congress

What makes our democracy a government “by the people and for the people?” Congress. Often overshadowed by the President, Congress creates law, controls the national check book, authorizes the President to make war, and provides a place where every citizen can go and advocate for their interests. It is the cornerstone of the world’s first modern republic, a place where the minority can always maintain a voice in government. If you’re thinking of how you might one day change your world, Congress is a great place to start. Join the Ramaz Model Congress. The team will travel to the University of Pennsylvania during the spring semester to compete against high schools from across the country.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jon Jucovy

Model U. N.

The Ramaz Model U.N. Team participates annually in the Yeshiva University Model U.N. together with many other schools from the U.S. and Canada. The team focuses on merging skills in research, public speaking, and persuasion within a large forum. Typically, each student represents the views of a single country on a specific Committee such as the Security Council or World Health. In any given year, the Ramaz team will represent approximately three countries. Points are awarded to individuals, national delegations, and entire school delegations. Ramaz students particularly relish the highly intellectual and competitive nature of the Model U.N., as well as the opportunity to meet students from yeshivot across the country. Tryouts for the team are held in May.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yehuda Bernstein

Science Olympiad

Our team competes with 15 NY/NJ Yeshivot in 12-14 different events at a competition administered by the BJE that usually takes place in March or April. Each event has a team of two students who prepare extensively over a period of several months. Events can be based on knowledge, skills, or building, or a combination. Building events can typically involve 10-15 students contributing to their project. The competition itself follows the strict rules and guidelines of the National Science Olympiad, and medals are awarded to the top three teams for each event. Popular events are Gravity Vehicle, Write It Do It, Anatomy & Physiology, Disease Detectives, Elevated Bridge or Tower Building, Thermodynamics, Dynamic Planet, Forensics, and Technical Problem Solving.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Terri Aharon

Torah Bowl

2001-2002 was Ramaz’s debut year at Torah Bowl, which offers our students a unique and exciting opportunity to broaden their knowledge of Tanakh. Team members study selected sections of Chumash and Nev’im, along with Rashi’s commentary, and then compete against the twenty or so yeshivot that currently take part in a competition patterned closely after the College Bowl League. Students who express an interest in joining this co-curricular club will be invited to take a screening test early in the year, and we will then form a boys’ team and a girls’ team to represent Ramaz at the three regular season meets and – go teams! – at the division and league championship meets, as well.

Faculty Advisors: Rabbi Ezra Frazer (Boys), Ms.Tammie Senders (Girls)

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