By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Gottesman Pool Set to Re-Open After Year-Long Closure

Yeshiva University is planning to reopen the Gottesman Pool before Pesach with limited occupancy, in accordance with New York City COVID-19 safety guidelines. The announcement of the pool’s reopening was emailed to the Wilf student body by Associate Athletics Director Gregory Fox on Wednesday, March 3. 

In order to use the pool, students will need to book a time through the current booking system used for the Max Stern Athletic Center and the basketball court. “Athletic Administrators and students have been working together to reopen the pool and I’m hopeful we can open the facility very shortly,” Joe Bednarsh, director of athletics, told The Commentator. Only the pool will be reopened, while the sauna, steam room and hot tub will remain closed, as per NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) rules. The facility will also be completely sanitized and cleaned every day as a COVID-19 safety measure. The university is currently seeking student lifeguards for the planned reopening to be paid at a $15 per hour rate.

The Gottesman Pool, a 25-yard long and six-lane pool, has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Yeshiva University to go virtual in March 2020. Beginning on Sept. 30, the DOH allowed pools to reopen at 33% capacity but prohibited the reopening of saunas, steam rooms and indoor spa pools. The NYC health regulations also mandate social distancing in and out of the pool and encourage people to wear masks or other face coverings when in the pool area. As per usual policy, the pool will not be accessible to Beren students.

The DOH requires that a pool operator complete a form affirming compliance to the COVID-19 safety guidelines, submit a written safety plan to the DOH for approval and inform the DOH of the reopening date, among other pieces of documentation before reopening. The DOH also mandates water safety measures such as biocidal shock treatment and cleaning filters to prevent waterborne illnesses such as legionnaires disease. 

Some students have expressed excitement about the reopening. Mitch Goulson (SSSB ‘23), a student who previously advocated for the pool’s reopening, said, “I’m thrilled that the administration plans to reopen the pool. The students and I applaud Athletic Director [Joe] Bednarsh for looking out for our well-beings.” 

Gabe Gross (YC ‘24) shared a similar sentiment. “I am really excited about the pool reopening,” he said. ”I have been waiting for this since it shut down and look forward to going every day before Rav Rosensweig’s morning seder.”

Photo Caption: The Benjamin Gottesman Pool, Wilf Campus
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University Athletics