By: Seffi Jonas  | 

Gottesman Pool Reopens as COVID Restrictions Increase

The Benjamin Gottesman Pool on Wilf Campus reopened on Aug. 31 for the first time since March 2020, when it closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hours for the pool, which is only accessible to male students, are tentatively from 6-11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, with additional morning hours from 7-9 a.m.on Monday and Wednesday. The pool is open on Fridays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and will be closed on Shabbat and Saturday night. In past semesters, the Gottesman pool was only open from 8 p.m. - 12 a.m.

“The plan is to have increased hours and increased usage of the pool as I feel it has been under-utilized,” commented Athletics Director Gregory Fox. “As far as protocols specific to Covid, that will be a conversation we will have with the University’s medical director.”

On Sep. 23, Yeshiva University emailed students to inform them of new COVID guidelines. There will be twice weekly COVID testing, and failure to comply may result in the deactivation of one’s student ID. Additionally, masks are required in all YU academic buildings.

The pool closed at the beginning of the pandemic and remained closed through all of last year. An attempt was made last semester to open the pool to students living on campus, but an apparent mechanical issue stymied that plan, Associate Dean of Students Joe Bednarsh told The Commentator. The university’s Facilities Services suggested the pool would reopen last May, but that too did not come to fruition.

This year, student lifeguards received training and certification on campus before the semester. The hourly wage for lifeguards was increased this semester from $15 to $20.

The Athletics Department also emailed Wilf students on Aug. 30 to gauge their expected swimming hours and interest in joining Yeshiva University’s swim team. Swimming team practices are expected to take place two to three times weekly.

Mitch Goulson (SSSB ‘22), who was involved in past efforts to open the pool, said,“I want to thank Greg Fox and [Head Lifeguard] Yossi Friedman for their tireless work in the reopening process. I look forward to swimming again, and potentially spearheading the first YU Swim Team.”

Photo Caption: The Benjamin Gottesman Pool, Wilf Campus

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University Athletics