Central New York

Hillel at Syracuse University Tries to Be the First to Set a World Record

Hillel hosted 530 people in the Carrier Dome for their Passover Seder breaking their own personal record. (c) 2015 Jackie Prager

Hillel Attempts to Break a Brand New Guinness World Record in the Carrier Dome.

By Jackie Prager SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News)- Here’s a tough question – when you are no longer alive, will the world remember anything that you’ve accomplished? Most people want to be remembered for something, but there are only a select few who take it to the next level and try to be remembered on a global level.

The Guinness Book of World Records receives more than 40,000 applications each year. One of the more unusual submissions received this year involves, Passover, the holiday where traditionally Jewish people gather to celebrate their historical journey from Egypt. One custom during the dinner, is when everyone searches for a hidden piece of Matzah called the Afikomen.

This year the Hillel Jewish Student Union at Syracuse University hosted its Passover Seder in the Carrier Dome. When Hillel saw they would have a record number of people attending, they decided to see if they could turn it into a world record. Although it sounds like a challenging task, Guinness makes it easy to apply to break an existing record or even create a new one. Marissa Bunis, student communications associate for Hillel, applied for the record on their behalf.

“We had to make up our own new record because it doesn’t exist yet because it is an Afikoman Hunt, which is a pretty obscure thing. So what we titled it was the most people in an Afikomen Hunt,” said Bunis.

On the first night of Passover, everyone gathered into the Carrier Dome and was welcomed by Brain Small, the Executive Director of Hillel.

“Welcome to the most exciting thing that has happened in the Carrier Dome on the football field since about 1998,” said Small expressing what a special night it was.

The hunt went off without a hitch with 530 people searching for the Afikomen. A new world record was apparently set.

Guinness does not require an official representative to be present at a record attempt, but it allows would-be record-holders the chance to fill out a detailed application. No record is official until the Guinness board approves it.

Bunis describes the process to be simple and straight forward although it is very detail oriented.

“It was really easy, I just went on their website and found the link to apply to break a record,” said Bunis.

According to the Guinness website, it takes about 6 weeks to recognize breaking an existing record, and about 12 weeks to acknowledge a new record has been set.

Syracuse Hillel is learning the hard way how difficult it is to get into the Guinness book. Weeks after they applied they are still waiting to hear whether the 530 people who took part in the Afikomen Hunt, officially set a new world record.