Bible quiz gets it audience back after 2020’s COVID-restricted version

Israeli teenager Gilad Avrahamoff won Thursday’s International Bible Quiz for Youth, which is held every year on Independence Day.

Avrahamoff, 17, from the northern city of Netanya, and a student of the city’s Bnei Akiva Yeshiva, took first prize in the annual competition in Jerusalem.

Unlike last year, the competition was held before an audience, after coronavirus restrictions were significantly relaxed. Participants from outside Israel took part via video link, as they did last year.

The spelling bee-like contest has teenage contestants answer trivia questions about minute details from the most obscure biblical books. Contestants must locate or complete fragments of biblical verses, identify who said which quotation to whom, or name geographical details of the ancient Land of Israel.

“The questions this year were challenging and I was very excited, and stressed, especially toward the head-to-head stage,” Avrahamoff told the Walla news site.

“I recommend for anyone who wants to participate next year to start studying from now, take advantage of your free time for studying, on the bus, on the way to school, in any place,” he added.

Dvir Barhad, a student at the Kiryat Ata Yeshiva, took second place in the competition, organized by the Education Ministry, Israel Defense Forces, Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund. Benjamin Ram from the US came in third, and fourth place went to Amit Algazar from Ashdod.

Sixteen teens from eight different countries competed against each other in the televised final rounds.

Isaac Herzog, Jewish Agency chairman, addresses the annual Bible Quiz held at the Jerusalem Theatre on Israel’s Independence Day, on April 15, 2021. (video screenshot)

Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog, addressing the contestants, praised the competition that his mother Aura Herzog founded in 1958 for bringing together Jews from all around the world.

“I am proud to be a part of the Bible quiz tradition, conceived by my mother… during the 10th anniversary of the State of Israel, to strengthen the all-important connection between the people of Israel and the Jewish nation in all corners of the globe,” Herzog said.

Also in attendance, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the Bible is an outstanding compass for leadership. It is a wonderful guide that teaches us where we came from and where we strive to reach — high and far.”

Netanyahu’s son Avner won the Bible quiz in 2010.

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