Two Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School students were top scorers in the Jewish Agency for Israel’s recent national finals of its USA Bible Quiz (Chidon Ha’Tanach) in New York. More than 200 students competed in the the nondenomonational quiz event that is organized by The Jewish Agency with government agencies and nonprofits to celebrate and raise awareness of Tanach, Israel and the Jewish people, helping communicate the importance of the Bible to Jewish identity and heritage.
Aidan Gitlitz and Andrew Shindel, Beth Tfiloh middle schoolers, received top scores in the English division grades 6-7 category. Beth Tfiloh sent 34 students to the finals this year. Thousands of students from dozens of countries around the world compete to make it to the international finals in Israel.
To prepare for the quiz, students study Torah chapters and the entire book of Genesis, writings of early prophets such as Joshua and Judges, later prophets, including Isaiah and Ezekiel, the 12 minor prophets and scriptures, including Tehillim and Mishlei.
“For the past four years, Beth Tfiloh Middle School has made the study of Tanach cool again,” said Rabbi Yehuda Oratz, Beth Tfiloh middle school principal. “We are very proud of all the 34 students who qualified for the Chidon Hatanach national competition this year and especially of Aiden and Andrew, who put Beth Tfiloh on the winner’s podium for the third consecutive year.”
The four U.S. finalists, Jacob Colchamiro of Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, New Jersey; Nathanel Vinar of Torah Academy of Bergen County in Teaneck, New Jersey; Yechiel Shulman of Epstein Hebrew Academy in Olivette, Missouri; and Elianna Sokoler of Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, California, will represent the U.S. in the international quiz phase next year in Jerusalem, where the finals are broadcast on Israeli television on Independence Day.
“The International Bible Quiz increases the number of Bible students among Jewish youths in Israel and abroad, strengthens love for the people and land of Israel, adds a spiritual dimension to Yom Haatzmaut and encourages educational interaction between Israeli and Diaspora youths,” said Dovi Nadel, U.S. coordinator of the Chidon HaTanach for The Jewish Agency.