This year’s International Bible Quiz winner is Eitan Amos from Toronto, Canada. The 18-year-old, who lived in Karnei Shomron until he was 11, competed against 15 other finalists during this year’s International Bible Quiz traditionally held on Israel’s Independence Day. Seventy-five contestants from 33 countries including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, France, Costa Rica, Turkey, Portugal, United States and others, competed in last week’s round. Amos, who studies at Toronto’s Yeshivat Or Chaim, was one of the 16 finalists to make it to the final competition on Tuesday, May 6.
It was the first time according to the competition’s moderator, legendary Hebrew linguist, Dr. Avshalom Kor, that a Canadian representative had won the competition.
Tefila Berenson of Rehovot, came in second place. Israelis Itamar Khalifa, Tamar Genali and Nir Kotzer captured third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
The competitors showed their impressive knowledge of the Tanach, answering difficult questions posed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a panel of judges.
During the awards presentation, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke of the Bible’s significance.
“The Tanach has eternal significance for generations around the world but particularly for our nation. It is our nation’s book, our national story,” said the prime minister.
“We are the people of the Book, we live in the land of the Book and this Book has sculpted our identity for thousands of years.”
Netanyahu also recalled how he spends every Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) studying the weekly Torah portion with his son. The prime minister’s youngest son, Avner won third place in the International Bible Quiz in 2010.
The first youth International Bible Quiz was held in Jerusalem in 1963. Abba Eban was a long-time Chief Judge in the competition as was Dr. Yosef Burg. The competition was originally instituted for adults by Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion.