Elkana Friedman, 14, from Beit El, was announced the winner of Israel’s Independence Day 68 International Bible Contest. Rehovot resident Tehila Mattes, 17, earned second place, falling behind the winner by only one point. Her bother Yitzhak won the competition last year.
Tzuriel Neeman of the ORT High School in Shlomi took third place followed by Gideon Fuchs of S. Africa in fourth place.
The annual event was hosted in the Jerusalem Theatre, attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Education Minister Naftali Bennet, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky, IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Rabbi Rafi Peretz and many other dignitaries.
Elkana is a talmid at Yeshivat Bnei Tzvi in Beit El. His father is a rebbe at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh and his mother a teacher in Ulpana HaRav Baharan.
The theme this year was achdus. Sixteen candidates entered the competition; candidates from Israel and abroad after winning out over the original group of 65 from 33 different countries including USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, France, S. Africa and Panama.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)