An American and an Israeli youth won Israel’s annual Bible quiz.
Yishai Eisenberg, of Passaic, New Jersey, a student of YBH of Passaic-Hillel; and Elior Babian, from Beit Shemesh, emerged as winners of the 16 finalists who participated Tuesday in the quiz, which is held at the Jerusalem Theater every Independence Day.
It was the first time in the 50 years of the competition — which was started by David Ben-Gurion — that the judges awarded the prize to two people.
This year, also for the first time, there was simultaneous sign-language translation, a result of a complaint by Education Minister Shai Piron, who refused to participate in Holocaust commemorations last week because there was no simultaneous signing.
American-born Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman, who lives in Beit Shemesh, said the city was “filled with tremendous pride over Elior’s victory. This is a city filled with gems — both in terms of its schools and its citizens — and the time has come for all of Israel, and Jews around the world, to know it.”
“In my role in the Knesset seeking to strengthen the bond between Israel and Jewish communities in North America,” Lipman added, “I see this joint victory as packed with meaning. The bond between Israel and North American Jewry must go way beyond simple financial support. We have joint values, built around the Bible, which we must seek to strengthen. I hope that Yishai and Elior sharing the victory platform for the Bible contest will serve as the springboard for numerous projects to strengthen the bond between these communities.”