Battle of the Bible brains

SYDNEY’S Kesser Torah College student Chani Charak and Melbourne’s Beth Rivkah College student Chaya Leah (Lele) Kaltmann recently represented Australia in the 52nd World Bible Quiz in Israel.

Although neither of the Australian participants made it to the final round, 16-year-old Charak placed third in the Diaspora quiz, just missing out on the televised quiz which is battled out between the remaining 16 competitors.

Charak and Kaltmann were among the 67 contestants from around the globe who competed in the event.

To prepare for the competition, the Torah enthusiasts took part in a Tanach Camp before touring around Israel and visiting the sites.

Charak raved about the experience and enjoyed meeting likeminded people from around the world.

“It was a great experience, I really enjoyed learning Tanach, I really appreciate it more. The experience of the camp itself was great, I made a whole lot of new friends and met a whole lot of new people,” Charak said.

“To be able to study with these people before the test was also great, and to spend time with all these people that spend time with Tanach was making a dream a reality.”

During the annual quiz held on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a panel of judges tested the 16 contestants on their knowledge of 400 pages of the Tanach on the theme of “Kibbutz Galuyot” (gathering of the Diasporas), with Israeli participant Eyal Yitzhak Matas being crowned the winner.

Kaltmann described meeting esteemed politicians, including Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky, as an exciting opportunity. “It’s been so amazing meeting such amazing and important people. It’s such a life-changing experience.”

ZOE KRON

Participant from Melbourne Chaya Leah Kaltmann with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the International Bible Quiz.