Thursday, June 28, 2012
This year, as in previous years, hundreds of enthusiastic students, teachers, and parents attended the final competition in the annual KKL-JNF National Quiz. This year nine schools from throughout the country competed for the prestigious title.
Each year, KKL-JNF holds a national interschool quiz for fifth and sixth grade students on Zionism, heritage, and people and their environment. Students study and prepare for the quiz using workbooks on basic concepts together with online games. The quiz has three stages: competition between local schools, regional competition, and the final, national competition. The children who participate must learn comprehensive information about topics included in the quiz.
KKL-JNF Quiz Winners 2012. Photo: Technographs Ltd.
Each year, the winning school from the previous year hosts the national quiz. Since last year's quiz winners were Alon Fineberg and Shachar Tzoran from the Mevo'ot School in Be'er Tuvia, this year the Be'er Tuvia Regional Council hosted the quiz. Mr. Dror Shor, head of the Regional Council, greeted the finalists, and thanked the KKL-JNF for the important project, which helps students become familiar with Israeli history and ecology.
KKL-JNF's Deputy Chairman Gael Grunewald read a portion from the Midrash that expresses the relationship between Man and Nature.
"… Behold my works, how beautiful they are. All that I have created is within your domain. Take care, therefore, that you do not destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one else to set it right after you." (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7).
Shor added, "This is the message that the KKL-JNF wishes to convey to people in Israel and throughout the world. Preserve nature and we will preserve Israel and the world."
The master of ceremonies, Mr. Izzy Man, asked the contestants complex questions that required depth of knowledge, understanding, and familiarity with numerous topics. During short interludes, the actor Yonatan Porat presented short, entertaining skits about people and places that appeared in the quiz.
Photo: Technographs Ltd.
Ms. Pnina Yifrach, supervisor for science education in the southern region, greeted the contestants. "Television programs present ignorance as something humorous, but this occasion shows us that the opposite is true - It is not admirable to be ignorant. Knowledge is extremely important." She thanked KKL-JNF, teachers, parents and all those who initiated and supported this important project for their efforts. Ms. Yifrach expressed her special admiration for the finalists who had demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of their subjects.
Mr. Ruby Rivlin, the Chairman of the Knesset, sent his greetings to the quiz contestants by video from Jerusalem, and asked questions about the Knesset, how it works, and the site where the Knesset building is located. The Chairman of KKL-JNF also sent greetings and a quiz question by videotape. His question dealt with the concept of "ecological footprints" and how the State of Israel and KKL-JNF are taking steps to minimize their negative effect on the environment.
Photo: Technographs Ltd.
While the judges tallied up the points, Dr. Bentzi Bar Lavi, head of the Education and Youth Department of KKL-JNF, thanked the contestants, guests, and hosts for their participation and for organizing the event. He reminded everyone, moments before the winners were announced, that the knowledge the students gained from participating in the quiz and the experience were the most important things, and not who wins.
When the end of the event approached, the moment arrived that everyone had been waiting for. Dror Shor, Gael Grunewald, and Bentzi Bar Lavi awarded certificates to all the contestants in recognition of their participation, as well as special prizes for the three students who came in first, second, and third place.
The Mevo'ot School in Be'er Tuvia set a new record by winning the honorable and coveted first prize for the second consecutive time. Two students: Eli Amir and Yoav Freebs, outdid their competitors and succeeded in winning the title again this year. After the quiz Eli remarked, "We were very excited. It's a great feeling to win first place again."
Mr. Kobi Cohen, who teaches history and Israeli heritage, helped his students to achieve first place again this year. Cohen was proud and pleased at the quiz results. Next year the quiz will be held in the capital in commemoration of Jerusalem Day.