Diaspora Bible Champ Crowned

17 Jewish youths from around the world reached the final stage of the Diaspora Bible Quiz held in Ashkelon, and one - Yisrael Mordechai Witty of Canada - was crowned the Diaspora Bible Champion.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 13:58

Youths from 36 different countries - each one a Bible champion in his or her country - arrived in Israel this month to compete in the various stages of the quiz. They each had to learn nearly by heart 400 chapters of the Bible. In Israel, they took part in the Bible Camp, where they met with President Moshe Katzav, Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Minister of Education, IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, and others.

The Diaspora contest, which took place Thursday night, is the final stage before the International Bible Quiz, which will be held, as always, on Independence Day in Jerusalem. The final stage will feature the addition of students from Israel - the country that usually, though not always, produces the final champion.

The theme of the Bible Quiz this year is "Jewish Unity," symbolized by the verse from Job (41,9), "Each man is joined unto his brother, they stay together and will not be separated."

The International Bible Quiz has been held annually for 43 years, sponsored by the IDF Education and Youth Corps, the Jewish Agency, the Defense Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Jewish National Fund and others.

This year featured contestants, for the first time, from Uruguay, Poland, and Peru.