As the State of Israel celebrates its 75th Independence Day, the International Youth Bible Contest took place for the 60th time in Jerusalem.
The contest was presented by Guy Zuaretz, and among those present are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, Education Minister Yoav Kisch, and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.
At the end of the contest, Emuna Cohen won first place, followed by Netta Laks in second place. Cohen is an 11th-grade student at Ulpanat Baharan in Gedera, while Laks is an 11th-grade student at Shirat Hayam in Neve Tzuf.
In third place is Omer Kadar from Petah Tikva, and Tamar Dahan, from the US, placed fourth.
This year, the finalists were: Abigail Rowe of England, Omer Kadar from Petah Tikva, Gila Dishi from Argentina, Jack Friedman from the United States, Marcus Tuasi from Mexico, Emunah Cohen from Bnei Netzarim, Shira Bamberger from England, Maya Traut from the United States, Tamar Dahan from the United States, Marco Ashkenazi from Panama, Shmuel Eisenberg from Australia, Netta Laks from Neve Tzuf, Kayla Shechter from the United States, Ilana Katan from Mexico, Amit Attal from Ashdod, and Bruria Katz from South Africa.
All the participants from outside Israel arrived in the country a week and a half ago, and met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday. Herzog told them, "The Tanach [Jewish Bible] is like an eternal stream that never ceases to flow with water, the water of life. I love the Tanach very much. I read it, and each time I learn a verse, there are so many different commentaries on it, and that is its genius. It's not just a simple story. Love of the Tanach opens new horizons and enables us to understand life and it also gives us a deep-rooted Jewish and Zionist identity as well as a connection to the Land of Israel."