Two youths from Judea and Samaria (Yesha) took the top two spots in this year's annual International Bible Quiz for Jewish youth, held Wednesday afternoon at the Jerusalem Theatre.
First place went to Sapir Malka, a youth from the Samarian community of Kochav Yaakov. The young scholar who is now Number 1 in the world of Bible Excellence, as exhibited at this year's Chidon Tanach (Bible Quiz) is a student at the "Yashlatz" high school, connected to HaRav Kook Yeshiva, in Jerusalem.
Runner-up Uri Luvish, is a resident of Beit Yatir, the southern Hevron Hills community located between Arad and Hevron. He learns in the nearby Susya Yeshiva High School.
The boy's father is Rabbi Baruch Luvish, a teacher who has led a daily "Daf Yomi" Gemorah (Talmud –ed.) class for the past 17 years. His mother is a doctor. His grandfather is recently retired High Court Justice, Yaakov Turkel.
Ichud Leumi (National Union) party chairman Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz congratulated the winners on their accomplishment. "These two bring great honor to the nation of Israel and its Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu," he said.
Katz offered special praise for first place winner Malka and his yeshiva, adding, "Once again, we see the wonderful fruits produced by the communities of Judea and Samaria, be it education, establishing communities, or in the army."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was present to witness as 47 contestants from around the world competed for top honors. They also met last week with President Shimon Peres as part of a month-long program of studying for the quiz and touring the country.
In addition to four contestants from Israel, the young participants included youths from Austria, Australia, Britain, the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Hong Kong, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Panama, Chile, France, Columbia, Cost Rica, Canada, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.