In advance of the annual international Bible Quiz (Chidon HaTanach), which will take place in Jerusalem on Tuesday, INN TV met with some of the contestants.

“It’s an amazing experience, meeting people from all over the world who love the same thing,” said Shira Lawrence, a competitor from Australia. “Reading the stories in the Tanach is finding out that these people who we hear about were real people. They had real lives, real feelings. They made mistakes and that’s meaningful to me. This is our history and it’s connected to this place that we’ve now come back to.”

“It means being able to share a passion with other people from all over the world and from different types of observances of Judaism, to come together to the Jewish State and to really understand the importance of Bible, and to actually visit the sites and see the Bible which was written thousands of years ago manifest itself in modern day society,” said Josh Cape of Canada.

Yehuda Reisler, a counselor for the Tanach Loving Youth organization which helps the contestants prepare for the contest, said that the contestants “are unbelievable. They love Tanach. They know Tanach. They’re great kids.”

Even Education Minister Gideon Saar got in front of the camera to greet the contestants.

“The message is the importance and the significance of the Bible for Jews from Israel and from the Diaspora,” he said. “This is connected directly to our Independence Day as the basis of our heritage, of our national culture, which continues to the young generation. I think we cannot find something greater than that.”

The theme of this year’s Bible Contest is “Love of Israel,” a concept referring to love of the Jewish people. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will attend the event, as will Saar.

The 16 finalists were named on Sunday.