For first time in 10 years, young woman wins world Bible competition

Ruth Cohen was crowned International Bible Contest winner on Wednesday.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

Ruth Cohen, 16, who attends a religious girls’ high school in the Israeli town of Gedera, won 2020’s World Bible Quiz for Jewish Youth, which took place on Wednesday and was broadcast live on Israeli TV.

Moshe Glidai, an 11th grader from the Makor Chaim Yeshiva, was runner-up.

An American, Chaim Nosson Shields from Maryland, came in second, and Miriam Sharam of Mexico was fourth.

A total of three Americans qualified for the final: Yehuda Zinberg, Ezriel Vinar and Shields.

The prestigious Bible contest, founded by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was hosted by Avraham Kor, an Israeli linguist and authority on the Hebrew language.

In attendance was Education Minister Rafi Peretz, Speaker of the Knesset and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog among other luminaries.

“For the first time in 10 years, we have a female Bible quiz winner,” Education Minister Peretz said, praising Cohen. “Congratulations on winning. You’ve brought pride to our country.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said via video feed, “Congratulations to Ruth Cohen of Gedera, the winner of the World Bible Quiz, and to all participants in the quiz from Israel and around the world. Well done.”

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Also congratulating Cohen was Yair Shahal, secretary-general of Bnei Akiva, the world’s largest religious Zionist youth movement.

“The entire Bnei Akiva movement is proud of Ruth Cohen, who was crowned International Bible Contest winner today. Ruth is a counselor for the Ma’apilim group at the movement’s Merkaz Shapira center, and in her life she fulfills the movement’s slogan that, ‘Our heads are deep in Torah.’ She is a role model and inspiration to her group, in everything she does.”

“We congratulate Cohen and applaud her for her amazing success, and we are certain that she will continue to spread the light of the Bible, including in her continued praiseworthy activities in the movement, which she involves herself in throughout the entire year,” he said.

The contest was held without an audience in keeping with coronavirus health restrictions.