FJC’s Darkeinu Jewish heritage Olympics finals took place in Petersburg, Russia this week. Over 1,500 high school students participated in the preliminary rounds of the tournament, with 39 making it to the final round.
A part of the finals was held in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine three weeks ago, to accommodate participants from different FSU countries.
The Petersburg battle for victory (and valuable prizes) began in the morning with written assignments and concluded in the afternoon with the interactive Q&A session.
“The questions in the final rounds are really tough, and those who make it here are real experts, “said the members of the championship jury.
The questions in the tournament are based on the material from Darkeinu textbooks, but a good memory was not enough – in order to successfully discuss a given topic, the participants had to have not only memorized the facts, but also internalized the Talmudic way of thinking.
When all the results were counted, it turned out that all three winning spots of the tournament were claimed by students from the city of Samara. “It is no coincidence that Samara is the winning city,” said German Levin, the finals host. “Throughout the last couple of years the motivation and strive for knowledge in the city have been steadily rising, and we now see the results.”
Darkeinu is the educational curriculum specifically devised for teaching Jewish tradition to students in Jewish schools throughout the FSU. Developed by trained professionals, the curriculum is a complex and encompassing program covering course work from the 1st to 11th grade of school. Besides the Darkeinu olympics, the program also includes teaching seminars and parent conferences.