Over 1,450 Jewish students from across the FSU, aged 5-18, took part in the second round of FJC’s ‘Darkeinu’ annual Jewish studies Olympic contest, which took place in January. The contest’s last round for 84 finalists from 7th to 11th grade will take place in Jerusalem at the end of April.
For kindergarten and 1-4th grade students, the second round was the final, with 217 winners awarded valuable prizes. 110 of 5th and 6th-grade students will participate in their category’s final round in May in an on-line format.
This is the first year that students from the FSU’s Jewish after-school and Sunday educational programs also participate in the contest, alongside Jewish school pupils. The contestants came from seven countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. This is also the first time students from Bishkek made it to the finals.
“Now is the time for our finalists to press up on their learning and also gain some valuable winning attitudes. Especially for them we opened a blog that collects advice from past years’ winners, mentors, educators, rabbis and Jewish activists on learning and winning in Darkeinu Olympics!” said Mrs. Sarah Rut Vernick, Darkeinu’s informal education projects coordinator.
This year sees the 7th annual Darkeinu contest. Began in 2013 by the Or Avner fund, the “Olympics” draw a continuously growing amount of participants, this year attracting almost 200 pre-schoolers and 2,000 school students from 1st to 11th grade.
The grand Jerusalem final for higher-grade finalists in the spring will be a part of a three-day trip, which will also include a festive Shabbat celebration, excursions and an opportunity for the Jewish students to connect and make friends with peers from other cities and regions of the FSU.