Public Speaking Contest founders Larry Barzelai and Rhona Gordon give out trophies for this year’s contest winners. (photo by Cynthia Ramsay)
On the evening of Feb. 1, the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver was buzzing with activity. Students, parents, volunteers and others gathered for this year’s Public Speaking Contest.
Participants came from Richmond Jewish Day School, Vancouver Hebrew Academy, Vancouver Talmud Torah, Crofton House, General Gordon Elementary, Madrona School, Temple Sholom Hebrew School / Sir James Douglas Elementary and home school / Chabad of Richmond.
Among the many topics suggested were Jewish values, holidays and mitzvot, what institution should be established first if creating a new Jewish community from scratch, whether Jerusalem or Tel Aviv is more reflective of modern Jewish identity, which prayer might be added to the synagogue services and what would be included in a YouTube video highlighting the Vancouver Jewish community. Participants could also write about a family member they admired, their favourite biblical character or a mensch they know; they could also pick their own topic.
At the Grade 4 level, there were two groups, in which Sivan Hendel and Noah Robibo placed first; Danielle Kimel and Maytal Bunim second; and Maayan Greif and Hannah Friedlander third. In the two Grade 5 sections, Rivka Feigelstock and Sophia Krische placed first; Chasya Berger and Shira Oirechman second; and Max Dodek and Eden Pretli third. In Grade 6, Aaron Guralnick and Rachel Marliss were first; Ruby Harris and Devorah Leah Yeshayahu second; and Tali Keil and Oliver Kraft third.
In the Grade 7 category, there was just one group, with Maya Mizrachi placing first, Noah Berger second and Alex Ritch third. In the Hebrew category, Yair Cohen placed first and Roi Gadassi second; there was no third-place award.
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