Organisers of the first Hebrew spelling bee hope the stage has been set for a larger entry in future years.
Three Jewish primary and three Jewish secondary schools took part in the pilot competition this year held by Partnerships for Jewish Schools and Routes into Languages East.
Miriam Shields, from Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary in Salford, was victor in the primary section.
Finalists, who prepared 40 words, had to translate from English to Hebrew and spell as many as they could in a minute.
Atara Sharmon from Hasmonean High School triumphed in the secondary school beginners’.
In the continuers’ category, for those who had started learning Ivrit at primary school, the winner, Avi Landau, also came from Hasmonean, having had to prepare 100 words.
Samantha Benson, co-director of education at Pajes, said, “We hope that next year more schools will take part in the spelling bees, and that sponsorship will enable us to pilot a year-8 modern Hebrew translation bee and to launch other initiatives in partnership with Routes into Languages.”
Yael Zegze, a Hebrew teacher at King David Primary, Manchester, said the event provided “ a great opportunity. It inspired other children to see language as something special. It showed the children they can learn so many new words in a short period.”