Family & Education

Nancy Reuben are Etgar 2020 champions

The independent Sephardi school won the team contest and provided the individual winner of this year's digital version


Rabbi Marc Levene was as ebullient as ever even though his audience was invisible.

The Belmont United Synagogue rabbi again took the microphone to be compère of the annual Etgar inter-school challenge, which was run as a digital quiz this year.

Accompanied by Yuval Havkin on keyboard, he urged the 600 participants through cyberspace to join him in song and to “shake the walls” with their shouting.

While most of the year-fives from 26 schools logged in from home, some came especially back to their school for the occasion.

In this year’s digital format, it was not only the correct answer that mattered but the speed of response also counted.

The  quiz whizzkids turned out to be Nancy Reuben Primary, from Hendon, which clinched the team trophy.

The independent Sephardi school also provided the individual winner, Joshua Wasserman, who got 31 out of 32 questions right.

In second place was Miel Krasner, from North-West London Jewish Day School in Willesden and third, Sam Cohen from Beit Shvidler in Edgware, who each answered 30 questions correctly.

Nancy Reuben headteacher Anthony Wolfson said the school’s victory was “a great achievement and reflection of the determination and application of our amazing year-five class led by their brilliant kodesh teacher Mrs Rubens even in these challenging times.”

The annual test is based on the Etgar Handbook, which is designed to give children a grounding in general Jewish knowledge.

Etgar co-founder Jo Rosenfelder, said, “The online event was a completely different experience to Wembley Stadium. At 11.30 am, we went live on air with no idea how many students would participate.

“And then we watched the numbers roll in. While 600 participants in all took part, many of those may have been teams.”

Fellow-founder Adam Taub said, “The standard of the results overall was extremely high. Clearly the students have been studying for Etgar even during lockdown.”​

For the first time, a pluralist school, Alma, in Whetstone, took part in the biggest Jewish school event  of the year.

Most questions on Bible knowledge, Jewish practice, history and Israel were answered right by a majority.
But two of the toughest were what relationship were Chava and Shet — Eve and Seth were mother and son (the Hebrew names probably foxed some): and who were Gideon’s vanquished enemies in the Book of Judges— the Midianites.

The creative competitions were extended until this Friday.

You can take an Etgar quiz on or play it using with the pin number 05162276



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