Jewish youngsters from seven primary schools around the country have celebrated success after competing in the national final of the Modern Hebrew Spelling Bee.
The competition involved pupils from Years 5 and 6 translating and correctly spelling as many words as possible in Ivrit in just one minute.
Categories included ‘newcomers,’ ‘returners’ and ‘Hebrew speakers,’ depending on the child’s previous exposure to Modern Hebrew.
Winning newcomers were Rebekah-Jo Goldman from King David Manchester, Nathanel Blackston from Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary School and Joseph Boyas from Immanuel College Preparatory School.
The best returners from last year’s finals were Miriam Shields, Joshua Sacks and Elisha Sheftz, all from Broughton Jewish, while the Hebrew Speaker winners were Gili Blass from Nancy Reuben Primary School, Ayelet Polak from Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School and Feigy Greenhouse from Broughton Jewish.
For nine years there have been ‘Routes into Languages’ Spelling Bees for French, German and Spanish, but in 2016 the idea of a Modern Hebrew version was born at a Hebrew language conference in Cambridge.
The competition then became a reality after backing from Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), with the hope that it encourages the youngsters to continue studying Modern Hebrew into their teenage years.