“Studying pays off. If you don’t study and you don’t do well, you’re not going to feel good about yourself. You know you could have done more and you know you could have placed better. If you studied hard and you didn’t get all the answers right, you still know you put in the time and you can be proud of that.” Ezra Goldberg shares what he has learned from participating in Chidon HaTanach for the last 5 years. “I’ve gained an appreciation for Tanach and the way it is written. Beforehand Tanach was more about what happened and not the way it was written. I wasn’t able to draw these word connections between stories because I didn’t know the words, I just knew what happened. Now as I read Tanach, I pay attention to the rhyming, the similar words and connections between the stories… I’ve gained an appreciation for the style.” Ezra, a Netivot alum and 2022 valedictorian, currently a Grade 9 student at Yeshivat Or Chaim, placed first in the National Chidon competition last month!
Chidon begins with a Regional multiple choice test competition. The top scoring students from the Regionals participate in the Nationals contest, with 4 rounds of competition held in alternating years in Toronto or Montreal in May. Top students move onto the semi-finals and finals. The top scoring high school students in the final round are invited to go to Israel the following year to represent Canada in the International Chidon competition. Ezra is proud and excited to represent all of Canada on Yom Ha’atzmaut in May 2024 (learning 453 Perakim of Tanach), along with his friend Joseph Samson, also a Netivot alum and current Or Chaim student!
It was a serendipitous circumstance that led Ezra to Chidon. He had to wait around at school for the 4:30 bus, so instead of sitting there from 4:00 – 4:30 he decided to join the Chidon study group at Netivot, and placed 3rd in his first year! He thanks his father, a previous Chidon participant, for helping him stay on schedule and for providing tips on how to study. When asked how it felt to hear his name called as the champion, “It felt like 5 years of work paid off; it felt really good.”