St Ives year 6 student Jake Liebowitz took home the Ultimate Champion Trophy at the Australian JewQ Championships in November last year.
CKids International’s JewQ program enables year 3-7 students, who do not attend Jewish day schools, to learn fundamental Jewish studies and go on trips and Shabbatons. At the regional championships, the children display their learning in an interactive gameshow.
After five months in the program, Liebowitz held his own on numerous core Jewish topics, from biblical heroes and holidays to blessings and the details of mitzvot.
He got involved in JewQ through Rabbi Mendy and Chanie Schapiro at Chabad North Shore, with the support of parents Ivan and Leigh.
“I realised how much I’d have to work, I needed to remember all the books of Tanach and and this and that … My parents were very supportive, and Chabad was too,” Jake said.
The program saw an increase from 115 participants from eight Australian schools in 2021 to 250 participants from 11 schools in 2022.
“Expanding [children’s] knowledge at a young age goes a long way toward giving the next generation a strong, confident Jewish identity,” said director of CKids International Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal.
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, chairman of CKids International, said, “It’s uplifting to see hundreds of Jewish children learn about their heritage while having a great time. We’re seeing JewQ make a real difference for many families.”
Eliot Goldin (year 3) of Melbourne’s L’chaim Chabad; Samara Oakley (year 4) of Newcastle’s Chabad of the Hunter and Central Coast; Lia Levinzon (year 5) of Queensland’s Chabad Gold Coast; Gabriel Caspary (year 6) of NSW and the Reddam House School; and Mia Kleiman (year 7) of Sydney’s Chabad North Shore, won their respective grade-level championships.
Liebowitz is eagerly awaiting his trip to New York City where he will represent Australia at the International JewQ Torah Championship.
To learn more about JewQ Australia, visit: ckids.net.au