The 2023 Mikolot: Voices of the Future national public speaking competition reached a memorable finale last week when Moriah College hosted the grand final, featuring three students from Jewish schools in Sydney, two from Melbourne, one from Perth and one from South Africa.
Mikolot is an annual competition that cultivates public speaking skills among students and fosters a more refined expression of Jewish voices in the modern world.
With 60 participants in this year’s competition, it was a massive achievement for all who reached the grand final stage.
The finalists were Elijah Jones and Sarah Uria (Moriah College), Michal Goldberg (Masada College), Meira Eppel (Leibler Yavneh College), Livia Lazarow (King David School), Sacha Rubenstein (Carmel School) and Samuel Gewer (King David High School Linksfield, Johannesburg).
Mazal tov to Uria, Jones and Eppel, who came first, second and third respectively.
They shared in a total prize pool of more than $9500, to be used directly towards their Israel gap year programs.
Eppel, one of several finalists who flew to Sydney to participate in the competition’s decider, chose to speak about the meaning of humility in Judaism and why it is such an important quality of a true leader.
She explored the topic, inspired by the description in the Torah about Moshe being “very humble, more so than any other human being on earth”.
The competition’s very high-standard entries – in both content and delivery – were judged by an esteemed panel including CEO and founder of Abrahams Tent and the Soul Centre, Sorella Abrahams; Mount Scopus College principal Rabbi James Kennard; Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council’s NSW chair and Arnold Bloch Leibler partner, Paul Rubenstein; and federal MP for Wentworth Allegra Spender.
The annual Mikolot competition is made possible with funding from the Moriah Foundation and sponsorship from Arnold Bloch Leibler.