Youthful debator makes it to big league
Debating is a time-consuming activity that requires dedication, commitment, and an intense interest in current affairs. You need to be witty as an individual, and above all, a team player.
Joshua Jankelow, a Grade 11 student at Crawford College Sandton, reached the pinnacle of the discipline this year by being selected for the 2018 South African National Debating Team, which competed at the World Debating Championship in Croatia in July.
Following five months of training, and a nailbitingly close competition, the five-person team was ranked 12th globally, and Joshua was ranked 21st in the world out of 600 senior speakers. He was also the highest ranked South African team member. On 27 July, he was ranked first in the South African Council for English Education (SACEE) schools debating league.
Having started debating only in 2016, it was evident from the outset that Jankelow’s general knowledge and excellent oratory skills were going to result in a debater who could compete against the best in the league, according to his teachers. In recognition of achieving a place on the South African team and representing his country, Joshua was awarded the college’s first Cum Laude Honours blazer.
Debating head and school teacher, Shakti Maharaj, congratulated Jankelow on his achievement, quoting American statesman Colin Powell, who said, “A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
Global teen-led organisation, BBYO, launches in SA
South Africa’s newest Jewish youth organisation, BBYO, led by teens for teens, was launched at King David Schools this past week.
A proud affiliate of the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF), BBYO spans more than 60 countries with 70 000 members worldwide. It had its roots in the United States in 1924, when Jewish teens, who were excluded from joining fraternities and sororities, started their own organisation centred on a strong Jewish identity, Zionism, leadership, and inclusivity. After nearly 100 years, BBYO has established itself as the leading Jewish organisation for connecting the next generation of Jewish teen leaders from around the world.
BBYO isn’t a youth movement. It exists in addition to teens’ current youth movement experience. High school students from Grades 8 to 11 are empowered through a year-round programme that is led by teens for their peers. They are supported by a dedicated team of professional staff in South Africa and globally who are deeply invested in their success.
Teen leaders connect through online meetups, digital programmes, and in-person travel experiences. BBYO offers many travel opportunities to visit Jewish communities in Argentina, Europe, and Israel, with the highlight of the year being BBYO’s US International Convention every February, which hosts more than 5 000 top teen leaders, educators, professionals, and philanthropists from around the world. Delegates hear from inspiring speakers, deepen leadership skills, celebrate Shabbat, have access to exclusive music performances, and build friendships from around the world. Local and international events are pluralistic, which means every Jew, regardless of observance level, will find a safe place to practice their Judaism.
Find out more at https://azabbg.bbyo.org/
King David High Schools had an ad-Venture weekend
Shabbatonim may have been prevented by the pandemic, but King David School’s Venture educational programme for Grades 10 and 11 managed to replicate the Encounter experience in an action-packed few days recently.
Students heard Rabbi Benji Levy, an inspirational educator who came from Israel for the event. They also learned from some of the best rabbis, rebbetzins, and educators the community has to offer. They also enjoyed an escape room and illusionist show.
The Bible is fascinating, says Grade 10 who got 100%
“I have spent countless hours over the past year delving into the stories of the Tanach,” says Jake Weinstein, a Grade 10 student at King David Linksfield who last week achieved 100% at the Paul Abelman National Chidon Hatanach Bible Quiz, winning the competition.
Students from across South Africa participate in the annual quiz, which consists of three rounds, each round testing the knowledge of about 80 chapters. The top achievers fly to Israel, where they compete against a couple of hundred teens from across the world, with the syllabus covering 400 chapters. After a preliminary written test, the top 16 finalists are selected to participate in the International Chidon Hatanach (Bible Quiz) final, which is a televised highlight of Yom Ha’atzmaut.
“Please G-d, I will be able to represent King David Linksfield and South Africa next year at the international competition in Israel. I encourage as many King David students as possible to participate in the quiz and engage in the exhilarating learning.”
In recent years, South Africa has had finalists reaching the international finals every year and winning the diaspora final quiz twice.
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