A 19-year-old from London bested 67 finalists from over eight countries to become the champion of the fourth annual Mathematics Ulpaniada in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Laura Bergman was the victor of the math quiz for religious Jewish girls, which was attended by over 700 people and broadcast live to 15 Jewish communities around the world. Yifat Aharon of Ohr Torah Stone Jerusalem and Atara Gutman of Tzviya Ulpana in Herzliya tied for second and third place.

Nearly 2,000 participants from 100 schools in Israel and abroad took part in the competition, which was initiated by the Religious Education Administration, the Education Ministry’s teacher training department and the Michlalah Jerusalem College in the capital’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood, to promote science studies and instruction among young women.



In his address at the final event, which was hosted by the Michlalah, Education Minister Gidon Sa’ar spoke of the risk of the anticipated shortage of science teachers in Israel that might be felt in just a few years.

“The future of our country demands a change in the approach to science and research, and the Ulpaniada is a learning festival that promotes making math into a broad-scale and widespread subject,” he said.

Science Minister Daniel Herschkovitz, himself a mathematics professor from the Technion, lectured the participants on “mathematical stability and mental stability,” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, former chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Nobel laureate Prof. Robert (Israel) Aumann sent their blessings by video.

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