The KKL-JNF quiz

Zionism and the environment through competitive experience

June 15, 2011 18:45

KKL-JNF. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)


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Twenty students from ten high school schools across Israel took part in the finals of the KKL-JNF Zionist Quiz on 'Man and the Environment'. Competitors demonstrated impressive levels on a range of subjects within the KKL-JNF mandate, such as: the history of KKL-JNF, land redemption, settlement and communities, recycling, global warming, desertification, open areas, water storage, rehabilitation of rivers, afforestation, Zionist personalities, as well as landmark events in the history of the state, and other topics.

The Quiz was organized by KKL-JNF's Education and Youth Division. In recent months, students from around Israel prepared and tried out the online interactive Trivia Quiz on the "Green Window"- KKL-JNF's youth website. In addition, and internal school quizzes and regional contests were held.

"In terms of education towards the knowledge of Israel and inculcating a love for our land, we should always aspire to do better, and the students here today provide an outstanding example in both fields," said Dr. Ben-Zion Bar Lavie, Division Director. "KKL-JNF combines and integrates Zionism and Ecology in its activities, as does this quiz. All contestants gain a greater love for Israel - and we increase our capacity to develop our country while conserving the environment."

The Quiz finals were held in Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh in the Emek Hefer (Hefer Valley) region, since last year's winning team represented the Harel School in Kfar Haro'eh. This year's finals were contested by representatives from Be'er Tuvia, Bet Shemesh, Migdal Ha'emek, Kfar Haro'eh, Ariel, Rishon LeTzion, Shlomi, Beer Sheva, Kiryat Gat and Omer.

Teams of competitors were accompanied by a delegation of supporters from their schools who cheered them on, like fans at a sports event. It was exciting to see that an Israel knowledge happening can be just as thrilling as a basketball or football game, when designed not only as a curricular and an educational activity, but also as an enjoyable experience.

Aharon Bar, Director of the KKL-JNF Pedagogic Department, explained that the goal was to enhance students' knowledge in the areas of Zionism, and Man and the Environment, through exposure of students to new information. "We bring educational content to today's students via games, experiences, challenges and prizes."

Hina Koren, Education Division Director for Emek Hefer Regional Council, noted in her remarks, that: "We are pleased that today, even in the age of Facebook and "Kochav Nolad" (Israel's equivalent of "American Idols"), a lot of students are interested in subjects like Zionism, Nature Studies, and love of Israel."

Eleven year-old Yael Hazan from Moshav Ma'or, a student at the Harel school in Kfar Haro'eh, was on last year's winning team and returned to the contest this year in an attempt to defend the title. "I learned a great deal of interesting new material through the Quiz," she said.

The Quiz was moderated by Revital Aviv, KKL-JNF Northern Region's Educational Activity Coordinator, who observed that the questions require contestants' to be familiar with facts and demonstrate comprehension of concepts in a range of different areas. In the course of the finals, they exhibited a truly impressive command of knowledge. Contestants were asked and were able to answer such questions as, inter alia: When was KKL founded? (at the 5th Zionist Congress, in Basel, in 1901); What is the largest coastal river that KKL has rehabilitated? (the Yarkon); Who was the first Commander of the Palmach? (Yitzhak Sadeh); Where is the France-Adulam park located? (in the lower Judean foothills), and many more.

Rounds of questions were separated by musical interludes with superb renditions of Israeli folk songs by the Shazar School Choir from Netanya, comprised of young Ethiopian olim.

Minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar contributed a video question on the subject of Jerusalem. He asked for the names of the gates around the Old City and the names of three national buildings located in the capital. The Minister also sent a short message to the students: "I encourage you to become engaged citizens with a commitment to our state, Zionism, society, and the environment."

The question from KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler was read by Avi Mussan, Director of KKL-JNF's formal Education Department. "What factors contribute to forest fires and how does KKL-JNF fight fires?" asked the Chairman. Students were able to respond that most fires are caused by people and that, in addition to creating buffer zones and deploying fire-trucks, KKL-JNF engages in education about the safety and conservation of forests. In his message, Stenzler thanked the young people from all over Israel who have worked as volunteers to KKL-JNF in the Carmel forest rehabilitation projects following the major forest fire.

Avi Mussan, a man of many talents, also turned actor in the chapter on Recycling. He played the role of a person collecting trash into bags, with the students having to say which of the items he collected could be recycled.

The jury, comprising representatives from the KKL-JNF Education Division, were manifestly amazed at the level of knowledge among the competitors. The panel consisted of: Aharon Bar, Menachem Gilo, David Ashkenazy, Michal Alcalai and Aviva Nisan.

Eleven year-old contestant Ziv Hachmon from Bet Shemesh explained where they accessed their information: "I was familiar with some of the subjects, but we also needed to learn a great deal of new material for the Quiz:  the information in the KKL-JNF booklet was very interesting, so we put a lot of effort into our study - and really enjoyed it."

In a video clip shown during the contest, a number of contestants talked about meeting up regularly with friends after class to study together for the Quiz. Groups of this type came into existence all over Israel through the Quiz program.

The objective was indeed achieved, exposing thousands of students to knowledge on the subjects of Zionism and the Environment, as well as to KKL-JNF's enrichment program. However, as with any competition, there can be only one winner - this year it was the Mevo'ot School from Beer Tuvia. In second place came the team from the Sinai School in Rishon LeTzion. The Harel School from Kfar Haro'eh, last year's champions, had to be content with third place. As soon as Beer Tuvia's victory was announced, moderator Revital Aviv exclaimed excitedly: "Next year, the KKL Quiz goes South!"

And the prize: The entire class won a day tour in Israel, including accompanying bus, – yet another opportunity to get to know and fall in love with our country.

For Articles, comments or use please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Publications
Phone: 972-2-6583354 Fax:972-2-6583493

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