First time in 30 years: Secular boy wins International Youth Bible Contest

14-year-old Sagiv Lugasi of Ma’alot-Tarshiha won the International Youth Bible Contest in honor of Israel’s 69th Independence Day. This is the first time in 30 years that a secular contestant has won the competition.
Sagiv Lugasi with Netanyahu and Bennett photo credit: Israeli Education Ministry/Channel 2 News

Sagiv Lugasi of Ma’alot-Tarshiha won the International Youth Bible Contest on Tuesday, which was held at the Jerusalem convention center in honor of Israel’s 69th Independence Day. The 14-year-old came in first place after he defeated 18-year-old Naomi Cohen of Safed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein and Education Minister Naftali Bennett attended the annual event. “Every generation finds in the bible the answers for the challenges of [its] time,” Netanyahu said. “This is our home and I’m sure that all of the young people who came here from abroad in order to participate in the competition certainly feel this.”

16 contestants from all over the world and throughout Israel made it to the final round. Some of the finalists were from Africa, South America, Australia, Europe and North America.

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