After taking down the title at this year’s World Bible Quiz for Jewish Youth, high school student Ruth Cohen sat down with Israel Army Radio to discuss her historic win.

“In ninth grade, I decided to start studying with all my might,” said Cohen, an 11th-grade student at Ulpanat Baharan, a religious girls’ high school in the Israeli town of Gedera.

According to the 16-year-old, although she began studying for the quiz just to know every detail, it quickly became a passion for her.

“I came with a focused goal of winning and that was it, but as I studied the Bible I realized it was so much more and I really became addicted,” Cohen said. “My personal experience is that I really liked it.”

“When you study the Bible, you must focus on the chapter you love, connect with and think about the most,” she said. “I focused on studying every quiz, but within a month, I learned all the material and fell in love with it.”

When the studio gave her the opportunity to compete, Cohen rose to the challenge to beat out 16 other contestants from seven different countries, becoming the first girl to win in 10 years.

The prestigious World Bible Quiz for Jewish Youth contest, founded by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, is held every Independence Day in Jerusalem in front of a live audience to test select 14-to-18-year-old students’ knowledge of the Bible.

This year it was held without a live audience in keeping with coronavirus health restrictions.