NEW YORK (May. 18)
Simon B. Lerner of New York Steven Fassberg of Washington. D.C. and Tobi Cooper of Houston, Texas, were named as the three first prize winners of the Twelfth Annual National Bible Contest sponsored by the Department of Education and Culture of the Jewish Agency. Lerner, who is a student at the Yeshiva University High School in New York was named as first prize winner in the Advanced Hebrew Division; Fassberg, a student at the Medrasha Hebrew School in Washington, D.C. won first place in the Intermediate Hebrew division, and Miss Cooper received first prize honors in the Comprehensive English division. Each winner was awarded a $500 Israel bond. The three competed with 102 others in the New York finals last Sunday, a national competition in which more than 25,000 youngsters from all over the country participated. Dr. Emanuel Rackman of New York, a member of the Jewish Agency Executive, and chairman of the National Advisory Committee of its Department of Education and Culture, described the significance of the National Bible contest, saying: “The Bible is our closest tie to Israel. As long as young people continue to study our Bible, which is our greatest treasure, and try to live by its teachings, there is a future for our people.” Dr. Abraham P. Gannes, director of the Department of Education and Culture, announced that the majority of this year’s winners would compete in the International Bible Contest to be held in Jerusalem next year on Independence Day. He said that six previous American winners participated in the 1971 Jerusalem Contest with Raphael Lerner of Chicago taking fourth place, and Ariel Goodman of Minneapolis, fifth place, the only non-Israelis to win major prizes.