The Bible Quiz History

In 1961, Professor Haim Gvaryahu suggested holding a Bible competition for youths in Israel.  Directors of the adult competition referred him to then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who supported the initiative and directed that the competition be held each year on Independence Day.

The first International Bible Quiz for youth took place in Beit Ha'am (the People's House) in Jerusalem in 1963.  The winners were Herzl Kleidge and Reuven Gueta of Israel and Dado Goldminz of Canada.  The second Bible quiz for youth was held only two years later, in 1965.  As in the previous quiz, it was attended by Israel's prime minister, its Chief of Staff, and its panel of judges, which included Abba Eban (then Minister of Education), Professor Feibel Meltzer, and Rabbi Mordechai Piron.  The quiz was won by Balfour Hakak, with second place going to his brother Herzl Hakak.  Placing third was Esther Freilich of the U.S.  The third Bible quiz took place in 1966 and was won by Eliyahu Mualem.  Material for the quiz included chapters from the Aggadot (Judaic legends). 

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol proposed rescheduling the quiz so that it would be held on Israel's Remembrance Day, however his proposal was rejected.  In 1967 the quiz was won by Yitzhak Hagiz, with Reuven Kaplan and Yitzhak Ben Artzi in second and third places.  Serving as chairmen for the annual Bible Quiz were Abba Eban, head of the judges' panel, and Dr. Yosef Burg, who served as a judge for more than 30 years.

In 1998, sculptor Yitzhak Shmueli designed the prize statuette that is awarded to the winner of the quiz.  The youngest quiz winner ever was Yonatan Shar'abi, a 9th grader, who won in 1992.

The traditional Bible Quiz, which began during the first years of the country’s existence, has since taken place each year on Independence Day.  From its original location during those first years, at Beit Ha'am in Jerusalem, the quiz moved to the Jerusalem Theatre.  The quiz is broadcast each year live on Israel State Television.

(Taken from Hebrew Wikipedia)