Congregants compete for who knows more about Israel

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Quizrael players prep for their next clue. Photo by Samantha Cooper

Three teams battled for who was most knowledgeable about Israel at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase recently. Dubbed Quizrael, the game was a twist on “Jeopardy!” with buzzers and answers in the form of questions. But instead of “Potent Potables,” the competing congregants took on Israeli pop culture, food, politics and history in celebration of Yom Haatzmaut.

Past president Roger Browdy was the game show host. He included his own sound effects when it came time for “Final Jeopardy.” He had helped organize the evening, and consulted with others on the questions to make sure everybody could answer them.


“We just wanted to do something fun to celebrate Israel,” he said. “I would vote to do it again next year.”

“It is a peanut butter-flavored snack manufactured by the Israeli Osem Corporation.” (What is Bamba?)

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“Both Abraham and Isaac closed peace treaties with King Abimelech of Gerar in this city.” (What is Be’er Sheva?)

“It is the place where Jacob dreamed of seeing angels and God and a popular name for American synagogues.” (What is Beth El?)


The competition was fierce. The teams were constantly falling over their buzzers. Each was supposed to make a different sound, but were indistinguishable from one other.

The youngest competitor, toddler Matan Wilkenfeld helped the team of his mom, Rachel Bergstein, mostly by pressing the button whenever he wanted.

In the end, Team 1 came in third, with 5,400 points. Team 3 came in second, with 9,000 points after the “Final Jeopardy” clue: “Established in 1952, this kibbutz is best known as the retirement home of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.” (What is Sde Boker?)

First place and bags of Israeli goodies went to Team 2, composed of Bergstein, Jerry Blask and Len Leftkowitz, with 9,400 points.

“It’s a good way to celebrate the holiday,” Leftkowitz said, “It was a fun way to learn about and connect to Israel.”

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