Photo Credit: Courtesy: JCT
Liav Shlechdarov with Dr. Evgeny Frishman & Dr. Yitzhak Gvili

The talents of the religious scientists of the future were on full display as more than 100 yeshiva students from around Israel participated in Jerusalem College of Technology’s (JCT) sixth annual Physics Olympiad last week.

Held in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Religious Services and Ministry of Education, the event marked the latest initiative by JCT to empower religious students in Israel and abroad with high-level science and technology skills and knowledge.


Special guests at the competition, whose participants were 11th and 12th graders who are studying for Israeli matriculation exams, included Head of JCT’s Bet Midrash, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon; Rector of JCT’s Lev Academic Center, Prof. Kenneth Hochberg; Olympiad Director, Dr. Evgeny Frishman; Head of JCT’s Tal Campus for women, Eti Stern; Head of the Jewish Studies program at the Tal Campus, Rabbi Yehonatan Oren; and acting Head of Physics at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Orna Bloomberger.

As part of the competition, male students at JCT’s Lev Campus and women at the Tal Campus solved university-level physics challenges. They also took a tour of the campuses and their physics laboratories, while hearing a variety of lectures and engaging in interactive games.

At the end of the busy and exciting day, JCT announced the winners of scholarships towards studies at its Lev Academic Center The winners of the girls’ competition were Hadas Fiksler of Bnei Brak, Miri Abutl of Shlabim, and Ayelet Hashachar Barel of Rishon LeZion. In the boys’ competition, the winners were Liav Shlechdarov, Daniel Markovitz, and Michael Piper, all of Netanya.

“As an academic institution that advocates excellence, we conduct the Physics Olympiad to encourage religious students to pursue a high-level science education and to develop new ways of thinking and learning — and to aspire for greatness,” said Dr. Frishman. “Physics plays an important role in developing a number of important professions within the State of Israel’s economy. Our goal is that all who took part in this competition will understand the importance of physics not only in the scientific world, but to their country.”

“As a college that is ranked among the top academic institutions which integrates women into the fields of engineering and computers, we were pleased to host the next generation of Israeli scientists,” said Etti Stern. “JCT takes pride in empowering religious students with a high-quality science education without making any compromises on their Jewish observance.”