Naomi Cohen (Photo by Sholem Srugo/Merkos 302)

Great Neck Fourth-Grader Wins Top Trophy At International Jewish Knowledge Championship

Naomi Cohen, a fourth-grader from Baker Hill Elementary School, recently triumphed at the International Jewish Knowledge Competition.

The International Jewish Knowledge Competition, also known as JewQ, is facilitated by CKids, the Chabad Children’s Network. JewQ is a unique spelling bee-style competition designed to deepen participants’ understanding of Jewish traditions, history, and values.

Students from third to seventh grade compete against each other from across the globe. Each grade learns different material for their level and has a top winner. This year, over 4,000 participants joined the competition from 25 countries. According to the press release from the Chabad of Great Neck, “This year’s contest saw an unprecedented number of young scholars, including participants from the United Kingdom, Columbia, France, Australia, and Argentina, all vying for the coveted title.”

Naomi, with her unwavering determination and countless hours of studying at the Chabad of Great Neck Hebrew School, emerged victorious in the fourth-grade category at the championship. Her journey to success is a testament to the power of hard work and dedication.

Chabad of Great Neck Youth Director Rabbi Zalman Baumgarten explained that the competition begins in the after-school program.

“The students have a book that they have to study, and then they take three tests. And that’s before it even gets to a national level,” said Rabbi Baumgarten. “Then, after the three tests, they have the winner of each grade go against the other winners of the national level in their region.”

At the Long Island JewQ Championship, Naomi won the fourth-grade title, along with a few other Chabad of Great Neck students who won in their grade level. From there, they went on to the national level.

The competition concluded with a live Championship event in Stamford. Naomi showcased her knowledge before thousands in attendance and over fifty thousand online viewers.

While Naomi’s win proves she is a hard-working and dedicated student who has a deep appreciation for Jewish culture, she also became a source of pride for her community.

“As the youth director and as a community, it’s very humbling. It’s a close-knit school, so everybody knows everybody, even though we have about 180 students spanning different grades,” said Rabbi Baumgarten. “It really brought a sense of pride to the school. And the next week after the championship, everyone was congratulating her.”

“It also shows the other children there that hard work pays off. Sometimes you don’t think it’s possible that you get a top prize or whatever it is. But, she was able to bring the trophy back home and we’re all very happy and, I would say the main thing is we’re proud.”

In addition to the top winner in each grade, students who hit a certain mark in nationals earn a medal. According to the press release from the Chabad of Great Neck, “Other local achievers were celebrated alongside Naomi, including Gold Medalists Nathaniel Moirzadeh (Sixth-grader, JFK Elementary School) and Ethan Moirzadeh (Fifth-grader, North Middle School), and Silver Medalists Nathaniel Halimi (Fifth-grader) and Oren & Olivia Halimi (Third-graders, Baker Hill Elementary).”

With the increase of global antisemitism seen this year, the championship emphasized the importance of Jewish education in empowering the youth. “Instilling a deep sense of Jewish identity through a comprehensive understanding of our heritage is essential. It equips our children to face the world with knowledge, pride, and confidence,” said Rabbi Baumgarten.

Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky from Chabad Headquarters praised Naomi’s triumph and its broader impact. According to the press release from Chabad of Great Neck, Rabbi Kotlarski said, “Naomi’s victory is a testament to the vibrant future of Judaism. It sends a powerful message that, despite challenges, our traditions and values will continue to thrive, led by young leaders like Naomi.”

For more information about Chabad of Great Neck, visit

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