On April 16, Yishai Eisenberg, a freshman at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy / Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB), became the first non-Israeli in 20 years to win the Chidon HaTanakh, Israel’s annual International Bible Competition for high school students. Eisenberg, of Passiac, NJ, dominated the competition from the outset, becoming the first champion in its 50-year run to share the winner’s circle when he finished the final round tied with Elior Babian of Beit Shemesh.
Rabbi Michael Taubes, head of school at YUHSB, said, “We are all very proud of Yishai’s amazing accomplishment. We know how much time and effort he put into preparing for this and were all rooting for him. It’s unbelievable just to qualify for the competition, but to actually win is incredible.”
Until Eisenberg’s victory, no American had won the contest since 1988, when another YUHSB student, and current RIETS Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Jeremy Wieder took first place.