Hebrew High School junior wins international science contest

WEST HARTFORD – Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE) junior Yaakov Schectman won the top prize at the Jerusalem Science Contest, sponsored by the Jerusalem College of Technology and the Walder Science Center in Chicago. The international competition aims to encourage a new generation of young Jewish scientists. The topic of this year’s contest, in conjunction with the UNESCO International Year of Light, was the science and technology of light, optics and the human eye. This contest began in October 2015 and ended in January 2016.

Each week for ten weeks, Schectman participated in the contest via a weekly series of online lectures, videos, and text study material in both science and related Judaic topics, as well as school-proctored examinations and a final presentation focusing on physics and Judaics. The first nine exams lasted for 50 minutes. The tenth exam was a comprehensive final on all the material. Schectman achieved an overall score of 100.6%.

“We are so proud of Yaakov’s achievement,” said Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, HHNE’s head of school. “To come first in such a rigorous and extensive international scientific and Judaic competition is outstanding and exceptional. It is a testament to his dedication and commitment to academic excellence.”

As the top prize winner, Schectman receives a cash award, a free trip to Israel, a four-year scholarship to Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) and a letter of participation to any college of his choice.

Schechtman says he is eager to travel to Israel and will utilize his trip to tour the JCT campus and all it has to offer.

CAP: HHNE student Yaakov Schectman (2nd from right) receives his award certificate from (l to r) Joel Javit, Dr. Yosef Walder and Rabbi Herschel Weiner, all of the Walder Science Center.

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