The Jewish Chronicle

Etgar Israel is back this month


ETGAR ISRAEL’S CHALLENGE for secondary schools is to take place later this month, adapted to comply with social distancing rules.

Lockdown forced the event’s cancellati­on last spring, although organisers instead put together an online family quiz to mark Yom Ha’atzmaut.

Up to 200 students from five schools are due to participat­e this year, divided into teams of six.

While it will not be possible to compete in one place, instead they will be taking the challenge in their own school.

Each team will get a specially designed “Etgar Israel in a box” with a set of three tasks to be completed within an hour.

A venue had been booked in case the event, usually combined with a Yom Ha’atzmaut barbecue, could be staged as before.

“We’ve been discussing with teachers during lockdown what works best and kept our options open,” said Etgar co-founder Jo Rosenfelde­r. “We could have done a lot of it online but teachers were adamant that pupils didn’t want that. They were utterly fed up with doing anything on screens.

“Despite the pandemic, the response has been great. Most schools will be doing the challenge on or during the week of Yom Ha’atzmaut, with some doing it shortly after, to give the students a bit more time to prepare.”

Meanwhile, June 23 has been set for the annual Etgar Challenge for primary schools, which had to go online last year.

Since that will be two days after the government’s plan to end legal limits on social contact, there are hopes that the inter-school contest will be able to go ahead in a similar format as before. Two years ago, it attracted more than 1,000 children.

But Etgar is aware that some teachers may have reservatio­ns about a large gathering and, in any case, the government may have had to change tack on the pandemic by then.

“We are working closely with schools to see what the appetite for an event is,” Ms Rosenfelde­r said. “If necessary, we’ll be online again, but we would much rather have the event in person if at all possible.”

But they won’t be able to take it back to Wembley Stadium because of the postponed Euros being played then, so an alternativ­e has been booked.

 ?? PHOTO: CHRIS MORGAN ?? Etgar Israel contestant­s try a hummus-making challenge in 2018
PHOTO: CHRIS MORGAN Etgar Israel contestant­s try a hummus-making challenge in 2018

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