Bais Yaakov of Queens student wins citywide spelling bee
Abby Harris could barely stand still. The Bais Yaakov of Queens student was nervous throughout The Jewish Education Project’s annual Citywide Spelling Bee.
“I was shaking like a leaf,” Harris said.
When the judges announced what would be Harris’ winning word-speculate-the champion speller calmed down. She took a moment to scroll through the thick mental dictionary that she has built up by reading fantasy novels. Then she spelled out the winning word.
“I went really slowly,” Harris said. “I made sure I did not mess up on something that I knew.”
Davey Kivelevitz, the second place winner in the citywide competition, also battled nerves during the day. But by the end of the day, he was comfortable in front of the crowd. The Yeshiva Derech HaTorah student was eliminated after misspelling burdensome, a word he said he knew. Kivelevitz credited the hours he spent poring over the bee’s preparation packet and his love of fiction for his spelling success.
The two top spellers both thanked their families for helping them achieve spelling success. “I want to thank my parents, who are really big on reading, literature, and education. They always teach me new words,” Harris said. “I knew my mom was at the spelling bee so I tried harder,” Kivelevitz said.
Harris and Kivelevitz were two of 12 champion spellers from yeshivas and day schools in New York City to compete in The Jewish Education Project’s annual Citywide Spelling Bee competition, the largest official spelling competition for Sabbath-observant students and schools.
The following students qualified for the New York Daily News Spelling Bee
- Abby Harris, Bais Yaakov of Queens – Citywide, First Place and Region 2, Second Place
- Davey Kivelevitz, Yeshiva Derech HaTorah – Citywide, Second Place
- Oren Milgrom-Dorfman, Luria Academy – Region 1, First Place
- Michal Mordowitz, Masores Bais Yaakov –Region 1, Second Place
- Julia Sprung, Kinneret Day School – Region 2, First Place
- Berta Sadia, Shulamith School of Brooklyn – Region 2, Third Place
Full List of The Jewish Education Project Citywide Spelling Bee Participants
Zalman Schultz, Yeshiva Darchai Menachem
Abby Harris, Bais Yaakov of Queens
Julia Sprung, Kinneret Day School
Leo Eigen, Park East Day School
Max Elmann, Manhattan Day School
Berta Sadia, Shulamith School for Girls of Brooklyn
Michal Mordowitz, Masores Bais Yaakov
Abigal Kiperberg, Mazel Day School
Maurice Silvera, Yeshivah of Flatbush
Davey Kivelevitz, Yeshiva Derech HaTorah
Tamar Kolp, Prospect Park Yeshiva
Oren Milgrom-Dorfman, Luria Academy
To learn more about The Jewish Education Project’s Spelling Bee please contact Judy Oppenheim.
Gabriel Weinstein is Project Manager, Digital Content and Communications for The Jewish Education Project.