Winning Words: Public Speaking Contest Winners Announced

Yasher koach to all the students who participated in the 32nd annual Public Speaking Contest!

COVID-19 didn’t prevent 41 children in grades four through seven from participating, even though they couldn’t do so in person. Instead, they submitted videos of themselves presenting three-minute speeches they prepared on Jewish-themed topics. This year’s topics included writing about someone important in Jewish history, designing a gaming app that promotes Jewish values, Israeli innovations, your favorite Jewish holiday, and what your name says about you. This year’s winners were announced on June 7th at an awards ceremony on Zoom.

“This year's contest was a great example of how we can innovate and create something new and meaningful in difficult times,” said Lissa Weinberger, Jewish Federation’s manager of Jewish education and identity initiatives. “Parents were really pleased that we were able to recreate our annual Public Speaking Contest, complete with a Zoom awards ceremony and a participatory prize for each entrant. We were thrilled with how well the adapted contest worked out and the interesting topics that were covered, including at least one speech that was re-written to reflect our current times.”  

Mazel tov to this year’s winners:

Grade 4

  • 1st place: Jillian Plotkin, Temple Sholom
  • 2nd place: Micah Felgar, Beth Tikvah
  • 3rd place: Ruby McNamara, Vancouver Talmud Torah

Grade 5 – Group One:

  • 1st place: Jake Silver, Vancouver Talmud Torah
  • 2nd place: Ayla Greenberg, Vancouver Talmud Torah
  • 3rd place: Ethan Averbach, Vancouver Talmud Torah

Grade 5 – Group Two:

  • 1st place: Anonymous, Vancouver Talmud Torah
  • 2nd place: Davey Kallner, Vancouver Talmud Torah
  • 3rd place: Ella Gelfand, Vancouver Talmud Torah

Grade 6:

  • 1st place: Jake Murphy, Temple Sholom
  • 2nd place: Anne Cohen, Richmond Jewish Day School
  • 3rd place: Sarah Malul, Richmond Jewish Day School

Grade 7:

  • 1st place: Chaya Malul, Richmond Jewish Day School


  • 1st place: Jonathan Appelberg, Vancouver Talmud Torah

Click here to view the winning videos.

In addition to their winning honours, first place winners were awarded a $100 State of Israel bond and a $25 Indigo gift card; second place winners received a $75 Indigo gift card; and third place winners received a $50 Indigo gift card.

We congratulate each student for the work they did to prepare and follow through on this opportunity to learn a valuable life skill. Everyone who submitted a video will receive a participatory prize of a $5 Starbucks gift card.

The Public Speaking Contest is presented by Jewish Federation and supported by the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, the Isaac Waldman Library, and State of Israel Bonds.