San Diego Jewish Academy students achieve unprecedented ‘double win’ in international competition


Two SDJA 5th grade students – Yanai Ben Zvi and Gabriel Simpser – entered – and won – the My Family Story International Competition. The competition, also known as the Shorashim Project, provides a forum for students from Jewish communities around the world to come together to tell the story of the Jewish people.

Last year, 10 international finalists from around the world gathered in Israel to participate in the My Family Story Awards Ceremony at Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People. Among those 10 finalists were two 5th grade students from SDJA – an unprecedented win considering the number of entries received from all over the world.

Last year SDJA was singled out for its “double” accomplishment… “That two students from the same school have won is both impressive and unusual and confirms (SDJA’s) wonderful dedication to this project!” said D’vora Greisman Daniels of the International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies at Beit Hatfutsot.

With this year’s “double win” SDJA is, again, proud to be represented by two of its 5th grade students.

“Last week we received the news that Yanai had won the competition and was going to Israel to represent our school,” said Shani Abed, SDJA’s Lower School Dean of Students and Director of Judaic Studies. “But then we just received news that a second student of ours – Gabriel – also won a trip to Israel to compete in the final competition.”

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