Torah Study Renaissance For School Kids Worldwide

In Chabad Houses worldwide, Hebrew schools are creating a space where the next generation can learn about their heritage. However, in recent years, the students have taken that learning to another level by participating in the JewQ competition.

In Chabad Houses worldwide, Hebrew schools are creating a space where the next generation can learn about their heritage. However, in recent years, the students have taken that learning to another level by participating in the JewQ competition. Launched six years ago, JewQ is an international competition organized by CKids at Merkos 302 that gives Jewish children who have never been exposed to Torah learning a chance to master all the fundamentals of Jewish life.

“We are witnessing a revolution of Torah learning,” shared Shlucha Chana Burston of Orange County, NY. “Children with limited knowledge of their heritage are not just listening, but are actively and enthusiastically involved in the learning process. As one parent shared, ‘My daughter is glued to her JewQ book- each night she snuggles up in bed to review her Torah learning before she goes to sleep – it’s a beautiful way for her to end her day. She is extremely motivated to master the knowledge, pass the tests, and participate in the Shabbaton.'” 

So, how does JewQ work? Each week, for approximately 30 minutes, Jewish children who don’t attend a Jewish school learn about the fundamentals of Yiddishkeit through a curriculum, engaging online games and audiobooks specifically designed for their age capabilities. Throughout the year, they are tested on this material three times. Every child who passes a test gets an automatic prize, and all those who pass three tests are eligible for the grand CKids Shabbaton in Stamford, CT. Additionally, the top performers compete in a regional contest and have a chance to demonstrate their Torah mastery on stage at the JewQ International Torah Championship.

In the six years since its launch, JewQ has seen incredible growth, with the engaging program now taking place in 250 cities and 25 countries across the globe. “From where we started, with 800 children taking our pilot course, to where we are now, is truly unbelievable,” says Rabbi Mendel Raskin, director of JewQ, “However, we only plan on continuing to grow. We want as many children as possible to have the chance to participate”. JewQ has since been launched in Australia, France, and Latin America and is in the works to blossom in even more countries in the coming year. 

“4,000 children who have never learned Torah in their life are now spending their free time studying,” says Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal, director of CKids International at Merkos 302, “When you take a step back and look at that, it is truly amazing, and will affect generations of Jews all over the world.” Indeed, JewQ has seen an amazing response from the students who participate, investing their entire energy into studying and the competitions, inspiring others to join them. 

In South Florida, one participant who wanted to attend this year’s Shabbaton opened a lemonade stand to fund his trip. The community was so inspired by the young child’s determination that they created a scholarship fund for all those who would like to participate but may not be able to afford it. “Moments like these make it clear that these children are the driving force behind this program’s success,” says Rabbi Dubov Shliach to Chabad of East Hollywood. “Their dedication to learning has inspired our entire community to grow in their Yiddishkeit.” 

This year’s JewQ Championship will take place on Sunday, April 7 (28 Adar Beis) as the climax of the annual CKids Shabbaton, which is set to be the largest yet. Over 800 people, including some of the young champions’ parents, are expected to join for the weekend. As CKids shares, the effect of the Shabbaton can be seen in many ways. “This is a Shabbos that affects not just the children competing but the parents as well,” Rabbi Loewenthal says. “This multilayered impact is the perfect culmination of what JewQ is all about.” 

JewQ is bringing Torah learning to the most critical demographic in Jewish communities worldwide: the next generation. However, because of the unique excitement the program elicits within the child, an additional phenomenon occurs: they bring their family and friends along for the journey. “Through the JewQ curriculum and competitions, these children not only gain a broad knowledge and love for Torah, they also take ownership of their Jewish identity,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302, “the impact it has on them and their families is unprecedented, JewQ is an essential step in empowering young Jews to be proud of their heritage and ultimately inspiring others around them.”

For more information regarding JewQ visit 

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