The YCQ Girls’ Torah Bowl team has done it! On Thursday, May 13, the Yeshiva of Central Queens competed in the championship round of Torah Bowl. Torah Bowl is a competition where several yeshivah teams study two or three parshiyos with their perspective Rashis and compete against other yeshivos. Torah Bowl was developed and is coordinated by Rabbi Meir Wolofsky since 1995 with close to 70 teams in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. After the team was in first place in their division, they advanced to the championship round. For the championship, the team members had to study the parshiyos of BaMidbar, Naso, and B’Haaloscha with their corresponding Rashis.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of canceling this year’s competitions, the meet was held virtually using Zoom and hosted by Rabbi Wolofsky. With an online buzzing system, all the schools were able to play as if they were in person. Rabbi Wolofsky would put up a question on the screen and whoever knew the answer would buzz in to answer. Though this year’s meets were different from usual, and despite all the difficulties, the YCQ girls team pushed through, persevered, and succeeded.

YCQ competed against North Shore Hebrew Academy, Shulamith, HAFTR, Moriah, and RPRY. YCQ took the lead and ended with an incredible 30 points, earning them the championship of the Girls Torah Bowl division! After several years of “almost” winning, the team worked even harder, studied in even more detail, and practiced longer.

With the dedication and devotion of the team’s coach, Shoshana Rosenblum, and all of the hard work from the students, YCQ proved that all of their hard work really made a difference. Elmira Kohen, an eighth-grader and member of the team, said, “Winning the championships felt amazing. I finally felt like all the studying and effort that I put into the competitions has paid off.” Sarah Owadeyah, an eighth-grader, said, “After studying many parshiyos along with all of their Rashis, winning the meet felt incredible! After winning the championships, I felt that all of our studying paid off.” This was an incredible way to end their elementary school careers, as several of the team members are headed off to different high schools. Torah Bowl is a way to teach Torah, create a love for Torah, and hone leadership skills, study skills, and personal responsibility and team commitment in the students. All in all, this was an amazing year, and the team is confident that they will continue their streak in the years to come.