Yavneh students win 14-hour hackathon with educational app

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Yavneh students win 14-hour hackathon with educational app

Group of young entrepreneurs pitch their learning tool to a range of judges, including senior Google executive and high-tech investors

The winning team: Iftach, Jack, Izzy and Ben
The winning team: Iftach, Jack, Izzy and Ben

Four students from Yavneh College are well on their way to being technology entrepreneurs after developing a winning app to improve education during a 14-hour hackathon in Finchley.

Jack Perchick, Iftach Sella, Ben Stankler, Izzy Sinclair formed a four-teen team called Better Learning and pitched their personalised education app to a range of judges including directors at Google and high-tech investors, who were left impressed.

In total 50 children of different faiths attended the first-of-its-kind event from schools including Hasmonean, Etz Chaim and St Albans School, with nine teams comprising up to six children of different ages.

The youngest group – of nine years olds – was made up of four boys, three of whom were from Etz Chaim and one from Rimon, in a team called School of the Future. The digital programme they developed was designed to help children who need more teacher attention or who may get very distracted in class.

The whole group featured students from schools including Hasmonean, Etz Chaim and St Albans School,

Elsewhere the hackathon – which was media sponsored by Jewish News – saw other teams develop a Virtual Reality (VR) app, interactive online textbooks and computer games designed to motivate students to learn, all of which left organisers from Acorn Aspirations and Jewish Interactive in awe.

“I was totally inspired by the young people who took part in this amazing Hackathon,” said Chana Kanzen, chief executive of Jewish Interactive.

Interfaith through app design

“The ideas, pitch presentations and prototypes were of such a high standard you would have no idea that nearly everything we saw was learnt from scratch. The teams worked well with their mentors and each other and were left buzzing with excitement for more.”

With more than 25 prizes donated by sponsors at SODA, most teams went away with something, while the winning team were invited to attend a national educational technology awards ceremony, while others won tours of Google’s headquarters.

One of the younger groups of participants presenting their idea

“It was the most incredible tech-education event I attended this year,” said was the most incredible tech/education event I attended this year,” said judge James Rosenthal, global agency director at Google.

“Children from our community and all faiths, some as young as 9 years old, developed and pitched polished, commercially viable Apps in a Dragon’s Den environment, which is remarkable. This is exactly what all our kids need to be focused upon if they’re to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: