Students from ORT De Gunzburg School in St Petersburg, Russia, win 2018 dreidel design competition prize


You may have celebrated by eating doughnuts or latkes, or at a party with friends and family, or even just quietly at home lighting your menorah – but students throughout ORT’s global education network marked Chanukah by designing breath-taking dreidels.

Briefed to use 3D printing, textiles, woodwork and technological innovation, as well as additional mechanical design, audio-visual technology and animation to make their spinning tops, dozens of students from 15 ORT schools took part in this year’s competition.

Over the eight nights of Chanukah we showcased some of the best entries on our social media channels, and can now announce the winning designs.

Points were awarded to each dreidel in categories including visual aesthetics, creativity of idea and materials, and the clarity of presentation.

Natasha Shaw, Ort’s Education Project Manager, said: “The submissions for this year’s competition really showcased each school’s individual character.

“Each dreidel design was unique and the students did an amazing job utilising exciting technology from 3D design and printing, Arduino and Micro:bit programming and laser cutting.”

The highest-scoring dreidel was created by students at ORT De Gunzburg School in St Petersburg

Prizes were awarded to eight teams. The highest-scoring dreidel was created by students at ORT De Gunzburg School in St Petersburg.

Their stunning electronic entry was created using programmed microbits to randomly show the Hebrew letters on the sides, thus ironically removing the need to spin the dreidel at all.

The team of five grade-seven students – Yulia, Elizabeth, Victoria, Nikita and Anna – were overseen by teacher Tatiana Prokhorenko. Mazeltov to them and their school!

Students from ORT’s Kiev Educational Complex #141 in Ukraine were the next highest scoring team.

Their dreidel had a unique design featuring a storage compartment for a card game which detailed the history of Kiev’s Jewish community, as well as chocolate coins to enjoy throughout the festival.

It was closely followed by the entry from Elina, a grade three student from ORT Tekhiya Center of Education #1311 in Moscow.

Elina designed a “summer” themed dreidel, “with flowers, to give warmth to people in winter”.

Further prizes went to ORT Argentina students in Buenos Aires, who made a dreidel for primary school children which was designed with a wooden plate, cut by laser and then artistically painted.

The team from Colegio Isaac Rabin in Panama put together an amazing robot production – a machine which could spin eight dreidels at a time using four engines and a Lego structure.

Nikita, a pupil at the ORT Jabotinsky School #94 in Odessa, Ukraine, created a dreidel using a 3D printer and was commended for his efforts.

At ORT Pri Etz Chaim School in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, siblings Victoriya and Sergey designed an LED matrix dreidel. The electronic display showed the letters traditionally displayed on the side of the dreidel, meaning players of all ages from across the community could take part without needing to physically spin the dreidel.

The team from the Sholom Aleichem ORT School in Vilnius, Lithuania, created a spinning top out of Lego.

Alfi Tesciuba, principal of ORT Liceo Renzo Levi in Rome, Italy, said: “I really want to thank ORT because this competition made it possible for our students to fully enjoy this festivity.

“I was so happy to see the excitement on the faces of the students and next year we have already planned to extend the participation to other classes, because I feel that this is the way to make these days memorable and let the whole experience in a Jewish school be memorable itself.”

All the winning entries will have a Chanukah party thrown for them at their school as a prize. You can support our students with a donation towards this project today.