Jewish Trivia Quiz

from RASHI, RAMBAM and RAMALAMADINGDONG: A Quizbook of Jewish Trivia Facts & Fun by New Orleans native Mark Zimmerman

Iron Dome

Which of the following is true regarding Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system?

Iron Dome Missile

A. The system was developed by Jewish engineers who fled Iran after the Islamic revolution in 1979.

B. Some of the missile's components were derived from a toy car sold by Toys"R"Us.

C. After the Israeli government rejected the original proposal for Iron Dome as unfeasible, the project developers raised the initial funding for the defense system through a Kickstarter campaign.

D. The original name for the system was the Super Dome, but this was changed when Israel was sued by the New Orleans Saints.

E. Amazon discontinued a drone delivery testing program in Israel after an Iron Dome missile destroyed one of the prototype drones.

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Reb Zalman, z”l

Which of the following statements about Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is true?

A. After taking LSD with Timothy Leary in 1962, he told Leary, "This is better than schnapps.”

B. Along with Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and others, he was one of the background singers seated around the Beatles during their live worldwide broadcast of the song All You Need Is Love in 1967.

C. In 1986 he changed the name of his organization from B'nai Or Religious Fellowship ("Sons of Light") to P'nai Or Religious Fellowship ("Faces of Light") after being threatened with a lawsuit by B'nai B'rith for copyright infringement.

DAfter meeting him at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, Joni Mitchell wrote this lyric about Reb Zalman: "I came upon a child of God/He was walking along the road/And I asked him where are you going/And this he told me/I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm/I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band/I'm going to camp out on the land/I'm going to try an' get my soul free.”

Going to Woodstock

E. When he first met the Dalai Lama in 1990, he greeted him by singing, "Hello Dalai. This is Zolly, Dalai."

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When Jewish player Angela Buxton and black player Althea Gibson teamed up and won the Ladies' Doubles competition at Wimbledon in 1956, what headline ran in The Times of London?

A. Ebony And Ivory.

B. Advantage: Former Slaves.

C. Very Mixed Doubles.

D. Minorities Win.

E. We Thought Wimbledon Was A Restricted Club!

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World Cup

Which of the following statements about the soccer World Cup is true?

Soccer player

A. The only time Israel ever won a World Cup match is when Iran was scheduled to play against Israel in 2010 but defaulted rather than compete.

B. The official World Cup soccer balls are manufactured at the Palram Industries plant at Kibbutz Ramat Yochanan.

C. Superstar Lionel Messi is a Sephardic Jew who competed for Argentina in the 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

D. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has ruled that playing soccer is halachically acceptable, whereas playing American football is not, because even though both use balls made of pig skin, the soccer ball is not touched by the players' hands so kosher rules are not violated.

E. Max the lemur at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan has so far successfully predicted the winner of 7 out of 12 World Cup matches.

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Eric Cantor

Which of the following statements about Eric Cantor is not true?

A. Regarding growing up in an area where Jews were a distinct minority, Cantor said, "I think it's given me a real appreciation. You know, we live in a Christian country.”

B. In describing his private school's annual Christmas pageant that Eric and all students participated in, his mother said, "They didn't do a lot of, excuse me, 'Christ-y' things.”

C. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff hosted a fundraiser for Cantor at Abramoff's kosher deli where he introduced a tuna sandwhich which he named after Cantor. Cantor subsequently requested that the eponymous sandwich be changed to a roast beef on challah, which he called "a deli special that exudes Jewish power.


D. Oswald Gasser, a Richmond political fixture, said about Cantor, “Some people don’t like him because he is a Jewish guy, but look, I’m thoroughbred German on both sides, and if anyone was going to dislike him for that, it would be me. But everyone deserves to be represented. He goes to the Jewish church. I don’t because I’m a Baptist. It’s all right.”

E. Regarding being the only Jewish Republican in Congress, Cantor said, "It’s no big deal. I mean, it can be a bit lonely at lunch time, sitting by myself at the Kosher Republican table in the Capitol cafeteria. I’ve invited Keith Ellison and André Carson, the two Democratic Muslim congressmen, to cross the aisle and eat with me, but so far they haven’t returned my calls.

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The Tony Awards

What "Jewish" moment took place at the 2014 Tony Awards?

Broadway logo

AHarvey Fierstein, writer of Casa Valentina, thanked the Jewish people for allowing one resort in the Catskills to cater to cross-dressing men rather than hungry Jews.

BBeautiful: The Carole King Musical actress Jessie Mueller thanked her producer for believing that an evangelical Christian from Chicago could play the iconic role of Brooklyn Jewish songwriter Carole King.

CA Raisin in the Sun actress Sophie Okonedo thanked her producer for believing that a Jewish, Nigerian Brit could play the iconic role of Ruth Younger.

DActor Neil Patrick Harris thanked mohel Heshy Goldstein for botching the sex change operation that was the basis for the story of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

EHost Hugh Jackman appeared in full beard as he prepares for his opening as Tevye in the upcoming revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

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What book is read on Shavuot?

Moses receiving the Ten Commandments

A. The Book of Lamentations.

B. The Book of Ecclesiastes.

C. The Book of Esther.

D. The Book of Ruth.

E. The Weekly Reader.

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Yom Yerushalayim

What takes place during religious services on Yom Yerushalayim in Israel?


A. Hallel and the longer Shabbat/Yom Tov version of the Pesukei D'Zimra prayers are added to the regular service.

B. Hallel is added to the regular service and the shofar is sounded.

C. Hallel and Shechecheyanu are added to the regular service.

D. Nothing, as Yom Yerushalayim is a secular Israeli holiday.

E. No one knows because everyone is spending the holiday enjoying the sales at the malls.

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Lag B’Omer

Which of the following are all customs associated with Lag B’Omer?

Bow and Arrow

APlanting spring flowers, organizing children's parades, and lighting bonfires.

BPlaying with a bow and arrow, listening to live music, and making a pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Mencahem Mendel Schneerson, the former Lubavitcher Rebbe.

CDonating 13 gallons of liquid refreshment, getting married, and giving 3-year-old boys their first haircut.

DGiving 3-year-old boys their first haircut, singing the song Bar Yochai, and planting spring flowers.

EShooting your enemies with a bow and arrow, cutting their hair, and throwing their furniture into a bonfire.

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Mother’s Day

How did the Israeli Mother's Day holiday begin?

Happy Mother's Day

A. A 9-year-old girl named Rachel Golan wrote a letter to the Yedioth Achronot newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of Eve, the first mother in the Bible.

B. An 11-year-old girl named Nechama Biedermann wrote a letter to the Haaretz newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of Henrietta Szold, who was a leader in the Youth Aliyah movement.

C. A 13-year-old girl named Yehudit Shahar wrote a letter to the Maariv newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of Golda Meir, considered by many to be the "First Mother" of Israel.

D. A 12-year-old girl named Shulamit Cohen wrote a letter to the Jerusalem Post newspaper suggesting the creation of a Mother's Day holiday in honor of her mother, who had fought and died in the Israeli War of Independence in 1948.

E. An 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the Sun newspaper asking if Mother’s Day really existed, and received a response saying, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Mother's Day.”

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