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The Olympics of Thinking

The Thinking Olympiad is an educational initiative that gathers tens of thousands of 5th and 6th graders from across the country each year. These students engage in competitive and intellectually stimulating games, forming a series of championships. The journey commences within thinking clusters in schools, progresses through school-level events, and culminates in the grand finale of the national championship.

Remembering Oz

The Thinking Olympiad is held in memory of Sergeant Oz Mendelovich, may his memory be a blessing, a Golani Brigade soldier who fell in battle during Operation “Protective Edge.” Oz, may he rest in peace, was killed on July 20, 2014, the 13th day of the operation, in the battles in the Sajaiya neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Gaza.

Oz resided in the settlement of Atzmon in the Gush Shilavim communities and studied at the “Shakhenia” elementary school. In his childhood, alongside playing the violin and football, he was a participant in thinking clusters, where he was first exposed to the game “Abalone”, which he particularly loved. When he studied in grades 5th to 6th, he participated in the Thinking Olympiad and represented the school as an “Abalone” player in the school’s Olympiad team. During these years, 2004-2005, his team advanced to the national competition and won first place – thus earning the title of “Champion of Thinking Games” twice in a row.

Testimonies from his family indicate that Oz, may he rest in peace, mentioned more than once that the game “Abalone” instilled values in him and strengthened personality traits such as commitment to the task, setting goals and achieving them, perseverance, creativity, and a desire for excellence, qualities that undoubtedly accompanied him as a soldier in battle where he fell as a hero defending his homeland.

Thinking Clusters dedicates the events of the Olympiad to the memory of Sergeant Oz Mendelovich, may his memory be a blessing.

major goals

The acquisition of values of mutual respect, patience towards others, fairness, and justice in both the game and life.

Summary of the extensive activity taking place in classrooms throughout the year.

Uniting the children of Israel from different sectors of Israeli society under one common goal.

Promoting the culture of thinking and gaming in Israel.

Olympic events

School competitions

Held in a summarizing school
event during the months of
January to March

Regional competitions

Held in various regions
during the months of
March to April

National competition

The "National Event" culminates with the participation of the winning teams from the school-level competitions during the months of May to June

The Olympic Games

National teams compete in the four Olympic games – Abalon, Checkers, Corridor and Okti.
The sports competition requires group work, determination and self-discipline as well as cognitive and mental abilities that are studied throughout the entire year, within the framework of thinking cluster classes.

Abalon – an immersive game that requires a deep understanding of strategic structures, iron patience and maneuverability.

Checkers – a classic game that combines long-term calculation skills together with cunning and tactical vigilance.
Corridor – a game that requires the ability to concentrate and make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.
Okti – a game that requires control of limited resources, ability to plan and understand constraints.

The final event of the Thinking Olympiad serves as a wonderful and exciting conclusion of a personal and group, intellectual and emotional journey of each and every one of the young contestants, and is a life-shaping experience for them.

The rules of the Olympic Games
Abalon
Corridor
Checkers
Okti