The winners of the fourth annual Wiki Loves Monuments-Israel photography contest received their prizes on December 22 at a ceremony in Tel Aviv.
Some 5,619 amateur and professional photos of national heritage and archaeological sites (600 of them showing synagogues) were entered in the 2015 contest organized by Wikimedia Israel with Israel’s Council for Preservation of Heritage Sites, Israel Antiquities Authority, Jewish World Heritage Fund and Galitz School of Photography in Ramat Gan.
The international Wiki Loves Monuments competition is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest photo contest. More than 230,000 entries from 33 countries were judged in this year’s contest; the overall winner was from Germany, while each country had its own competition. All submitted photos are available on Wikimedia Commons. (Wikimedia sponsors Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia authored by volunteers.)
An exhibition of the winning Israel photos will be displayed in the Marc Rich Library of IDC Herzliya through the end of January.
Yigal Dekel won ₪3,000 for his first-place photo of the Old City of Acre (Akko).
Second place (₪2,000) went to Tomer Eliash for his photo of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Ilia Krivorok won a ₪1,000 third-place prize for his photo of flamingos in front of the ancient Atlit Fortress in northern Israel.
Dima Galin won ₪1,000 for his picture of the Nimrod Fortress in the snow, chosen as the best photo from the North.
Nissan Hananya won ₪1,000 for an image from Ein Avdat, chosen as best photo from southern Israel.
This year’s contest included a Best Synagogue category for the first time, initiated and sponsored by the World Jewish Heritage Fund, and drew 600 entries. Avraham Graicer won ₪1,000 for his shot of the ruins of an ancient synagogue at Arbel National Park.
All synagogues presented in the photos will have extensive value pages written about them under a special section at the WJHpedia, accessible in more than 80 languages.
Here are the six other top photos from the contest:
Click here to see last year’s winners.