A diverse audience of more than 550 people attended Memphis Jewish Federation’s 55th Yom HaShoah Community Observance on April 24, including a group of 27 students from Bridge Builders, a local youth leadership program. The evening’s keynote presentation was a student-created film featuring oral history interviews with local Holocaust survivors, produced by the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South through Better Together’s Names, Not Numbers project. Participating students noted that a highlight of the project was the opportunity to develop relationships with the survivors through the time that they spent together during the interviewing and filming process. In addition to the survivors, students also interviewed a Polish rescuer whose family sheltered Jews during the Holocaust. Following the Yom HaShoah program, certificates and prizes were awarded to winners of the Holocaust Art and Essay Competition for local students in grades 6-12, which drew an unprecedented nearly 200 entries.
Memphis Jewish Federation’s 8th Annual Holocaust Art and Essay Competition drew an unprecedented 87 essay entries and 85 art entries from students in Tennessee and the Mid-South. This year’s theme was Degradation and Dehumanization: The Nazi Assault on Human Dignity. The contest was sponsored by the Memphis Commissioners of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, along with their spouses: Jack and Marilyn Belz, Allen and Eileen Exelbierd, Jan and Andy Groveman, Josh and Joanna Lipman, and Leonid and Friderica Saharovici.
On Monday, April 24, following the 55th Annual Yom HaShoah Community Observance, certificates and cash prizes were awarded to the following winners:
First Place Essay—Akiva Finkelstein, 10th grade, Cooper Yeshiva High School for Boys READ NOW
Second Place Essay— Eli Gruen, 11th grade, Memphis University School READ NOW
Honorable Mention Essay— Nicolas Reed, 10th grade, White Station High School READ NOW
Honorable Mention Essay— Yaseen Omar, 12th grade, Cordova High School READ NOW
The Essays will be posted to JCPConnect May 4, 2017 through May 9, 2017. Visit the site to subscribe and get the essays in your inbox.
First Place- Celeste Rodriguez, 7th grade, Colonial Middle School
Second Place- Gabrielle Smith, 8th grade, Colonial Middle School
Third Place (Tie)- David Sabin & Zachary Funk (collaborative piece) 7th grade, Bornblum Jewish Community School
Third Place (Tie)- Noah Sandler, 7th grade, Bornblum Jewish Community School