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Elie Wiesel Quote

The Elie Wiesel Competition, created and led by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, helps students understand the magnitude and tragedy of the Holocaust, while inspiring them “to champion human dignity in a constantly changing world."

The contest is open to middle and high school students across Hampton Roads, inviting them to write essays and poetry, or to create works of art, in response to new prompts and questions created by the commission each year. Students have a choice of questions in each category, which often incorporate historical material and invite students to do more research as they work creatively. 

All questions mark a path back to the lifelong quest of Elie Wiesel, a Romanian Jew who survived the Holocaust, even as his father, mother, and younger sister were killed in the concentration camps. Wiesel and his two older sisters relocated to North America, where he became a university professor (mainly at Boston University), global activist, and author. He wrote 57 books, including his acclaimed memoir, Night, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. A theme he revisited in speeches and writing was the power of each individual to fight for justice and against all forms of hatred, as he said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.”  

The regional competition receives thousands of entries each year for the Senior Division (Grades 9-12) and Junior Division (Grades 6-8) from public and private schools. Judges review the work with all identifying information removed. Only after the judging is complete are the names of the competitors and their schools revealed. 

The award winners received recognition at the Yom Hashoah program, Hebrew for Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Wednesday, April 27, at Congregation Beth El.  Norfolk Academy winners were as follows:

First place, Senior Essay: Micah Baum '23 (Mr. Dennis Manning), “A Crime Against Humanity"

First Place, Senior Poetry: Avery Britt '22 (Mr. Ari Zito), “The Dolls"

Third Place, Senior Poetry: Kristin Houston '23 (Mr. Ari Zito) “Boy from Art Class"

Honorable Mention, Senior Poetry: Areen Syed '24 (Mrs. Charlotte Zito), “America's Factory," and Micah Baum '23 (Mr. Manning), “Speak."

2nd Place, Junior Essay: Ben Warburton '27 (Mrs. Jennifer Rodgers), “Why We Should Stand Up"

2nd Place, Junior Poetry: Jane Earp '27 (Mrs. Jennifer Rodgers), “Silence"

First Place, Visual Art: Annalee Marling '23 (Ms. Betsy DiJulio), “Antithesis"

 Chairs' Choice Award, Visual Art: Helene Schulwolf '22 (Ms. Betsy DiJulio), “Wailing Wall"

Congratulations, Norfolk Academy writers and artists, on this powerful contribution to artistic expression and understanding! To read the works of the writers (all names are linked to the written pieces), visit https://holocaustcommission.jewishva.org/home-page/elie-wiesel.

 

 

 

 

Avery '22

Avery '22

Micah '23

Micah '23

Annalee '23

Annalee '23

Kristin '23

Kristin '23

Helene '22

Helene '22

Areen '24

Areen '24

Jane '27

Jane '27

Ben '27

Ben '27

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Dean Solomon