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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

JPEF is Proud to Announce the Winners of Our First Annual Youth Writing Contest

JPEF is proud to announce the winners of our First Annual Youth Writing Contest.

From 500 entries representing 15 states across the country in public, private, Jewish and parochial schools the six top essays were chosen as winners: three from 8th-9th grades and three from 10th-12th grades. The students wrote about what the life lessons of the Jewish partisans meant to them. The life lessons are:
  • Stand up to tyranny, oppression and discrimination…early.
  • Question authority.
  • Young people can make a difference.

Many of the students wrote about their own personal experiences about the life lessons (listed above). The subjects ranged from Darfur to helping children with disabilities.

Essays remained anonymous to our volunteer readers. Each essay was read three times by three different readers.

"I was impressed by the caliber of the writing entries and the tremendous enthusiasm shown by the students and teachers from all over the country," stated Paul Orbuch, JPEF Board Co-Chair.

The winners were:

Lower Division (8th-9th Grades):

First place: 9th grader from Manhattan High School for Girls, NY
Second place: 8th grader from North Shore Hebrew Academy Middle School, NY
Third place: 8th grader from Tecumseh Junior High School, IN

Upper Division (10th-12th Grades):

First place: 12th grader from North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, NY
Second place: 11th grader from Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island, NY
Third place: 11th grader from Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island, NY

JPEF’s Writing Contest allowed “young people to think deeply about a piece of history that has only recently come into the public spotlight. In doing so, young people across the country have reasoned that the stories of the Jewish partisans are relevant to their own lives and critical to their understand of the Holocaust," commented David Monblatt, JPEF Advisory Board Member.

The top ten essays reflected on the stories of:


We want to take the opportunity to thank all of the students who participated in the contest, and all of the administrators, educators and mentors who encouraged their participation. We would also like to thank the 35 volunteer readers who helped us judge this contest.

These essays were deeply touching and inspiring to all of us here at JPEF: the staff, board members and partisans. We look forward to hosting the contest again next year.

For further information or questions about the contest, please contact Rachel at

The Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California. JPEF is the only organization in the world solely focused on bringing the history and life lessons of the Jewish partisans to educational and cultural institutions across the globe.

The Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation

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