Winning Essays are posted below -
please scroll down and click on links.
From 500+ entries representing 20 states across the country as well as entries from Canada and South Africa, 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.
Students were given the following quote as an essay prompt: “The only way for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing.” An English statesman expressed this sentiment, two hundred years before the Holocaust. This quote is commonly attributed to Edmund Burke, a member of the House of Commons in England during the time of the American Revolution. Burke supported the independence of the American colonies from England. His quote is as relevant today as it was then.
Student essayists were asked: How do you think this quote relates to the Jewish partisans? Then they wrote a 300 to 500 word personal essay answering this question using specific examples from at least one Jewish partisan that inspired them. Additionally they were asked to write about how they see this quote as relevant today.
The students essay portions on the relevance today ranged from bullying, to pollution to Darfur to standing up against discrimination and oppression.
Essays remained anonymous to our volunteer readers. Each essay was read three times by three different readers.
The winners are:
Lower Division (8th-9th Grades):
Mason Stevens, 8th grade, St. Cecilia Catholic School, TX
Jennifer Peterson, 9th grade, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, NE
Ashley Gomez. 9th grade, Arts High School, NJ
Upper division (10th-12th Grades):
EJ Weiss, 10th grade, Kehillah Jewish High School, CA
Molly Oberstein-Allen, 12th grade, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, KS
Nicholas Sexton, 11th grade, McNair Academic High School, NJ
The winning essays discussed the life lessons of these Jewish Partisans:
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 40 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 Doug Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org