Holocaust Commission’s 2019 Elie Wiesel Competitions

June 7, 2019

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The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s month-long 2019 Elie Wiesel Visual Arts exhibit officially closed on May 31. The annual Elie Wiesel Competitions for students include visual arts and writing. TowneBank and the Simon Family Foundation generously support these programs.

On May 7, the Holocaust Commission held a reception to welcome student winners and finalists, their parents, and teachers. The exhibit honored winning and finalist students’ two- and three-dimensional artworks, as well as winning multimedia videos, which were shown in the Fleder Multipurpose Room throughout the reception.

The 80 guests, including members of the Holocaust Commission and Phyllis Sperling and Leslie Siegel, chairs for the Visual Arts Competition, were awe-struck by the quality of the submissions. Eleven middle schools and seven high schools were represented, which included students from Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. A total of 295 entries were submitted.

For the exhibit, 66 pieces were selected, including all winners of the 2019 contest. The chairs say it was difficult for them to select these pieces due to the number and visual excellence of so many entries.

Across all competition categories, this year, saw 1,300 entries. Dozens of local and out-of-state schools submitted writing, as well as visual arts entries, including from Wisconsin, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona. The Commission even had a writing entry from South Korea, which won 1st place in the Senior Essay category.

All student winners were honored at the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration in May at Temple Israel. Their winning pieces—including essay, poetry, art, and multimedia—are posted online at holocaustcommission.jewishva.org/home-page/elie-wiesel.

The Holocaust Commission’s 14th Biennial Educators’ Conference, which for the first time includes Evening with the Arts, will take place July 30–August 1. For information on the Conference and other Holocaust Commission programs, visit holocaustcommission.jewishva.org/educators-conference, call 965-6125, or email info@holocaustcommission.org.

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