The 2018 B’nai B’rith Capital Area Holocaust Essay Contest Award Ceremony was held recently in Albany at the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York Golub Campus Community Room. The three winning middle school and the three high school student essayists read their essays aloud and were awarded cash prizes. They also received contest award certificates, as well as certificates of achievement from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Paul Tonko. Assembly Member Phil Steck delivered the keynote address. Contest Chairperson Bob Michaels served as emcee at the presentation program.
This year’s essay topic was: “What lessons can we learn from the rise of Fascism in Germany and the Holocaust in Europe? Can a similar abuse of power occur today and, if so, how might you contribute toward preventing it?”
Winning essayists, schools, and sponsoring teachers at the high school level were: First place winner, Stanley Billmeyer, Guilderland H. S., Brenna Autrey; second place Jayden Mignot, Bolton Central School, Laura Beuerman and Paul Weick; and third place, Nathan Cooper, Bolton Central School, Laura Beuerman and Paul Weick.
Winning essayists, schools, and sponsoring teachers at the middle school level were: First place winner, Uchenna Uba, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk M. S., Nicole Weiss; second place, Maria Morrow, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Nicole Weiss; and third place, Honorah Bullough, Loudonville Christian School, Michelle Nietfeld.
Essays had been submitted to the judging panel that included Peter Bent, Evelyn Loeb Garfinkel, Patricia Luria, Sally Magid, Jessica Many, and Randy Simon. Dr. Bill Pearlman coordinated the judging panel deliberations.
The contest is free and non-commercial, sponsored and financially supported by the Jewish Federation, the Sternlicht Holocaust Memorial Fund, the Brotherhood of Congregation Gates of Heaven, and the B’nai B’rith Gideon Lodge in Albany and Unit 879 in Schenectady.
The event was videotaped, and DVDs provided to students, sponsoring teachers, judging panel members, Contest sponsors, and Assembly Member Steck. Local cable access public TV stations including OSM and SACC TV received copies for broadcast and posting on the internet, via www.openstagemedia.com or www.sacc.tv.