Dr. Robert Michaels has announced that he is stepping aside as chairperson of the B’nai B’rith Capital Area student Holocaust Essay Contest. Michaels explained that, I’ll be 77 before the 2024 Contest is held. I’m fine now, but I know that I cannot chair the contest forever.”


Longtime Holocaust Essay Contest associate Danielle Haft will take over as chairperson. In this role, she will promote the contest and its goal of educating students — this communities’ future parents, voters, teachers, and leaders— about critical lessons to be learned from the Holocaust, and their relevance to current and future generations.

“Danielle is the perfect person to pass this baton to,” Michaels said. He added, “Her experience, dedication to Holocaust education, and strong organizational skills will make her an outstanding leader. Our sponsors and funders should feel confident that, with their ongoing support, the contest will continue to provide formative educational experiences for middle school and high school students in 12 greater Capital area counties.”

Haft became involved with the contest in 2016 as a Holocaust scholar. Haft has accumulated seven additional years of experience specifically with the essay contest, including as a member of its judging panel.

“She will bring deep experience and fresh energy to the contest,” said Michaels, who plans to offer assistance when needed. Michaels supported the contest as a volunteer for about three decades and served for several as its chairperson.