The 2021 B’nai B’rith Capital Area Holocaust Essay Contest is underway. according to Dr. Robert Michaels, chairpersonThis  free and non-commercial annual contest invites involvement from middle school and high school students in 12 contiguous New York State capital area counties. This year’s essay topic is: The Holocaust of WW II began before it happened, by people having a misplaced loyalty to the enemy within. We now have seen something like this in our own country. How does one fight the enemy within to prevent another Holocaust? The e-mail and postmark deadline for essay contest entries is Thursday, April 15.

Essays will be coded and then submitted to a panel of judges who see only the coded essays, not the identity of the student authors or their teachers or schools. Dr. Bill Pearlman, is coordinator of the  judging panel, which includes  Peter Bent, Patricia Luria, Sally Magid, Jessica Many, and Randy Simon. Pearlman will assign a group of essays to each judge. The panel will search for three high school and three middle school winners, later to be identified from their essay code numbers.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners, who will read their essays at a public award ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, June 2.  This year’s award ceremony will be “virtual,” via Zoom.

“This annual activity exemplifies ways by which we can assure that future generations will heed the lessons of the Holocaust, and protect our constitutional democracy against those who would undermine it,” said Michaels.

The  website ( provides information. Michaels may be reached at