Holocaust Remembrance Service of Northwest Louisiana

Middle School Competition 2020

To remember the lives that were lost during one of humanity’s worst periods, our community remembers the Holocaust with an annual memorial service. Through our remembering and active cooperation, we strive to obliterate injustice. Because our future is only as strong as our youth, we are continuing our annual writing competition to encourage students to voice their understandings of the tragedy of the past and their hopes for the future.

Click here for a PDF of all of the information listed below.

After studying the Shoah/Holocaust, read the following quotes and writing prompt to write an informational, research-based essay. In his Nobel acceptance speech, Elie Wiesel states:

“And that is why I swore never to be silent when and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Another Holocaust survivor, Miles Lehrman, notes:

“A perpetrator is not the most dangerous enemy. The most dangerous part is the bystander because neutrality always helps the killer.”

These two Holocaust survivors both argue that one of the most important lessons that can be taken from their experiences is the issue of refusing to take sides or being a bystander instead of acting against the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust. While there were many bystanders during this terrible time, there were also stories of people who acted as rescuers in a variety of ways. These rescuers put their lives at risk to save those who were endangered during the Holocaust, and these rescuers also held the conviction that even one person could make a difference.

  • Entries MUST be submitted with an official cover sheet. Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the entry.
  • Entries must be a formal, well-researched essay based on a Holocaust rescuer.
    • Entries must be titled.
    • Entries must be between 300-350 words in length
    • Entries must be typed in 12-point Arial font.
  • Entries must not include reference to student or school name.
  • Entries must examine the research you have learned about your rescuer and convey that information to your audience.
    • Students must include the name of the rescuer about whom the entry is written.
    • Entries must include details about his or her personal life, the person(s) he or she rescued, and details about the rescue(s), as well as information on WHY they chose to become a rescuer.
  • Submissions must represent the independent work of the student, although teachers may provide grammatical or spelling recommendations.
  • Be sure to acknowledge author of sources within the essay and location of sources at the end of the paper.
  • Include a header on each page (including Cover Page) with only title of entry and page number.
  • All entries must be submitted through a teacher (or parent if the student is homeschooled).
  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.
  • Originality and creativity
  • Historical accuracy
  • Addresses the contest theme
  • Correct grammar and writing mechanics
  • Acknowledgement of sources within the essay and location of sources at the end of the paper

Contest judges review submissions with no knowledge of the student’s identity, school, or residence. In order to provide them with anonymous papers for judging, the body of the paper should not contain any information identifying the writer. The entry must be the original work of the student. Judges request that teachers review students’ work and submit only entries worthy of being considered for judging. By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to all the judging criteria. The decision of the judges is final.

Entries must be submitted to either of the following no later than 12:00 Noon on March 1st*, 2020.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept submissions that do not adhere to all of these guidelines, that are submitted late, or come from students outside the Northwest Louisiana area (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Ouachita Parishes). Submissions will be retained by the Northwest Louisiana Jewish Federation, who will have the right to reprint winning entries in publications including local media/newspapers or posted online.

Special extensions for a March 2nd submission will be approved this year if requested in advance.

Prizes are awarded at the discretion of the Holocaust Remembrance Committee. Some rewards may not be given, depending on the number of entries received and evaluation of merit by a panel of judges.

  • 1st Place Student: $200 Amazon Gift Card
  • 2nd Place Student: $100 Amazon Gift Card
  • 3rd Place Student: $50 Amazon Gift Card

*Literary winners will be expected to attend the Holocaust Memorial Service.

  • Teachers with students who submit qualifying entries in the writing competition will each receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
  • Teachers who attend the Holocaust Remembrance Service with at least three of their students will receive an additional $25 Amazon gift certificate. (Teachers who attend the service with students need not have students submit entries to receive an award.)
  • In addition to the winning students, contributing students, institutions, and award-winning teachers will be recognized during the Holocaust Remembrance Service.
  • Schools whose students submit eligible entries will receive $200.

Check out our resource page for links that can help with resources for your entry.