Student Holocaust Writing, Art and Multi-media Contest

February 15, 2021

JCRC Announces Annual Student Holocaust Writing, Art, and Multi-Media Contest

Theme: “Torn From Home”
Submission Deadline: Friday, March 26

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation is inviting students in grades 7-12 in Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties, and Western Pennsylvania, to enter its annual Holocaust Writing, Art, and Multi-Media contest, a project held in conjunction with Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day). To be commemorated this academic year on Thursday, April 8, Yom Hashoah is an internationally recognized day set aside for remembering all victims of the Holocaust and for reminding society of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred, and indifference reign.


The theme for this year’s contest is “Torn From Home,” a reflection on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call “home” is part of the trauma faced by victims of genocide and persecution, and the difficulties survivors face as they try to find new homes and build new lives. According to testimony by Marie Chantal Uwamahoro, the current Ambassador to the permanent Rwandan mission of the U.N. office in Geneva, and herself a victim of Genocide during the 1994 Rwandan civil war, “I didn’t feel like I had a home after the genocide because everything was destroyed. I had no home at all. I had nothing.”

In keeping with historical themes and discussions held throughout the world, this year’s contest topic notes that in any campaign of genocide, there are great losses, racial hatred has resurfaced again and again in the decades since the Holocaust, and that action must be taken to prevent atrocities and seek justice for victims of inhumane acts of hatred. Appropriate contest submissions must conform to the theme “Torn From Home” and relate to the Holocaust. Examples include, but are not limited to, the meaning of home before genocide, fleeing from home as a means to escape certain death, being wrenched from home or a place of safety, the search for a new home after genocide when prior homes no longer exist, the need to feel safe at home once again, or how the lessons of the past can inform life today to ensure a safer, better future.


The guidelines for the format of the contest entries are as follows: The writing component can be a narrative composition or piece of poetry, no more than 1,500 words, double-spaced, and submitted in Microsoft Word. The art component should demonstrate originality and a creative representation of the theme, using paint, crayon, pencil, or other similar medium, on 8.5 x11 white paper. Multi-media submissions no longer than five minutes will be accepted in the form of YouTube videos, Instagram reels, or TikTok posts submitted electronically or on a flash drive, that demonstrate originality and a creative representation of the theme, and that are as substantial in form and content as a written entry, though in accordance with the possibilities of these newer forms of media.

All entries whether writing, art or media, must be accompanied by a title page or label containing the following information: student’s name, home address and telephone number, student’s school address and telephone number, teacher’s name, and grade.


The deadline is Friday, March 26. Although submissions may be mailed, students are strongly encouraged to submit all entries electronically. Writings, art, and media entries may be sent to the Jewish Community Relations Council, 505 Gypsy Lane, Youngstown, Ohio 44504-1314, or e-mailed to Presentation of contest awards will be made during a virtual Community Yom Hashoah Commemoration Ceremony on April 8. Winners and their teachers will be contacted in advance of the event with details on the time and parameters for participation. For further information about the writing contest, contact the Jewish Community Relations Council at 330.746.3250, ext.108.


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