And the winner is… Brian Cohn, 6th grade student

by | May 20, 2016 | Other News

Brian Cohn holds his winning poster.

Brian Cohn holds his winning poster.

For the fourth consecutive year, Tidewater students had the opportunity to learn some “cool facts” about Israel and share what they learned by creating original works of art.

The 4th Annual Israel Poster Contest, sponsored by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, invited students in grades 1–12 to illustrate one of 14 facts on a hand-made poster. More than 100 submissions were received and displayed in the Simon Family JCC Cardo at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus in March. Community members voted for their favorites and on April 20, the 10 posters with the most votes were selected as finalists. These posters were put online, allowing people around the world to see these students’ creations and to learn more about Israel.

Designed by Brian Cohn, a sixth grade student in Ohef Sholom Temple’s Religious School, this year’s winning poster illustrated an environmental theme and the fact that “Israel’s Etenergy gets 40% more power from the sun with lightweight solar energy trackers based on the principles of kite surfing.”

“I decided to choose the fact about energy conservation because I believe in protecting our environment. I do a lot of recycling—and I even started a recycling project, recycling markers, at my school. Kite surfing looks really cool, and I imagined a beach while I was painting my poster,” says Brian. “I’ve entered this contest before, and was happy to participate again this year. I feel so honored to win.”

When asked about having their students participate in the poster contest, Chris Kraus, director of Family Learning at Ohef Sholom, says, “Israel education in Jewish communal life, as well as in a broader, more diverse community, is relevant at all levels and ages of American society. That is why we integrate Israel education throughout the year into our temple’s spiritual curriculum. Israel is an ancient and modern democratic experiment with tremendous technological achievements, including a culturally ingrained sensitivity to the scarcity of natural resources.

“There is much our two nations can learn from each other on how to be good stewards of our environment in the face of seemingly intractable socio-political divisions. There is even evidence in Israel that joint projects in the field of ecology create effective pathways for bridging these divides,” says Kraus.

Cohn’s original artwork will be framed and permanently displayed with past winners at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus and will be distributed at the community Israel Fest on Sunday, June 5.

The CRC says it “congratulates Brian and all of Tidewater’s student artists for producing these exceptional works of art and for using their talents to spread cool facts about Israel around the globe.”

All entries from this year’s contest, as well as from past contests can be found on the CRC’s Facebook page at For more information on this annual contest or about the CRC, contact