Elie Wiesel Competition’s 2021 winners now online

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Other News


It took 25 years and a coronavirus to push the Elie Wiesel student competitions (art and writing) to their new online format. Since most public and many private school students spent their year in remote learning, the Holocaust Commission reached out online to educators across Tidewater, as well as throughout Virginia, and set up a system by which students could enter the competitions with their teachers’ guidance, online from home. The results were heartening under the circumstances, as about two-thirds of the average number of entries were submitted.

Nearly 1,000 total entries were submitted, including from seven states around the country—from Pennsylvania to Arizona, from North Carolina and California. Even the judging was done online, with the judges, accomplished writing and education professionals from the community, meeting via Zoom to pick the winners. The multimedia entries also lent themselves to be judged virtually. The visual art competition underwent the most changes, as students uploaded photographs of their works, along with their artist statements, for a first round of judging. At its end, 100 pieces were brought to the Sandler Family Campus, where they were set up for judges to come in-person to make their final decisions.

Competition chairs and judges were impressed by the depth, creativity, and passion that spoke volumes in the submissions. As always, choosing the winners and art show pieces was incredibly difficult. Since there could still be no traditional art show and gathering of students and their families in the Sandler Family Campus Cardo for the second competition in a row, the Commission created a Virtual Art Show, including the winners and other notable pieces, which can be found on the Holocaust Commission website.

For the safety of the survivors, students, their families and friends, and the community, the Commission’s annual Yom Hashoah commemoration event in the spring was virtual. While unable to celebrate the students’ remarkable work and achievements in-person, view the winners’ work on the Commission’s website. Please take the time to read the winning essays and poems, and peruse the excellent multimedia and visual art pieces created by these honored students.

The winning pieces—including essay, poetry, art, and multimedia—are posted online at https://holocaustcommission.jewishva.org/home-page/elie-wiesel.

The Holocaust Commission has spent the past year adapting programs for virtual learning. For more information about Holocaust Commission programs, visit www.holocaustcommission.org, call 965-6100, or email info@holocaustcommission.org.

Elena Barr Baum