11th Annual Israel Arbeiter Holocaust Essay Contest

This Essay Contest is a tribute to Israel “Izzy” Arbeiter, a Holocaust survivor and lifelong rights activist who lost several family members in the Holocaust. He is a past president of the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Greater Boston. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to write a 400-800 word essay on the following topic. Essays will be judged on originality, knowledge, style and depth.

The US House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution honoring the life and work of Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and prolific writer who died July 2 in New York at the age of 87. The resolution “reaffirms Elie Wiesel’s efforts to preserve the memory of those who perished and to prevent the recurrence of another Holocaust, to combat hate and intolerance in any manifestation, and to never forget and also learn from the lessons of history.”

“I know and I speak from experience, that even in the midst of darkness, it is possible to create light and share warmth with one another; that even on the edge of the abyss, it is possible to dream exalted dreams of compassion; that it is possible to be free and strengthen the ideals of freedom, even within prison walls; that even in exile, friendship becomes an anchor.”

                -Elie Wiesel, April 23, 2009

Why do you think Elie Wiesel is talking about compassion? What does compassion mean to you?  Is compassion a human right?

How has the study of the Holocaust broadened your understanding of the need for compassion? What examples can you share from that history, from your own life, and from current events that show how compassion made an impact on yourself, or someone else?

Deadline for Entries is March 26th.

Educational Scholarships Available To The Winners!

Essay contest winners will receive educational scholarships and recognition at the Community Holocaust Commemoration of Yom HaShoah.

Please submit essay in word document along with name, address, phone number, email, birthdate, teacher, school, and grade to: Ellen Kaye at  or mail to JCRC, 126 High St, Boston, MA 02110.

For resource suggestions and helpful articles, please visit: www.jcrcboston.org/holocaust and www.facinghistory.org

Click here to download this flier (PDF)

In partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Facing History and Ourselves, the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Greater Boston, and many generous donors.

Thank you to our generous 2016 Co-Sponsors:

AJC Boston
Clergy Temple Israel, Boston
Cohen Hillel Academy
Congregation Ahavas Achim Men’s Club
Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
Congregation Kehillath Israel
Congregation Mishkan Tefila
Congregation Sha’aray Shalom
Congregation Shaarei Tefillah
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
Trudy and Les Fagen
Gann Academy
Generations After
Hillel Council of New England
Mindy & Irv Kempner
JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School
JCCs of Greater Boston
Jewish Family Service of Metrowest
Paul and Laurie Gershkowitz
Temple Aliyah, Needham
Temple Beth Shalom, Needham
Temple Beth Zion
Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill
Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, West Roxbury
Temple Israel of Natick
Temple Shalom of Newton
Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland
Temple Shir Tikvah, Winchester
Temple Sinai, Brookline
The Rashi School

Read the winning essays from the 2016 essay contest 
See highlights from our 2015 Yom HaShoah Commemoration 




Facing History