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Boardman students honored by Youngstown area Jewish Federation

May 22, 2019
The Town Crier

Four Boardman High School students were honored at the Jewish Community Relations Council's Annual Holocaust Commemoration Program this month. It was held at the Mahoning County Courthouse on May 2.

"Of the many entries from the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys, your students' written work was amongst the best that was received," wrote JCRC Director Bonnie Burdman to English teacher Randy Nord. "You should be proud of their accomplishments and of your outstanding work as a teacher."

Sara Varga won first place in the Poetry Division (11-12 grade); Jakob Peters won second place in the Poetry Division. (11-12 grade); Andrew Theophanous won first place in the 11-12 grade essay division,; and Sydney Jones won second place in the 11-12 grade essay division.

Article Photos

Holocaust Writing Contest award winners from Boardman, pictured clockwise top from left: Jakob Peters (2nd place poetry), Andrew Theophanous (first place essay) Sydney Jones (second place essay) Sarah Varga (first place poetry)

The contest was part of the Federation's 26th Annual Community Holocaust Commemoration for Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance), the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, who held a Student Holocaust Writing and Art Contest. Students in grades seven to 12 were invited to submit an original piece of poetry, narrative composition, art, or media. Yom Hashoah is an internationally recognized day set aside for remembering all victims of the Holocaust and for reminding society what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred, and indifference reign.

The theme for this year's contest which, for the first time, included financial prizes for the winners, was "Do Not Stand Silent: Remembering Kristallnacht," in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the events, and as a reminder of the moral imperative to always speak out and take action against injustice and atrocities. Kristallnacht was a turning point in history. The programs marked a shift from anti-Semitic rhetoric to violent, aggressive anti-Jewish measures that would culminate in the Holocaust - the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews. The violence shocked the world that had been hopeful for peace in the aftermath of the Munich agreement less than six weeks before.

Besides the high school winners, Boardman junior high school winners were also announced. From Glenwood grades 7/8 were, in poetry: Aiden Baird, third place, and Deleonte' Willis Jr., honorable mention; and in essay: Nathan Collier, second place.

The JCRC, the public affairs department of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, represents the Jewish communities of Mahoning and Trumbull Counties and of the Shenango Valley. Its mandate is to protect, preserve, and promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society, and to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world.



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