Student Contests

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2016 LEO & ANTONIA GERSHANOV MEMORIAL STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST

Can Justice Be Achieved in the Aftermath of Genocide?

On May 15, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center recognized eleven local high school students as the 2016 winners of the biennial Leo & Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Essay Contest. They were joined by State Senator Daniel Biss, State Representative Laura Fine, State Representative Elaine Nekritz and Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, their family members, educators and administrators.

This year’s theme, “Can Justice Be Achieved in the Aftermath of Genocide?” drew over 250 entries from Illinois high school students, reflecting on the nature and possibility of justice in the wake of genocide. The entries were reviewed by a panel of judges, which included educators, Ann Gershanov, contest co-sponsor, and Ambassador David J. Scheffer, Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Ambassador Scheffer, who served as master judge, stated, “It’s so refreshing to see this kind of writing from a high school body of students, and to see that they are thinking deeply, and passionately, and with great meaning about these issues.”

The contest is sponsored by the Gershanov family – Ann Gershanov, Fred Gershanov, Ellen and Jeff London, and Holly and Norm Nelson – to carry on the legacy of Holocaust Survivors Leo and Antonia Gershanov. Leo and Antonia settled in Chicago following World War II and devoted their time and resources to the fight against discrimination and prejudice. The biennial essay contest offers high school students throughout the state the opportunity to consider the contemporary impact of the Holocaust and modern genocide in their lives.

Photo by Ron Gould Studios
Back row (L to R):  Xhulio Arolli, Luke Whartnaby, Logan McDaniel, Mert Armagan
Front row (L to R):  Vuk Miodrag, Paulina Kozan, Razan Sulieman, Natalia Ogrodny, Hubert Pach
Not pictured:  Adina Ginsparg, Claudia Kurbarycz-Hoszowska

PETER GERSHANOV MEMORIAL PRIZE

Awarded to the entry that best represents the contest theme and pays tribute to the resilience of Holocaust survivors

Luke Alexander Whartnaby, Libertyville High School, Libertyville, Grade 12
Teacher:  Mrs. Karen LeMaistre

Second Place

Logan Hunter McDaniel, Home School, Warrenville, Grade 12
Teacher:  Mrs. Sivi McDaniel

Third Place

Claudia Kubarycz-Hoszowska, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 12
Teacher:  Ms. Claudia Barlea

Honorable Mention

Hubert Tomasz Pach, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 10
Teacher:  Mrs. Mavis Netterstrom

Finalists

Mert Armagan, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 12
Teacher:  Ms. Claudia Barlea

Xhulio Arolli, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 12
Teacher:  Mrs. Mavis Netterstrom

Adina Leah Ginsparg, Bais Yaacov High School, Chicago, Grade 12
Teacher:  Mrs. Sara Neuman

Paulina Kozan, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 10
Teacher:  Mrs. Mavis Netterstrom

Vuk Miodrag, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 11
Teacher:  Ms. Pamela Mundy

Natalia Ogrodny, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 10
Teacher:  Mrs. Mavis Netterstrom

Razan Basim Sulieman, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 11
Teacher:  Ms. Pamela Mundy

 

 

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