Student Contests

2018 LEO & ANTONIA GERSHANOV MEMORIAL STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST

The Power of Memory: Lessons for Today

On Sunday, May 6, during a public ceremony the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center recognized twelve local high school students as the winners of the biennial Leo & Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Essay Contest.  They were joined by State Representative Jonathan D. Carroll, Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, their family members, educators and administrators. 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.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS:

Pictured from L to R:
Front row:  Gintare Survilaite, Richa Shah, Valerie Gale, Anna Mola, Hanna Prawica, Taylor Peterman;
Back row:  Joseph Ott, Mariam Butler, Alex Hu, Domenica Ferdinardo, Souvik Ghosh
Not pictured:  Paul Stasiek

We wish to thank the more than 300 students from throughout Illinois who participated in the 2018 contest, and offer our special congratulations to the winners.

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

Taylor Peterman, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 11
Teacher:  Ms. Pamela Mundy

SECOND PLACE

Alex Hu, William Fremd High School, Palatine, Grade 9
Teacher:  Mrs. Jaclyn Han

THIRD PLACE

Anna Mola, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 12
Teacher:  Mr. Matthew Bennett

Souvik Ghosh, William Fremd High School, Palatine, Grade 9
Teacher:  Mr. Russ Anderson

HONORABLE MENTION

Domenica Ferdinardo, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 10
Teacher:  Mrs. Margaret Molnar

FINALIST

Mariam Butler, The Einstein Academy, Elgin, Grade 11
Teacher:  Mrs. Renae Schlossmann

Valerie Gale, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 10
Teacher:  Mr. Andrew Anastasiades

Joseph Ott, The Einstein Academy, Elgin, Grade 11
Teacher:  Mrs. Renae Schlossman

Hanna Prawica, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 11
Teacher:  Ms. Pamela Mundy

Richa Shah, Maine East High School, Park Ridge, Grade 11
Teacher:  Mr. Gregory Lundberg

Paul J. Stasiek, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 12
Teacher:  Mr. Matthew Bennett

Gintare Survilaite, Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Grade 11
Teacher:  Ms. Pamela Mundy

For the past thirty years the Gershanov Family—Ann (and the late Peter) Gershanov, Fred Gershanov, Ellen and Jeff London, and Holly and Norm Nelson—has provided funding to allow Illinois students the opportunity to respond to the subject of Holocaust and modern genocide through creative forms of expression.  Antonia Gershanov and her sons Peter and Fred survived the Holocaust.  Reunited with her husband Leo, they settled in Chicago following World War II and devoted their time and resources to the fight against discrimination and prejudice.  This legacy was passed on to their children and grandchildren, who have graciously sponsored this contest in their memory. 

Photo by Ron Gould Studios

 

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