Speaking for the Other: The Moral Obligation of Holocaust Memory

Annual Sonoma County Holocaust Commemoration

The winning essays for this year's 2017 Yom Hashoah Essay Contest are:
Sonia Findling, 11th Grade
Aiden Flugger, 8th Grade

The Jewish community of Sonoma County is hosting a commemoration of the Holocaust on April 30, 2017. The event also sponsors an essay contest open to youth who are Sonoma County residents.

When: Sunday, April 30, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Where: The Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Avenue, Santa Rosa

Every year on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) communities around the world hold ceremonies in memory of those who died and to ensure that this genocide, in which six million Jews were killed, is not forgotten and not repeated.

For survivors, victims, and their families, the experience of the Holocaust is deeply rooted in personal memories. However, as the number of survivors dwindles and time passes, the lessons of the Holocaust must be transmitted to our collective memory so that it will never be forgotten. Students today will be the last to experience personal accounts of those who survived the Holocaust.

This year’s essay contest theme “Speaking for the Other: The importance of Holocaust remembrance and what the Holocaust teaches you about your role in standing up for others” is designed to address how the stories, memories and lessons lead to a moral obligation to speak and act today—whether it is about racism, genocide, homophobia, bullying, those facing persecution or advancing a just and inclusive society.

The essay contest is open to all Sonoma County students in grades 6-8 (Middle School) and 9-12 (High School). For a complete copy of the essay contest guidelines teachers, administrators, and students can contact Paula Simon, Director of Operations and Special Projects, Jewish Community Relations Council, at psimon@jcrc.org or 415-977-7401.

The winner at each level (Middle and High School) will be awarded a $250 cash prize. Essays must be submitted by March 26, 2017. Winners will be notified by April 21, and recognized at the Sonoma County Yom HaShoah Commemoration on Sunday, April 30th. Winning essays will be printed in the event program.

The essay contest and commemoration are co-sponsored by the Sonoma County synagogues; Jewish Community Center of Sonoma County; the Jewish Community Relations Council, North Bay Region; Jewish Family & Children’s Services; the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide; and the Chevra Kadisha of Sonoma County.


Yom Hashoah Essay Contest:  

Click here for Essay Topic

Click here for Cover Sheet

Click here for Press Release