ANNOUNCING  THE WINNING ENTRIES OF THE 2020 JEWISH FEDERATION OF ORANGE COUNTY STOP HATE CHALLENGE


This Year’s theme was MORAL COURAGE

In addition to our traditional essay contest we offered prizes this year for creative student responses to our challenge, these included: Posters, Podcasts, Electronic Public Service Announcements (PSAs), Other creative videos, Children’s books, Graphic Novellas, Songs, Poems, and Plays.     

Students were asked to choose a person or group who exemplified moral courage during the Holocaust and compare/contrast them with a contemporary group or person who exemplifies moral courage today.  In addition, students were asked to reflect on what they can do to exhibit moral courage in their own lives.

 

Teachers overseeing students received a stipend for their efforts.

 

Winner in the 8th Grade category is Ariana Azeez of Chester Academy, teacher Ms. Steiler.

Her entry is a Holocaust poem entitled " The Life of a Leader, Roza Robota."

A leader, a fighter, a persevering figure.

A strong woman,

Who died wanting her actions,

To carry on in the future.

At first a prisoner,

Then part of a clothing kommando,

Later, founder of the rebel group,

And in her last days, a prisoner.

The ups and downs of Robota’s life,

Shaped the person she grew to be.

She lost her family,

So she created a group,

She met new people,

And worked to get to where she was,

But was caught and taken,

For doing nothing but pursuing her goals.

“We must carry on” were her last words.

She wanted her actions to continue.

She wanted justice, she wanted to continue her life,

But it ended in a cell.

She died knowing she would go down in history.

Today, Moral courage is exemplified by doctors.

They work,

To save people,

Despite the fact that they are in,

Grave danger.

They work to save others’ lives,

And put their patients before themselves.

Despite the fact that by helping people,

Through this difficult time,

They are endangering themselves and their families.

Moral courage,

A trait that brave and strong people wear proudly.

The ability to go against your personal beliefs,

Even when you feel strongly about something.

The ability to make a selfless decision,

And help others in need.

A trait that I can possess,

By keeping my distance from others now,

So that this disease will stop spreading,

Even though I may be wanting some fresh air,

Keeping your distance is the only thing I can do right now,

At this very moment,

Without endangering myself and others.

Moral courage,

Is the key to a peaceful and united nation.

The key to a well regulating world,

The key to success.

 

 

 

Winner in the 12th Grade Category: Connor Bankas of Washingtonville Middle School, teacher Ms. Wurster.

 song entitled "White Rose"

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics:

1942 in Munich rose the brave German students standing tall to fight the action of the Reich.
The first World War made their country poor, but Adolf Hitler took the stand and pushed to try their luck again.
Trying to spread the word of all the horrifying acts committed by the Nazi party against the innocent lives they took.
Led by Hans and Sophie Scholl, two kids who gave their all to expose the cruel acts of terrorism led by their own.

A message can go a long, long way, and to risk it all to make a change shows strength and courage and inspiration for future generations to do the same.
The many groups that we see today, like the CORE or DRA and the ones who go to protest day to day must have spirit to fight for what they deem right and promulgate the beliefs that they convey.

The months go by and the White Rose continues to publicize the injustices the Nazi regime has taken part in.
Messages of opposition written on the walls and given out in leaflets detesting the atrocious operations of the government.

The gestapo caught on and found out where these anti-government messages came from. They feared that the public would join in the beliefs of the White Rose Resistance opposing government action. The gestapo arrested and tried three brave souls who risked their lives in the Resistance, and until the day of their execution they never stepped down from what they believed in.

Some may say they were heroes and that they did what no other could do.
But anyone can make a difference. We just have to have the courage to speak out for how you believe things could be better.
White Rose (x7)