2019 Jeffrey Weisberg Memorial Creative Writing Award for Students

Jeffrey Weisberg was a published poet and the winner of the University of Michigan Hopwood Award for his poems.  He encouraged young people to write and was involved at Congregation Shaarey Zedek with teaching youth about a commitment to the heritage of the Jewish people. His parents, Lucille and Harvey Weisberg (z’l), established this award to honor his memory.

All essays must be e-mailed to egechter@shaareyzedek.orgno later than 5:00 p..m. on Monday, May 20, 2019 for committee review.

Students in grades 3-5: $100 (2 winners)
Essays must be at least 150 words, 12 point font and double spaced.  All creative writing pieces may be submitted in original format. 


Being Jewish is about being proud of who you are. It’s not always easy. It sometimes makes us different from our friends. And sometimes it’s hard to explain. Why are you proud to be Jewish? And of what parts of Jewish faith, life, and culture are you most proud?

Students in grades 6-8: $200 (2 winners)
Essays must be 250-500 words, 12 point font, double spaced. All creative writing may be submitted in original format. 


Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said that Judaism asks us to take a leap of action rather than a leap of faith. In what ways do you show your Judaism through action? What makes that action Jewish and why is it important or meaningful to you?

Students in grades 9-12: $1,000 (2 winners)
Essays must be 500-750 words, 12 point font, double spaced. All creative writing pieces may be submitted in original format. Creative writing pieces MUST include a paragraph accompaniment that explains how the piece addresses the prompt and explains the process you went through in designing your text. 


Today’s high schoolers face unprecedented levels of anxiety and pressure. School doesn’t always feel safe, the expectations of college and higher education are a consistent source of stress, and the business of life can push us to our limits. But Judaism can be an island of peace in the craziness of our lives. It can give us meaning, it can offer us rest, and it can challenge us to think outside of our personal struggles to see a life and a world much bigger than our individual selves. How does Judaism help you with the chaos of being a high schooler? Which aspects of Judaism give you comfort or reprieve? When does Judaism transcend your other sources of support? If it doesn’t, then which aspects of Judaism could help you in your future?

Questions? Call 248.357.5544.


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