The 2020 Jeffrey Weisberg Memorial Creative Writing Award for Students

February 17, 2020, All Day
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
27375 Bell Road
Southfield, MI 48034

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Jeffrey Weisberg was a published poet, and the winner of the University of Michigan Hopwood Award for his work. As a Congregation Shaarey Zedek member and 2-year CSZ Youth Director, he encouraged young people to write, with the goal of sparking a commitment to the heritage of the Jewish people. Jeffrey’s parents, Lucille and Harvey Weisberg (z’l), established this award to honor his memory.

Topic Prompts

Students in Grades 3-5: $100 prize (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. ~
All of us feel our Judaism in different ways. Some of us love to pray and sing, and some of us like to study Torah and read Jewish books. When do you feel that you are closest to Judaism? What makes that time/action/ritual is so meaningful to you?

Students in Grades 6-8: $200 prize (2 winners)
~ Essays must be 250-500 words, 12 point font, double spaced. All creative writing may be submitted in original format. ~
We Jews have had some amazing role models throughout our history, fom the heroes of the Torah to current scholars, activists, athletes, and more. Who is one of your Jewish heroes, what makes you look up to them, and which of their characteristics do you strive to achieve in your life?

Students in Grades 9-12: $1,000 prize (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. ~
This year’s TIME Magazine “Person of the Year” was Greta Thunberg, a young activist who has traveled the world to speak on the urgency of addressing climate change. Her work, and the work of other young leaders like her, have also inspired Jewish organizations to do more to focus on the environment. Now, it’s your turn…Write about an issue (social, political, environmental, etc.) about which you are passionate, and explain why Judaism has a responsibility to address that issue. Incorporate Jewish law, theology, or anything from the tradition you think is relevant to make your case.

All essays must be e-mailed to no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 for committee review. Questions? Call 248.357.5544.

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