Yom HaShoah 2020 Observance cancelled but art, essays on 'Superheroes of Holocaust' judged
Like many April events, Spokane's Yom HaShoah Observance planned for Sunday, April 26, was cancelled.
Before that happened, however, 170 students from middle schools and high schools wrote essays and nearly 100 students created art pieces on the 2020 theme, "Superheroes of the Holocaust: When Ordinary People Become Extraordinary."
Hershel Zellman and Mary Noble of the Yom Hashoah Observance Planning Committee said that the committee evaluated the art and essays, and chose winners.
"Although it was disappointing to have to cancel this year's Yom HaShoah Observance, our writing and art contests have proceeded," said Hershel.
"We have been heartened to see how the middle and high school students rose to the challenge of this year's theme," he said.
"We asked the students to learn about the Holocaust and identify actions people took that they thought qualified them as "Superheroes" of the Holocaust," he explained.
Artists were asked to create an original piece of art inspired by the actions of a Superhero of the Holocaust.
Writers were asked to submit a written entry that introduces an individual who they considered a superhero, describes the significance of their actions and explains how their actions inspire them today.
The middle school first place winner was Garrett Johnson, an eighth grader from Salk Middle School, whose teacher is Debra Trujillo.
His metal and wood sculpture was inspired by Sophia Kritikou. She was a single mother in Greece who saved the Kazansky family from the Nazis: a father and his three children, whom she hid in her home.
The high school first place winner was Natalie Kearce, a 10th grader at On Track Academy, whose teacher is Erin Bangle.
Natalie created a stained-glass window inspired by Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania who issued visas for 6,000 Jews who would have otherwise been sent to concentration camps. The escapees endured a grueling route on the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia to end in Japan and move on to safety.
As The Fig Tree was going to press, writing submissions were being judged.
For information, call 747-3304.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April, 2020