YGW – Tiferes Gedaliah Student Wins Holocaust Writing and Art Competition

Written by Rabbi Scott Hillman on . Posted in Features

Local student Yoeli Margolis won first place in the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center’s (HERC) Holocaust Writing & Art Contest. An 11th grade student at Yeshiva of Greater Washington – Tiferes Gedaliah in Silver Spring, Maryland, Margolis submitted “The Good Name,” a film that tells the story of Silver Spring resident and Holocaust survivor Lew Sosnowik. HERC, a program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, engages and serves middle and high school students as well as college students and adults through educational programs and Holocaust survivor testimonials.

“Originally, I simply began production for ‘The Good Name’ as a result of a school assignment,” Margolis wrote in his contest submission. “In my literature course we were supposed to write a biography of an interesting person as part of our end-of-the-year project. Upon getting permission to do my project in film form, I immediately contacted the man who I knew would make a perfect subject: Lew Sosnowik.”

Margolis produced the film primarily by combining interview footage with b-roll images and videos. “I showed it to Lew and he loved it,” said Margolis. “Afterward, I sent it out to my family who then distributed it to many of their friends. The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive and the importance of the message Lew stated was meaningful to so many people.”

“At that moment, I realized the major impact this little project was having. Thank G-d, my work had created much more than just a short film. It had documented the life and legacy of an amazing man, thereby preserving his story and message for eternity. My hope is that every viewer will be able to hear Lew’s words and feel inspired by his incredible story and profound message.”

YGW Student Scores Spot in Next Year’s International Chidon HaTanach

YGW students Rafi Moses (eighth grade), Daniel Rutstein (10th grade), and Nossi Shields (10th grade) participated in the U.S. Nationals of the National Bible Contest (Chidon Ha-Tanach) held at Yeshiva University on May 5. Chidon Ha-Tanach, sponsored by the Jewish Agency, tests American Jewish students in grades 6-11 on the details of stories in stories from Tanach (the Bible).

Day school students of all denominations take the exams in Hebrew, with separate exams for junior high students and high school students. Students who attend supplementary Jewish educational programs or have no formal Jewish education can take the exam in English, and day schools can request special permission to participate in the English exams, depending on the nature of Judaic Studies at their school.

Rutstein placed 12th out of the 350 participants; Shields placed first in the Hebrew High School division and will represent the United States in next year’s International Chidon Ha-Tanach in Jerusalem on Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Rabbi Scott Hillman


Rabbi Scott Hillman is the admissions and communications manager at Yeshiva of Greater Washington – Tiferes Gedaliah in Silver Spring, Maryland.