Every year, the Holocaust Commission invites middle and high school students in grades 6-12 to participate in writing and visual arts competitions named in honor of Nobel Laureate and Holocaust Survivor, Elie Wiesel. 

Our Goal

The Holocaust Commission is dedicated to encouraging students to learn about the Holocaust and apply its many lessons to their own lives. The Commission wants students to understand the importance and true nature of moral courage, as the dangers of all types of prejudice, peer pressure, unthinking obedience to authority, and indifference to the suffering of others are still widespread in our world. It is essential that young people develop the moral courage necessary to defeat these dangers, for their own sake and for the protection of our democratic values.



  • Junior Division: Grades 6-8
  • Senior Division: Grades 9-12



Prizes will be awared in each catagory and division

  • First Place: $225
  • Second Place: $150
  • Third Place: $100


Competition Deadlines

  • Writing & Video Entries - Must be uploaded by 4:00pm, Friday, February 9, 2024.
  • Visual Arts Entries - Must be uploaded by 4:00pm, Friday, March 8, 2024.


Notification of Winners

ALL competition winners will be notified by email no later than April 5, 2024.

2024 Competition Information, including competition prompts and practice entry forms.



Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born Jewish writer, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He wrote more than 60 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.


The writing and visual arts competitions take place in the winter, and guide students in their exploration of moral courage, the dangers of prejudice, peer pressure, unthinking obedience to authority, and indifference. 


Student winners receive cash prizes, and classroom teachers who submit a minimum number of student entries, regardless of awards, will receive a set of Holocaust-related books for their classrooms or a gift certificate for art supplies. Winners are honored and their entries are shared at the annual Yom Hashoah program in the spring.


Winning and notable art entries themselves have been displayed in a gallery exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Old Dominion University Virginia Beach Center, the Meyera C. Oberndorf Virginia Beach Central Library, The Simon Family Jewish Community Center, and other prominent local art venues.


Prize winners are selected by independent judges and are based on each year's competition prompts. 


The competitions are underwritten by the Simon Family Foundation and Towne Bank.

The awarding of prizes to written and digital material submitted by students is not an endorsement of opinions expressed in the submissions, which belong wholly to the student writers and artists. 

Sponsored by



For more information or to get involved, contact Elka Mednick, Holocaust Commission Director, at EMednick@UJFT.org or (757)965-6112.