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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.

Every year, the Holocaust Commission invites middle and high school students (grades 6-12) to participate in writing and visual arts competitions named in Wiesel’s honor.  The 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. 

1016 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 are also 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, or other prominent local art venue.

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

2016 Elie Wiesel Student Art Exhibit in the News

Students explore the lessons of the Holocaust through art at Virginia Beach exhibit - The Virginian-Pilot, May 25, 2016

2015 Elie Wiesel Student Art Exhibit in the News

Norfolk student among winners of Elie Wiesel competition - Norfolk Compass, May 31, 2015

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

2016 Winners:

2007

2015 Winners:

2014 Winners:


2013 Winners:

2012 Winners:

2011 Winners:



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The Simon Family Foundation

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