November 18, 2019
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Holocaust and Human Rights Center Recognizes Award Winners

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AUGUSTA, Maine—The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine recently announced the winners of its “Lawrence Alan Spiegel Scholarship” essay contest, Outstanding Student of the Year Awards and Holocaust Educator Professional Development Grant.

The winner of the essay contest is Ariel Garber, a recent graduate of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School who will be attending Brandeis University in the fall. Ms. Ferry will be receiving $1000 for her winning essay on “Why is it important that the remembrance, history, and lessons of the Holocaust be passed to the new generation?”

The winner of the Outstanding Student of the Year Award for grades 5-8 is Katia Dermott, a rising 9th grader at Stepping Stones Montessori School in Chelsea, Maine. Ms. Dermott will be receiving $50 for her short story entitled “The Last Documentation of Any Resident Entered into the Maine School for the Feeble Minded in the Case of the Eviction of Malaga Islanders,” a historical fiction piece based on her studies of the evictions by the State of Maine of the residents of Malaga Island in 1912.

The winner of the Outstanding Student of the Year Award for grades 9-12 is Tessa Gervais, a rising 10th grader at Erskine Academy in South China, Maine. Ms. Gervais will be receiving $50 for her piece entitled “We Exist,” a painting she created in response to trips she has taken to Mexico to help fight poverty.

The winner of the Holocaust Educator Professional Development Grant is Matthew Schreiber, an accordion and music instructor for all ages residing in Portland. Mr. Schreiber will be using the grant money to travel to New York City this summer to learn Yiddish songs and study Yiddish vocal styling. As a teacher of Eastern European and Yiddish folk music, Mr. Schreiber will use these skills in order to preserve and participate in the legacy of Yiddish song. By recording and learning these songs, Mr. Schreiber hopes to capture some aspect of what is at stake when a culture is threatened, and also show how efforts can be made to keep an intangible cultural artifact in existence.

Through initiatives in education, exhibition and activism, the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine engages and informs the people of Maine about the Nazi Holocaust, other genocides, and broader issues of human rights abuses in historic and contemporary contexts. We encourage individuals and communities to reflect and act upon their ethical and moral responsibilities in our modern world. For more information call: 207-621-3530