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THE EIGHTH ANNUALSTUDENT AWARDS CEREMONY      June 5, 2011      PROGRAM
HOLY LAND DEMOCRACY PROJECT                   2011 CREATIVE CONTEST WINNERS                               POETRY CONTEST W...
THE JEWISH FEDERATION’S            HOLY LAND DEMOCRACY PROJECT               EIGHTH ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY                ...
Poetry4
First Prize Poetry      Leila Ehsan, St. Monica High School Rita Morgan and Siobhan O’Neill, Instructors                  ...
Second Prize Poetry                      Aniela Tolentino, Mater Dei High School                           Ms. Koppenheffe...
Second Prize Poetry                      Tristan Vanech, Loyola High School                               Ms. Lee, Instruc...
Third Prize Poetry               Jesse Flores, Cathedral High School                     Ms. Aguirre, Instructor          ...
Honorable Mention Poetry       Kala Kopecek, St. Joseph High School    Ms. Petrich, Ms. Madsen, Ms. Ek, Instructors       ...
Honorable Mention Poetry     Melanie Chavez, Bishop Conaty – Our Lady of Loretto High School                          Ms. ...
Honorable Mention Poetry       Austin Niehaus, Notre Dame High School                Mr. Savage, Instructor               ...
Essays12
First Prize Essay                Karah Alexander, St. Monica High School                Ms. Morgan and Ms. O’Neill, Instru...
Second Prize Essay             Arieana Castellanos, San Joaquin Memorial High School                             Ms. Campb...
Second Prize Essay                     Chris Nofal, St. Francis High School                           Mr. Fredette, Instru...
Third Prize Essay                         David Nuno, Cathedral High School                               Ms. Aguirre, Ins...
Honorable Mention Essays                    Alfredo DeLoera, Damien High School                           Mr. Hoffman, Ins...
Honorable Mention Essays                          Julia Klein, Mater Dei High School                                  Ms. ...
Honorable Mention Essays                Matthew Partyka, St. Monica High School                Ms. Morgan and Ms. O’Neill,...
Honorable Mention Essays                 Matthew Burdette, Villanova Preparatory School                             Mr. Gr...
Honorable Mention Essays                Austin Niehaus, Notre Dame High School                         Mr. Savage, Instruc...
Honorable Mention Essays                   Christian Gutierez, Verbum Dei High School                             Ms. Cham...
Art      23
First Prize Art                         Alexis Lackerman, Rosary High School                                 Ms. Tunstill,...
Second Prize Art                      Grant Hodges, Servite High School                      Mr. Swoboda, Mr. Weir, Instru...
Third Prize Art                  Stephen Misak, Bishop Montgomery High School                             Ms. St. James, I...
First Prize Multi-Media     Jonathan Benn, St. Francis High School            Mr. Fredette, Instructor                    ...
The Jewish Federation’s Holy Land                                        Democracy Project educates non-Jewish            ...
We humbly thank all of the inspiring educators and outstanding schools who have partnered with us in building bridges betw...
Shane Johnson          Villanova Preparatory School Mary Killmond          Bishop Alemany High School William Klein       ...
Advisory Council     Malka Blitz, Julie I. Bram, Eric J. Diamond, Irwin S. Field, Dalia Franco,        Abner D. Goldstine,...
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2010-2011 Student Awards

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  1. 1. THE EIGHTH ANNUALSTUDENT AWARDS CEREMONY June 5, 2011 PROGRAM
  2. 2. HOLY LAND DEMOCRACY PROJECT 2011 CREATIVE CONTEST WINNERS POETRY CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE Leila Ehsan, St. Monica (Rita Morgan and Siobhan O’Neill) SECOND PRIZE Aniela Tolentino, Mater Dei (Carol Koppenheffer) Tristan Vanech, Loyola (Tika Lee) THIRD PRIZE Jesse Flores, Cathedral (Hilary Aguirre) HONORABLE MENTION Melanie Chavez, Bishop Conaty (Lisa Gabriel); Kala Kopecek, St. Joseph (Linda Petrich, Cynthia Madsen and Allison Ek); Austin Niehaus, Notre Dame (Dave Savage) ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE Karah Alexander, St. Monica (Rita Morgan and Siobhan O’Neill) SECOND PRIZE Ariana Castellanos, San Joaquin (Cindy Campbell and Kathleen DeSantis) Chris Nofal, St. Francis (Mark Fredette) THIRD PRIZE David A. Nuno, Cathedral (Hilary Aguirre) HONORABLE MENTION Andrew Blair, Bishop Montgomery (John Fitzsimons); Matthew Burdette, Villanova Preparatory (Brian Grisin); Alfredo DeLoera, Damien (Douglas Hoffman); Christian Guttierez, Verbum Dei (Karen Chambers); Julia Klein, Mater Dei (Colleen Hall); Matthew Partyka, St. Monica (Rita Morgan and Siobhan O’Neill) ART CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE Alexis Lackerman, Rosary (Maureen Tunstill) SECOND PRIZE Grant Hodges, Servite (Joe Swoboda) THIRD PRIZE Stephen Misak, Bishop Montgomery (Bernadette St. James) HONORABLE MENTION Emma Akmakdjian, GHCHS (Annet Kohen); Athena Azpeitia, Mater Dei (Colleen Hall); Jared Baker, Loyola (Tika Lee); Grant Higa, Bishop Montgomery (John Fitzsimons); Lauren Hugo, Bishop Montgomery (Bernadette St. James) Joshua Melton, Oaks Christian (Aaron Marcarelli); Felicity Nelson, Louisville (Mary Wilson)Adrienne Shamoon, Louisville (Mary Wilson); Stephanie Treat, Santa Margarita (James Nielsen) MULTIMEDIA CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE Jonathan Benn, St. Francis (Mark Fredette) SECOND PRIZE Nathan Wong, Loyola (Tika Lee) THIRD PRIZE Katie Coyle, Oaks Christian (Aaron Marcarelli) HONORABLE MENTION Monica Eskander/ Lucas Gutierrez/ Zachary Hart/ Kendra Athan, Bishop Montgomery (Bernadette St. James); Cielito Kirkham, Louisville (Mary Wilson)2
  3. 3. THE JEWISH FEDERATION’S HOLY LAND DEMOCRACY PROJECT EIGHTH ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY June 5, 2011 PROGRAMWELCOME Sister Angela Hallahan Secondary School Religion Coordinator Archdiocese of Los AngelesTABLE ACTIVITIES Discovering Israel TogetherREMARKS FROM Jay SandersonTHE JEWISH FEDERATION President The Jewish Federation of Greater Los AngelesTHE HOLY LAND Dr. Daniel LieberDEMOCRACY PROJECT Chair The Holy Land Democracy ProjectPOETRY PRIZE PRESENTATIONS Teacher Commendation Rita Morgan, St. Monica Student Award Leila EhsanESSAY PRIZE PRESENTATION Teacher Commendation Rita Morgan, St. Monica Student Award Karah AlexanderART PRIZE PRESENTATION Teacher Commendation Maureen Tunstill, Rosary Student Award Alexis LackermanSHOWING OF 1ST PLACE VIDEO Jonathan BennMUTIMEDIA PRIZE PRESENTATIONS Teacher Commendation Mark Fredette, St. Francis Student Award Jonathan BennCAPERNAUM TO THE CLASSROOM: Victoria Anderson, Norte Vista A TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVECLOSING THOUGHTS Cosette Carleo, Karlygush Smith,L’hitraot! Karly Goins, Bishop Montgomery 3
  4. 4. Poetry4
  5. 5. First Prize Poetry Leila Ehsan, St. Monica High School Rita Morgan and Siobhan O’Neill, Instructors Excerpt If you asked my composition, I would say, I am dirt, I am gravel. I am sky, sun, water. I am country, city and town. I am beach, I am desert. If you asked my color, I would say I am Black, Grey, Yellow, and Brown. I am Red, I am Green. But I stay true To the White and Blue If you asked me of my faith, I would say that I am Jew, Christian, Muslim and Druze. With me, you are free to choose. If you asked me of my duties, I would say I am lover. I am defender. I have glory, I have might And I fight for What I think is right. If you asked me who I was, I would say that I am the man Kneeled in prayer. I am the daughter off at battle. I am the mother working all day. I am the loving grandparents. I am the son at school. I am neighbor. I am friend. If you were unsatisfied, and thus Asked for my name I would say that I am all, and more. I am dirt, color, faith, duty, person And I am one. For I have many faces, And one united front Held together by my people Forever and ever. I am Israel. 5
  6. 6. Second Prize Poetry Aniela Tolentino, Mater Dei High School Ms. Koppenheffer, Instructor Excerpt I am land of many faces and I face many a man; Some may question my identity, but I know who I am. I am the land where many places have caused the fall of many men; Yet I rise up with hope and splendor, because my spirit can. I am laden with tradition and carry a rich history, Hues of skin from ebony to ivory attest to my diversity. The young, the old, the rich, the poor – are all welcome in my land. We seek to reach out to each other, we attempt to understand That no single one group is better and that we’re best when we’re united. No one group should be ostracized; no one person should be slighted. Sometimes I am the old wise man who recalls the path he took By following traditions and sticking to his Holy Book. With a mezuzah in his home as a reminder of His presence, With constant religious symbols to remind him of his essence. At times the face of ebony is one I choose to take And though my roots are from Ethiopia, I’ve chosen to partake In the celebration of Israel – a celebration of my Self; Where I can express my own identity and simply be myself. At times I’m the teenager with a t-shirt and tight jeans, But I’m still an Israeli, I still know what it means To be a part of a rich culture – one that celebrates diversity, And always hopes in dreams, and rises from adversity. I’ve weathered many battles and I’ve lived through quite a few But the biggest battle of all is the one where people do Not know and appreciate the complexity of who I am. Where they close their minds, they stereotype, they don’t know how I can Honor the many faces, races and religions for which I stand. And now you’re all invited to one big commemoration For each human that makes a part of me and is worth a celebration. I know that it may take a while for all of us to come together But it starts with understanding why a united people’s better.6
  7. 7. Second Prize Poetry Tristan Vanech, Loyola High School Ms. Lee, Instructor ExcerptShe roamed around under the moonThen folded her wings to restAnd her mind journeyed back to her cocoon“How naive was I,” she would jest.She thought, “I know the place I will goAfter I grow my wings,I shall see Israel, I’ll fly over that plateauI wonder what it brings.”A perspective only from what she heardFor she was at her beginning stageFrom friends she took their wordHer assumptions were these at an early age.Israelis are only Jews, aren’t they?Ha, of course they’re not,This area to her was grayBut now she could answer on the spot.Muslims, Christians and moreLive and thrive in that land,Religious diversity does soarThey accept any religious brand.The Dome of the Rock standsOn their most holy place, the Temple Mount.But the Jews don’t mind, they share the land –To them, staying peaceful is all that counts.The butterfly’s development and new perceptions reflect my changed under-standing of the Middle East and Israel’s place … Her assumptions from what sheheard “from friends” are exaggerations of the myths I have heard or assump-tions I have made. 7
  8. 8. Third Prize Poetry Jesse Flores, Cathedral High School Ms. Aguirre, Instructor Excerpt You are no different from us Yet the portraits we paint are of sheer terror. These images shed and replaced by reality. A reality we are no longer strangers to, One where we are united under grace. The blinds opened to shone Truth. Truth of a country I knew little of. Where you dream and aspire to all you can be. The culture we share, The friend I see in you. Hidden under a guise torn to show your Beauty. Your own uniqueness that I welcome With open mind and open heart you are a brother. Your home plagued by hostility, Hostility grown out of confusion and insecurity. Lives lost for a better future, invigorated by optimistic prospects, You serve your country with zeal. The many faces shone to the world. Discoveries made of relative connections between us Personalities that show homogeneity, Leads to bonds that harbor compassion. Israel, home to a diverse people, Land of God that unites all, We are one.8
  9. 9. Honorable Mention Poetry Kala Kopecek, St. Joseph High School Ms. Petrich, Ms. Madsen, Ms. Ek, Instructors Excerpt Not a third world country A booming, thriving land Its size is trivial Its accomplishments are many Not the home for terrorists A safe haven for the persecuted Freedom for the religious Diversity is welcome Not strangers Children, Wives, Uncles All with dreams like us Our brothers and sisters 9
  10. 10. Honorable Mention Poetry Melanie Chavez, Bishop Conaty – Our Lady of Loretto High School Ms. Gabriel, Instructor Excerpt Abraham the father of my people, God the father of life, Israel the land of my people, Jew is what I am. I was born the daughter of my parents I did not choose my life It chose me. Jew is what I am. In the year 587 Babylonians exiled us. Destroyed our temple, but not our spirits. My ancestors travelled from place to place They knew soon they would have their land back Jews would call Israel their home once again. Jew is what I am. Brown hair, Brown eyes, Star of David around my neck. A reminder of what my grandparents went through Concentration camps where they were held My grandmother’s brothers were tortured and killed. My grandmother has numbers imprinted on her arm My family survived never denying their Jewish faith. Jew is what I am. Israel is my home. I am strong, I am Proud, I am a Jew. Jew is what I am.10
  11. 11. Honorable Mention Poetry Austin Niehaus, Notre Dame High School Mr. Savage, Instructor Excerpt Forget not the Sabbath, Its mention is like a pleasant offering. During it the dove found resting place, And there the weary may relax. The day is honored by the children of faith, Careful to observe it are fathers and sons. Engraved upon two tablets of stone, From great power and mighty strength. And they all came in covenant together, In unison they said, “We shall do and we shall listen.” And they commenced and answered, “God is one.” Blessed is he that gives strength to the weary. And all of his commandments to be completed together Strengthen the loins and gather up power. The nation that is in motion, like lost sheep, By covenant he will remember to recall it, So that an evil happening may not befall them, Just as you have sworn by the waters of Noah. 11
  12. 12. Essays12
  13. 13. First Prize Essay Karah Alexander, St. Monica High School Ms. Morgan and Ms. O’Neill, Instructors Excerpt “Me, We”E very time I turn on the news they would depict the Middle East as a war zone … every time you hear the region “Middle East,” I immediately thinkback to the early eighth and ninth century, when the Middle East [had] thelargest and most brutal African slave market. When hearing about this week-long study our class was going to take part in about Israel and the Middle East,my mind immediately shut down, and I actually grew very upset; why in theworld would I want to learn and understand more about a region that brutal-ized and caused so much harm amongst my ancestors? But through presenta-tions, videos, speakers and book study, my whole perception was going tochange.Teenagers [in Israel] … are not sad or defiant when being notified that theymust serve -- instead they show excitement and pleasure, which brings outthe honor of their country. Though my family is pacifist … I showed nothingbut great respect towards those teens who show so much honor toward theirhomeland in being willing to fight for their country.I could go on and on about all what learned about Israel … How much theirlifestyles relate to ours in the United States … and how much their govern-ment resembles ours, as they live under a democracy. My whole view on theMiddle East took a drastic turn, probably because my ignorance stepped aside.It was time for me to step out of the past, a past that I am not even so definitein understanding, and start looking at things in a new light, with an openmind. [Israel] is far more than the battlefield the news always seems to portray…. Sometimes the media, history books and in my case our so called ‘extremecultural views’ can twist different situations and cause a total misunderstand-ing, which can lead to a great deal of ignorance among people.After learning so much about such a wonderful country, Israel and the MiddleEast are no longer a part of the word “they” but now, like the greatMuhammed Ali so poetically said, it is “Me, We.”I am one with them. I understand. 13
  14. 14. Second Prize Essay Arieana Castellanos, San Joaquin Memorial High School Ms. Campbell, Instructor Excerpt T he faces of Israel are tear-streaked. They are heavy with exhaustion and scarred with the effects of a war-torn past. They are happy and thankful for the life they have. They laugh, they cry. They are ready for a long overdue peace. They long for a country where a military draft is not a necessity. They long for acceptance of their religious and political freedom from their neighbors. Those are the faces of Israel …. It’s face …. Is that of a fighter. A fighter in a boxing ring who never gets a break. It’s not bitter, but tired. Israel’s face, the country itself, is stubborn and will not back down. [Israel’s] not a house, it is a home.14
  15. 15. Second Prize Essay Chris Nofal, St. Francis High School Mr. Fredette, Instructor ExcerptM y views about the Middle East have been greatly affected by this project. I myself am Lebanese and Palestinian and not very educated about eitherone. I thought that the entire Middle East consists of many different Arabs fight-ing over land and being in constant chaos and turmoil … I now know that theIsraelis, mainly Jews, just want somewhere where they can live in peace. Eventhough it’s a Jewish state, they were and are still willing to coexist with the Pales-tinians in Israel. Being part Palestinian, I feel that the Palestinian people shouldrevolt against Hamas and bring them down, so that they do the sensible thingand make peace with the Israelis.I still believe that many countries in the Middle East are in turmoil and want tokeep fighting wars, but I have learned that Israel is not one of them … I feelthat the press utterly condemns them for every bad thing they do. I have learnedthat Israel, for the most part, retaliates after being attacked several times, forthey do not want to cause anyone harm. Once they retaliate, the world con-demns Israel for being a bully and responding with such force. Israel will neverbe rid of war unless the Palestinians and the Israelis agree to a compromise, onewipes out the other, or the Palestinians take control of their own lives and freethemselves of Hamas and Hezbollah. 15
  16. 16. Third Prize Essay David Nuno, Cathedral High School Ms. Aguirre, Instructor Excerpt E stablished in 1948, the modern state of Israel is home to people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious practices. With a president, prime minister, parliament and over twenty-five political parties, Israeli citizens are guaranteed many rights similar to the many freedoms Americans enjoy. In fact, Israel is the most democratic country in the Middle East. Israel’s commitment to democracy and democratic values, however, is unsurprising, as it was founded by individuals seeking freedom and refuge from years of inequity and persecution. While mod- ern-day Israel’s establishment is only recent, the deep and historical connection of the Jewish people to the Holy Land dates back over three thousand years. With the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and therefore no center of wor- ship for Jews, Rabbinic Judaism allowed Jews to preserve their religion and rela- tionships in spite of their exile. Several modern-day Jewish rituals, customs, and prayers that have been passed down for generations, in fact, serve as reminders of the Holy Land, their exile and the Jewish promise to return to it and restore it. Jews’ attachment to Israel permeates nearly every facet of their daily routines. Nevertheless, while Jews held a deep feeling of attachment toward the Land of Israel, they remained passive when it came to its actual restoration. Believing that such actions would demonstrate their lack of faith in God, Jews patiently prayed and adhered to their religious practices. It was not until the second half of the 19th century that an active movement for Jewish return to the Holy Land emerged. The Age of Enlightenment’s emphasis on rationality and equality, along with the French revolution, brought about a new political model. Jews, particu- larly those in eastern Europe, often faced fierce discrimination, and exclusion from the national movements of Europe. Furthermore, nationalism and liberalism cre- ated a new Jewish self-awareness in which Jews began to ask questions about their history, cultural origins and identity beyond religious terms. Zionism, a na- tionalist Jewish political movement, thus emerged.16
  17. 17. Honorable Mention Essays Alfredo DeLoera, Damien High School Mr. Hoffman, Instructor ExcerptI n the last week, I’ve been exposed to Israel in a different way.I thought it was a large nation with constant religious wars. In reality, it’s a hum-ble nation of everyday people. I had the misconception that all women werecovered up all the time, so there was definitely a shock when I saw the “DistantFriends” video and there were girls in bikinis.It was a big surprise to me to see how the teenagers in “Distant Friends” were alot like me and my friends. I was really surprised when Shlomi said he listened toGuns ‘N Roses, Iron Maiden and Nirvana, because I love all those bands …. Ilearned that all of the citizens of Israel join the military as opposed to choosing[to join], but what really surprised me was that the people were more than ready,they were excited to serve. 17
  18. 18. Honorable Mention Essays Julia Klein, Mater Dei High School Ms. Hall, Instructor Excerpt T he Jewish people don’t think of Israel as just a place of heritage, but it is thought of as a sacred place where their traditions began and grew. Unlike the Jewish people, many Americans take their homeland for granted. Sadly, the majority of Americans don’t realize how truly fortunate they are to live in a land of freedom. Jews have lived in Israel for more than 3.200 years. During these years, the Jewish people have had a continuous presence in Israel. Jews were not always in political control of the land, and also were not always the ruling majority of the popula- tion. The land is thought to be so holy that just walking in it can gain you a place in heaven. Many of the daily prayers also ask for a return to Israel. Lastly … Jew- ish holidays root back to Israel, where it all began. I feel it is amazing how the Jewish people cherish their homeland every day. I am going to try to make sure I thank God more often about how fortunate I am to live in America …18
  19. 19. Honorable Mention Essays Matthew Partyka, St. Monica High School Ms. Morgan and Ms. O’Neill, Instructors ExcerptT he Jewish people show us how we can rise from tragedy and how we should not be afraid to express our true identities. Most importantly, theJewish people have shown us that human will can triumph all.Prior to this project, I had this idea that Israel was a major source for many of theproblems in the Middle East and that they had a difficult time getting along withothers. Part of this idea stemmed from my lack of participation in global newsevents. This project and the recent revolution in Egypt have encouraged me tobecome more involved in the news and to be more aware of events occurring indifferent parts of the world. It has also given me the desire to better understandhow these events may pertain to my life and how they can affect me in my future.The most interesting thing I learned from this project was how being Jewish notonly defines a religion, but how it also defines a way of life and a nationality. Ifind that concept fascinating and I don’t think many people realize what thattruly means.Being a Catholic, I understand and appreciate the religious significance the HolyLand provides and the rich Jewish culture it shares with the rest of the world. 19
  20. 20. Honorable Mention Essays Matthew Burdette, Villanova Preparatory School Mr. Grisin, Instructor Excerpt Israel’s commitment to Democracy is truly outstanding, as they are one of the greatest examples of a working democracy in the Middle East – especially when surrounded by neighboring countries who seem to abhor their freedom. The Knesset is composed of 120 members, who pass all laws … Each member serves a four year term, being elected by anyone 18 or older, through means of the secret ballot, much like the United States. Unlike our two [political] parties, they have dozens, truly representing every viewpoint … The draft is not an encroachment upon the freedoms of the people of Israel, it is insurance for the continuance of those freedoms. They are not lessening their democracy in instituting the mandatory draft, just securing it.20
  21. 21. Honorable Mention Essays Austin Niehaus, Notre Dame High School Mr. Savage, Instructor ExcerptS tarting a new life anywhere can bring hardships … You could say that Wilm- ington is to Hispanics much like Israel is to the Jews; this is where theythrived … Like my grandparents, the Jews have always been hard workers,but no matter how much they tried to assimilate and work in everyday societythey still had prejudiced views held against them.Now I look up to my grandparents and Jews as strong people who I strive to belike, the people who defy the odds, and have an outlook on life that is, “The glassis half full.” 21
  22. 22. Honorable Mention Essays Christian Gutierez, Verbum Dei High School Ms. Chambers, Instructor Excerpt T hroughout time, the Jewish people have searched for a place, a home, or a land to call their own where there is no discrimination or anti-Semitic acts forced upon them … After having their land lost, the Jewish people spread themselves throughout the entire world, but they were not accepted any- where. Finally, one man named Theodore Herzl stood up and said, “We’ve been trying to fit in – but every place we go, we are not accepted. We need a place of our own. Israel is the only place where we have been together without discrimination and among our own and at peace.” After World War II the UN thought back to Herzl and concluded that the land of Israel needed to be shared by the Arab people and the Israelis.22
  23. 23. Art 23
  24. 24. First Prize Art Alexis Lackerman, Rosary High School Ms. Tunstill, Instructor Empathy Iwanted to make my project relevant to what we have been studying in class, so I chose to take the phrase “step in their shoes” literally by basing my project around a pair of shoes. The right shoe is the “Past” shoe. It shows what the Jewish people have come from (discrimination, prejudice, etc…) and also what they value. The outline of Israel is blue because the colors of the flag of Israel are white and blue. The pair of old eyes symbolizes the old generation, and the barbed wire and the yellow star of David represents the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust. The left shoe is the “Present” shoe, showing a “present-day”star of David. The I.D.F logo represents the Israeli Defense Forces and the military which every young person must enter when they reach the age of 18. The pair of young eyes represents the new generations building up Israel. The hand is reaching up to the yellow flower to show that the people of Israel are reaching towards the bright future. The vines and purple growing around the hand and shoe represent the growing of the population both within Israel and in other parts of the world.24
  25. 25. Second Prize Art Grant Hodges, Servite High School Mr. Swoboda, Mr. Weir, InstructorsC oming into this week I heard we would learn about Israel. Ithought to myself, “I alreadyknow that the people there areJews and that Jesus was bornthere.” But at the end of theweek I realized it really wasn’t allthat simple. The people aren’t allof the Jewish faith, and not all ofthe people are really too differentfrom us. The first person you seeon my project near the top rightcorner of the country is an Israeliteenage boy. He is 14 years oldand likes rock music and playingguitar. He goes to school and thinksabout joining the military to servehis country in combat. Not muchdifferent from a teenager here, isit? To his left is a Russian immigrantto the country. Her parents movedthere when she was very youngand is now living a very normallife as an adult who is now verysuccessful and high in business. This is very similar to a person moving out of statehere. On the bottom left corner is a man who left Columbia to come here. He didthis when he was an adult and found a better lifestyle here than in Columbia. Henow works for the military as an engineer and for intelligence rather than combat. 25
  26. 26. Third Prize Art Stephen Misak, Bishop Montgomery High School Ms. St. James, Instructor T his sculpture represents my understanding of the Middle East, including my idea of The Many Faces of Israel. The tower in the center is the beacon that is Israel, calling everyone home to the land of God. The many different colors and the variety of people on the tower represent the strength from the unity of a diverse people. The people all stand together protecting the land and the values they stand for. Though they do not look alike, they share a common bond that goes deeper than anything else. The tower stands surrounded by a dark disarray of strange objects. These represent the nations that surround the tower, but none of them touch it. The tower stands deeply planted in the ground and rises up above it all out of the darkness that surrounds it. The common faith in God shared by the people can be seen and felt in Israel through its entire population and it is the power of this faith and the tenacity of the people that makes the tower stand tall and proud in the midst of all that is surrounding it. The person holding the crystal represents Israel offering to make peace with all those around them and to share their deep bond with everyone. The sculpture overall portrays the image of Israel as a light in a dark land. Its light will never be extinguished because the fuel that keeps it lit will never run out and can never be taken away from Israel and its people. And lastly there to his left is an older Arab woman who fled to Israel in the war of Independence. She sought a better future for her family. Any person in our coun- try would also leave where they were in order to have a better life. People over there, as you can see, are not much more different from us. This overall display I have presented is to symbolize that even though the people there are diverse, they still come together to create a peaceful world, as any people would want for their country.26
  27. 27. First Prize Multi-Media Jonathan Benn, St. Francis High School Mr. Fredette, Instructor 27
  28. 28. The Jewish Federation’s Holy Land Democracy Project educates non-Jewish high school students throughout Los Angeles about modern Israel by sending their teachers there. The result is a cadre of educators at Catholic, Evangelical and Charter schools who have shared powerful, first-hand experiences with more than 22,000 diverse students. Educators study the history and diversity of the Jewish people, the democracy of Israel, as well as the challenges and complexities of Arab/Israeli relations. The program includes teacher training, a curriculum called The Many Faces of Israel, and a contest showcasing students’ essays, poetry and art depicting what they learned about the only democracy in the Middle East. The resulting understanding of Israel creates a new perspective on Jewish life around the world. Since the pro- gram’s inception in 2004, more than 50 schools have participated and more than 90 educators have made this perspective-changing journey and returned to share their experience with their students. Tikkun olam, a Hebrew expression which means “repair the world,” is a historic and core Jewish value – and why reaching out to address the needs of the entire community is one of the goals of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The central coordinating organization for the Jewish community, the Federation fulfills this goal by operating and funding a broad range of humanitarian programs on a non-sectarian basis, open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. These essential programs offer food for the hungry, care for the elderly, help to battered women, job training for those seeking employment, interest- free loans to those in need, literacy programs for our young people, and much more.28
  29. 29. We humbly thank all of the inspiring educators and outstanding schools who have partnered with us in building bridges between our communities and sharing the miracle of Israel with over 22,000 students in Los Angeles, Orange County, Fresno, Bakersfield and San Bernardino.TEACHER SCHOOLHilary Aguirre-Yribarren Cathedral High SchoolJanice Allen Oaks Christian High SchoolAnunciacion Anderson Junipero Serra High SchoolVictoria Anderson Norte Vista High SchoolMaria Andrade-Johnson Santa Margarita Catholic High SchoolVictor Arenas Bishop Amat Memorial High SchoolRandy Aust Santa Margarita Catholic High SchoolJustin Bailey Pacifica Christian High SchoolJoe Banfield St. Anthony High SchoolMaggie Bove-LaMonica Verbum Dei High SchoolRoxanne Brush St. Genevieve High SchoolJudy Burton Alliance College-Ready Public SchoolsMichele Butorac St. Matthias High SchoolEric Cadena Chaminade College PreparatoryCindy Campbell San Joaquin Memorial High SchoolJennifer Campbel St. Anthony High SchoolRaul Carranza College-Ready Academy High School #7Karen Chambers Verbum Dei High SchoolEdward Clark Damien High SchoolJohn Collins Pomona Catholic High SchoolScott Comer Pacifica Christian High SchoolKat Cook Bishop Amat Memorial High SchoolNancy Coonis Notre Dame AcademyVera De Artola Notre Dame High SchoolKathleen DeSantis San Joaquin Memorial High SchoolRoger DeSilva Notre Dame High SchoolJeffrey Dewey Oaks Christian High SchoolKarina Diaz Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science SchoolJeanine DiCesaris-Kraybill Pomona Catholic High SchoolAllison Ek St. Joseph High SchoolStephen Felkner Junipero Serra High SchoolJohn Fitzsimons Bishop Montgomery High SchoolMark Fredette St. Francis High SchoolLisa Gabriel Bishop Conaty-Our Lady of Loretto High SchoolShannon Gavin Rosary High SchoolBlair Gillam Oaks Christian High SchoolMarcos Gonzalez San Gabriel Mission High SchoolMargaret Govero St. Bernard Catholic High SchoolBrian Grisin Villanova Preparatory SchoolApril Gutierrez Sacred Heart High SchoolStephen Hagberg Oaks Christian High SchoolColleen Hall Mater Dei High SchoolHolly Haynes Mater Dei High SchoolKevin Hernandez Huntington Park College-Ready Academy High SchoolRodolfo Hernandez Bishop Amat Memorial High SchoolMichael Herrera St. Bonaventure High SchoolDouglas Hoffman Damien High SchoolStephanie Hofmann Gertz-Ressler High SchoolChristopher James Leuzinger High School 29
  30. 30. Shane Johnson Villanova Preparatory School Mary Killmond Bishop Alemany High School William Klein Marymount High School Annet Kohen Granada Hills Charter High School Carol Koppenheffer Mater Dei High School Claude LeBlanc Don Bosco Technical Institute Tika Lee Loyola High School Cindy Lee - Moon Notre Dame High School Maureen Linehan Ramona Convent Secondary School Cynthia Madsen St. Joseph High School Aaron Marcarelli Oaks Christian School Dean Marolla College-Ready Academy High School #5 Mary Marsella Garces Memorial High School Chalio Medrano Huntington Park College-Ready Academy High School Sonya Mercado St. Bonaventure High School Conan Moats Heritage College-Ready Academy High School Kathy Morgan St. Monica Catholic High School Rita Morgan St. Monica Catholic High School Denis Munoz St. Bernard Catholic High School Allicen Naal Pomona Catholic High School Fatima Nicdao St. Monica Catholic High School James Nielsen Santa Margarita Catholic High School Lisa Nollette Rosary High School Ray Nolte Damien High School Marc Nuno St. Monica Catholic High School Nate Nylander Oaks Christian School Siobhan O’Neill St. Monica Catholic High School Kristina Ortega Chaminade College Preparatory Robert Pambello Heritage College-Ready Academy High School Jason Parrot St. Bernard Catholic High School Jeanette Pascua Notre Dame High School Gary Pate Oaks Christian School William Perales Mary Star of the Sea Elisa Perez Ramona Convent Secondary School Linda Petrich St. Joseph High School Michelle Purghart Holy Family High School College Preparatory Tomas Renna Bishop Montgomery High School April Risteff Chaminade College Prepatory Susan Rizo Garces Memorial High School Vanessa Sandoval College-Ready Academy High School #5 David Savage Notre Dame High School Stephen Schumacher Santa Margarita Catholic High School Michael Sifter Alverno High School Tom Silva Pacifica Christian High School Craig Smith Santa Margarita High School Bernadette St. James Bishop Montgomery High School Joe Swoboda Servite High School Maureen Tunstill Rosary High School Steve Viau Mater Dei High School Melea Walden Jserra Catholic High School Chris Weir Servite High School Josh Wilson Louisville High School Mary Wilson Louisville High School Robin Winkler Granada Hills Charter High School Theresa Yugar Sacred Heart High School Dennis Yumul St. Genevieve High School30
  31. 31. Advisory Council Malka Blitz, Julie I. Bram, Eric J. Diamond, Irwin S. Field, Dalia Franco, Abner D. Goldstine, Dennis A. Gura, Stanley Kandel, Leslie Kessler, Sharon L. Krischer, Arlene Kupietzky, Dr. Daniel Lieber, Chair, Linda Mayman, Alex Miller, Marla Rosen, Faith Schames, Moshe Shmuel, Terri Smooke, Lisa Ullmann Community Engagement Executive Committee Loryn D Arkow, Marc Carrel, Vice Chair, Daniel T. Gryczman, David Lash, Glenn A. Sonnenberg, Chair The Jewish Federation Richard V. Sandler, Chairman of the Board Jay Sanderson, President Andrew Cushnir, Executive Vice President/Chief Program Officer Catherine Schneider, Senior Vice President/Community Engagement Rabbi Hal Greenwald, Assistant Director/Holy Land Democracy Project www.JewishLA.org Additional exhibit photography generously provided by Pini Dror Photography. The Holy Land Democracy Project is an initiative of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Diocese of Orange, the Diocese of Fresno, the Dioceseof San Bernardino, Oaks Christian School, Granada Hills Charter High School and Pacifica Christian High School.
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