2007-2008 Student Awards


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2007-2008 Student Awards

  1. 1. The Many Faces of Israel THE FIFTH ANNUAL STUDENT AWARDS CEREMONY June 12, 2008Program
  2. 2. 2008 HOLY LAND DEMOCRACY PROJECT DR. DAVID LIEBER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE Jennifer Bane, St. Monica (Marc Nuno & Siobhan O’Neill) ($1,000) ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE ($500) Chinyerum Okpara, St. Joseph (Linda Petrich) SECOND PRIZE ($300) Sandra Lattouf, Ramona Convent (Maureen Linehan & Elisa Perez) THIRD PRIZE ($200) Gabby Garcia-O’Connor, Notre Dame (Cindy Lee-Moon) Rachel Samec, Louisville (Josh Wilson) HONORABLE MENTION ($100) Christian Romo, St. Francis (Mark Fredette); Paul Ferrier, JSerra (Melea Walden); Jerry Mathews, Bishop Montgomery (Bernadette St. James); Theresa Duong, St. Joseph (Cynthia Madsen); Jillian Jones, St. Bernard (Margaret Govero); Steve Shushnar, St. Francis (Mark Fredette); Josephine Sunga, Holy Family (Roger DeSilva); Emily Park, Villanova (Brian Grisin); Hannah Hoffman, Villanova (Brian Grisin); Kevin Kim, St. Monica, (Marc Nuno & Siobhan O’Neill); Caselyn Larino, Pomona (Allicen Naal) POETRY CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE ($500) Rouel Soberano, Bishop Montgomery (Bernadette St. James) Angeli Aguas, St. Joseph (Cynthia Madsen) SECOND PRIZE ($300) Patrick Villar, Chaminade (Kristina Ortega) THIRD PRIZE ($200) Danielle Fischer, Notre Dame (Cindy Lee-Moon) HONORABLE MENTION ($100) Dina Nichols, Notre Dame (Cindy Lee-Moon); Selene Smith, Marymount (Rita Morgan); Ramin Sobati, Chaminade (Kristina Ortega); Adelle Barte, Louisville (Mary Wilson);Nashaw Jafari, Bishop Montgomery (John Fitzsimons); Matthew De La Peza, St. Francis (Mark Fredette); Steven Holtzen, Don Bosco (Claude LeBlanc); Jennifer Van Trieste, Louisville (Josh Wilson); Audrey Stanford, St. Joseph (Cynthia Madsen); Sharlena Singleton, Pomona (Allicen Naal) ART CONTEST WINNERS FIRST PRIZE ($500) Leanne Villarivera, Notre Dame (Cindy Lee-Moon) SECOND PRIZE ($300) Becky Calvo, Louisville (Mary Wilson) THIRD PRIZE ($200) Abel Regalado, Bishop Alemany (Mary Killmond) HONORABLE MENTION ($100)Lianna Preston, St. Monica (Siobhan O’Neill); Dakota Brown, Bishop Alemany (Mary Killmond); Elaine Ortiz, Ramona Convent (Maureen Linehan & Elisa Perez);A.J. Hernandez, Servite (Chris Weir); Stephanie Soto, Ramona Convent (Maureen Linehan & Elisa Perez);Michael McGuire, Chaminade (Kristina Ortega); Chris Barlog, Bishop Alemany (Mary Killmond); Edward Gomez, Servite (Chris Weir) SPECIAL JUDGES’ AWARD SONG – Nicole Del Castillo, St. Joseph (Linda Petrich) ($200)2 VIDEO – 9th Grade Class, Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary (Fatima Nicdao)
  3. 3. THE HOLY LAND DEMOCRACY PROJECT The Many Faces of Israel THE FIFTH ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY June 12, 2008 PROGRAMWELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS Dr. Daniel Lieber, ChairShalom U’veracha The Holy Land Democracy ProjectTRIBUTE TO SUPERINTENDENT Stanley Kandel, Holy Land DemocracyNANCY COONIS Project Advisory CouncilREMARKS FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE Nancy Coonis, Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Archdiocese of Los AngelesREMARKS FROM Terri Smooke, Co-Chair, Jewish CommunityTHE JEWISH FEDERATION Relations Committee, The Jewish Federation of Los AngelesPOETRY PRIZE PRESENTATIONS Teacher’s Commendation Bernadette St. James, St. Joseph Cynthia Madsen, St. Joseph Reading of 1st Prize Poems Rouel Soberano, Bishop Montgomery Distribution of Prizes Angeli Aguas, St. Joseph (Cynthia Madsen)MUSICAL INTERLUDE Nancy Coonis and Dennis Munoz, Principal St. Bernard High SchoolSPECIAL JUDGES’ AWARD Linda Petrich, St Joseph Fatima Nicdao, Sacred Heart of MaryPerformance of Special Judges Award Fatima Nicdao and the 9th Grade ClassVIDEO Cantwell Sacred Heart of MaryCAPERNUM TO THE CLASSROOM Chris Weir, Servite High School A TEACHERS PERSPECTIVEART PRIZE PRESENTATION Teacher’s Commendation Cindy Lee-Moon, Notre Dame Distribution of PrizesPerformance of Special Judges AwardSONG Nicole Del Castillo, St. JosephESSAY PRIZE PRESENTATION Comments Linda Petrich, St. Joseph Distribution of PrizesDR. DAVID LIEBER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE Jennifer Bane, St. Monica High SchoolINTRODUCTION Dr. Daniel LieberCLOSING REMARKS Dr. Daniel LieberTzeitchem B’shalom 3
  4. 4. Dr. David Lieber Award for Excellence Prayer Before Sleep Jennifer Bane, St Monica High School Siobhan O’Neill and Mark Nuno, Instructors This morning, I pressed my head against the Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple and I cried. Something inside me awoke, my soul aflame like the bush that inspired Moses. My fingertips gripped the ancient stone as I slipped my prayer between the cracks of rock, and I turned to face the crowds of other Jewish people preparing themselves to pray. I could feel you through the rocks, traveling from my trembling hands through my veins until you reached my heart – and there you stopped. I turned back to the rock, in awe, and I could feel your presence within me, drying the tears sweeping over my cheeks. My body fought back chills, but it could not resist – every hair on my body stood at attention, and I ceased to even breathe. I let you affect me. My skin tingled, and my eyes began to see the world on a small but so meaningful scrap of paper which was lodged somewhere in the stones that my very faith was built upon. On my way home, I walked rather slowly, because your presence that I now felt so greatly was too sacred to disturb with careless footsteps. The streets of Jerusalem filled with the sound of prayers and songs from almost every window. Now I passed by more buildings that were ancient, like the Temple of Solomon where the wall I came to every week stood for thousands of years, and suddenly the blood running within me felt even older.4
  5. 5. I love Israel. If someone told me I could never return toIsrael, as people have often told my ancestors, I don’t knowwhat I would do. I would have to be brave, like Jews before me, but I would be so unbearably homesick. That is why I came to the wall today, to pray to you. I thought about this last night as I drifted into a deep sleep, and I thought about the Diaspora, and of how my grandfather died in the Holocaust, and suddenly I felt that I needed to talk to you directly.I am overwhelmed that this land I live in and carry so muchaffection for is filled with violence, war and dissent. It is so beautiful, and it is so much a part of me, that I too am divided. I wait for the day when all Jews will join me and press their hands against the wall. When they feel the stone in my favorite place on this earth,then they will want to return here, too. They will dream day and night of returning to the roots they descended from. I am tied to Israel, and today at the wall, I understood that. I could feel the beating of the hearts of all Jews in the world, and I realized that we are all striving to return to the connection to one another – family. We are not alone, I repeated to myself on my walk home through the ancient city – we will abandon our fear. Oh God of Israel – you have made us all one. We will abandon our fear, because we are one. I wish every Jew living anywhere in the world could hearthis. No matter what persecutions or setbacks that we suffer,we will return to the land of our forefathers and the land of our religion, whether it be Israel, or the arms of our God.And because I really meant what I wrote on the paper I put in the wall today I will say it again. I know it is short, but sometimes there are few words to describe passion – THANK YOU. . 5
  6. 6. Essays6
  7. 7. First Prize Essay Chinyerum Okpara, St Joseph High School Linda Petrich, Instructor (excerpt)T he Jews’ connection with the Land of Israel dates back almost 4,000 years. God promised Abraham that he and his descendants wouldinherit the Land of Israel as an everlasting possession. Biblically, Jewish rightsto the Land of Israel are eternal and unconditional. Jews did not leave the Holy Land willingly; they were forced out duringthe Diaspora (dispersion). Israel was invaded and Jews were deported intoexile by their conquerors … Yet these tragic events and the numerouspersecutions that have happened since have not silenced Jewish longing fora home in the Holy Land, nor changed God’s promise to bless Abraham andhis offspring. The Jews made a promise never to forget their promised land. To fulfilltheir promise during their exile, the Jews initiated the concept of Israel intovirtually every aspect of daily life. To this day, Jews everywhere face towardJerusalem when reciting their daily prayers. A prayer for return to Zion ispart of the standard Jewish blessing over meals. The High Holiday servicesand the Passover Seder meal conclude with the hope and promise of “NextYear in Jerusalem!” The restoration of Israel and the gathering of the exiles are at the coreof all Jewish prayers for redemption and for the coming of the Messiah.Jews remember the destruction of the First and Second Temples, and theexile from Jerusalem, with an annual day of fasting and mourning. Atthe end of a Jewish wedding, it is customary for the groom to break aglass with his right foot to symbolize the destruction of the Temple.Through these customs and rituals, Jews show their trust in God’sfaithfulness and keep alive their hope to return to Zion. After the Holocaust and the loss of 6 million Jews, two million of themchildren, many Jews wondered whether it was possible to continuebelieving in God’s covenant with Israel. The State of Israel was theanswer to what they were looking for. Israel became a State in 1948.Having a Jewish state meant that Jewish children could grow up in theirown country where Jewish police, Jewish soldiers and Jewish citizensprotect the land and its entire people. To Jewish people, Israel is morethan just the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants, thePromised Land is at the very center of all Jewish beliefs and practices. Theformation of the State of Israel meant that God has not abandoned hispeople and that he is true to his word. 7
  8. 8. Second Prize Essay Sandra Lattouf, Ramona Convent Secondary School Maureen Linehan and Elisa Perez, Instructors (excerpt) W hen I first heard about the country of Israel, before I learned more about it, a picture came to mind of what it would look like: a desert- looking place with light brown clay houses and dirt roads. If you were to ask me what people in Israel look like, before I was more educated, I would say, “a bunch of people wearing robes and sandals. Men wear those little hats on their heads and would walk around with the Torah in their hands. And women are at home teaching their daughters how to take care of the household.” Now I’ve learned that Israel is nothing like my dim-witted picture… Jewish people have no real description, just like Americans, Jewish people can come from any background, whether it’s from Spain, Russia, Eastern Europe or Germany. Just like Americans, they are also strongly opinionated and religiously bonded, and that’s what keeps them together. It’s like everyone knows each other! I’ve also found out that people don’t really dress like in my mental picture, either. Actually, my mental picture seems to be more and more like a fantasy than a reality as I go on with this essay. So after I’ve explained all this to you, you might be laughing at me for my outrageous and uneducated hypothesis. What makes my assumptions about Israel truly tragic is the fact that I’m Arab. Both my parents emigrated from Lebanon during the war and now live in Monrovia. I had no clue that Israel was a democratic country, let alone it being one of the only democratic countries in the Middle East. Every time I hear the news about the Middle East, whether it is CNN or BBC, they always show the viewers dirt roads and sidewalks, destroyed buildings and villages, a desert-looking area with nothing on the land, and children and women in robes. I have now found out, thanks to the project, that there are two main reasons why these images popped into my mental picture: the news only shows places which are usually small towns and villages that are either being targeted by terrorists or occupied by an army, and that the people shown wearing robes are either just simply poor or Muslims. And because I have been educated, I can understand the news better, the people shown on the news, and especially the people affected by the attacks. The most important fact that I have learned is that even though these are people who live across the world from me, there are not that many differences between us. And because we are more similar than different, we need to8 treat each other more like neighbors; better yet, like brothers and sisters.
  9. 9. Third Prize Essay Gabby Garcia-O’Connor, Notre Dame High School Cindy Lee-Moon, Instructor (excerpt)T he State of Israel is a democratic oasis in the Middle East. The tiny country of Israel is dwarfed in size and surrounded by Arab neighboring countries,many of which have totalitarian governments. The Jewish state was born outof the worldwide suffering of the Jewish people longing for a place wherethey could live free of persecution. This dream was finally realized in 1948,with the emergence of the modern State of Israel. Israel is the only Jewish state in the world. However, the demographics ofIsrael are very diverse. Israeli citizens come from all over the world. Peoplesof all colors, beliefs and ethnicities reside in Israel. All people, regardless oftheir religion or background, are given the rights and responsibilities thatcome with being a citizen of a democratic state. One of these responsibilitiesis service in the armed forces. The Israeli army is truly a citizens’ army, similarto the Minutemen of the American Revolution. Israel’s commitment to democracy can be seen in various ways. All citizenshave the right to vote, own property and express their opinions throughfreedom of speech and press. Israelis are encouraged to be active in theirdemocratic government. As a matter of fact, throughout the day, the mediakeeps the population informed of the government’s actions, thus motivatingtheir participation. The Holy Land Democracy Project has helped me to understand why it isimportant that the United States continues to support and assist Israel. Weshare a commonality in that both countries were born out of persecution. Likethe United States, Israel believes in democratic rule, respect and acceptance ofdifferent views. We presently live in a world that threatens individuality,religious freedoms and democracy. Israel is a shining beacon of democracy inan area of the world that is especially intolerant of anything that is notaccepted in their mainstream. Hopefully, Israel will inspire other nations,ethnicities and religious groups to embrace tolerance rather than hatred. 9
  10. 10. Third Prize Essay Rachel Samec, Louisville High School Josh Wilson, Instructor (excerpt) A fter learning about Israel from the Holy Land Democracy Project I realized there was much about Israel I did not know that I had misunderstood. In everything from the size of Israel to the people, I had views that were in some ways completely incorrect, and I really appreciate knowing what is the truth and what is not. It probably started the first day, when we looked at the many faces of Israel, that I realized my errors. When you hear of Judaism as an ethnicity, you also hear of common characteristics that generalize a people. You expect people to look a certain way, and I had always associated Jewish people with Israel. I personally thought of a certain type of hair, face and clothes but right away I realized I could completely misjudge people. By looking at a picture, I would place people in categories completely unrelated to them. I did not expect the diversity that was truly apparent from the lessons. Before, I did not know how young a state Israel was. I thought it had existed for a very long time. With so much attention given to Israel, I expected it to be a huge place. When I learned the true size, I was so surprised at all the controversy surrounding it. When I look at a map, there are a lot of places that small I have never heard of, but I am pretty sure most everyone has heard of Israel. After this project I am more aware of the real importance of Israel. I have always sympathized with the Jewish people while learning about their religious history, because they have so frequently and wrongly been persecuted. I think it is a good idea for them to have an area where they are in control and can freely express their religion, write in Hebrew and have their own flag. They need to have a place where they are the majority and can be in control, free from persecution.10
  11. 11. Honorable Mention Essay Christian Romo, St. Francis High School Mark Fredette, InstructorI n Christian’s fictional narrative, a young Israeli émigré is disillusioned by the constant trials and hardships of Jewish history and decides to disconnecthimself from his faith and family. His wanderings bring him to a part of Polandwhere most of his family had perished in concentration camps. A chance encounter with an idealistic young Russian intent on makingAliyah (moving to Israel) changes his view about his own future and that ofthe Jewish people. After helping him find the Israeli embassy in Warsaw, theprotagonist finds himself face to face with an embassy official: The man smiled and asked: “How may I help you?” “Take me home,” was all I said. Paul Ferrier, JSerra High School Melea Walden, Instructor (excerpt)In every sense of the word, the Jewish people have throughout history had a deep relationship with the land of Israel. This relationship wasfounded upon the Jewish people’s historical, cultural and religiousconnections with the land and has continued since in a tragic cycle ofpersecution, conflict and restoration. Now such connections are disputed… It is apparent that no race or religion is more religiously or historicallyconnected to the Palestinian region than the Jewish people. Based onthese two factors it becomes clear that the State of Israel and the Jewishpeople have every right to exist where they are. The Jewish state, for thesake of its people, should and must live on. 11
  12. 12. Jerry Mathews, Bishop Montgomery High School Bernadette St James, Instructor (excerpt) I srael is the rare nation in the Middle East that promotes democratic values. The country allows citizens to vote for their leaders and allows citizens the right to a fair trial, traits that parallel America’s established democracy. Since their independence, Israel has applied the Law of Return. This Law of Return states that if you’re at least one-eighteenth Jewish, you may “return” to Israel. Once in Israel, this Jew is given full, complete rights. They are also welcomed into the community, like a friend not seen in years. There are many hopes for the future of Israel… many people are looking to unite Arabs and Jews for future generations. One of these hopeful programs is the Hand in Hand School. This school allows Arabs and Jews … to learn and play together. As they have stated, they have an “eye for the future.” The current state of violence will cease if parents teach their children to be tolerant of other cultures. Thomas Duong, St. Joseph High School Cynthia Madsen, Instructor (excerpt) T he face of a person contains many different textures that make that face … The country of Israel is the same. The history of Israel is the eyes and the nose of the face. The people’s past watches out for mistakes long ago that should not be repeated in the future. The many cultures, religions and lifestyles are the lips and mouth of the face. The culture of each person is the mouth, through which speech is passed. The religions and lifestyles are the lips that hold the culture together. Over the years, people with different faces came to Israel to work and live. They brought all kinds of cultures with them to spread in Israel. A state of so many faces of freedom smile at one another with such pleasure that it gives a person a warm feeling of happiness in their heart. The many “faces’” of Israel are like a family, uniting together over time. When a family like Israel becomes one, they all stick together …12
  13. 13. Jillian Jones, St. Bernard High School Margaret Govero, Instructor (excerpt)A t age 18, the Israelis start to hold many responsibilities; they are able to vote and they have to serve their country by joining thearmy. Men serve for three years and women for two. The Israelisdon’t really have a problem with serving their country, they wouldrather die and keep their country strong than live and let it fall.Israelis value their country because of what those before them had togo through to gain independence. Steve Shushnar, St. Francis High School Mark Fredette, Instructor (excerpt)T he first thing we learned about was Israel’s location among the Eastern world. I learned that Israel is just a small piece of landsurrounded by many countries that are not in favor of an Israeli state.In fact, these countries have invaded Israel, bombed Israel and evenattacked innocent Israeli civilians. It is not like such occurrences areancient history … just two years ago, Hezbollah sent 4000 rockets intoIsrael and kidnapped 2 soldiers. For some reason, there were manyriots and protests in other Middle Eastern countries against Israeldoing this. That just made no sense to me. How could people beagainst Israel taking out rockets that are aimed at their country? Another thing that made sense to me after reading about thecountry was why the United States has been supporting Israel so muchover the years. Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle Eastthat is a democracy. Since many countries in the Middle East do notlike Israel, they also do not like the United States because we supporta country that they do not like. History has proven that Jews are not safe without their ownhomeland. The main viewpoint that I obtained through learning about Israel isthat this area is much more than a country to the people who livethere. It is their home. It is where they belong. 13
  14. 14. Josephine Sunga, Holy Family High School Roger DeSilva, Instructor (excerpt) O ften when we think of Israel, our heads are full of blurred notions of terrorism, war, Middle Eastern conflicts, the chosen People of God, or simply an alien nation that claims superiority on religious grounds. The physical face we assume for them is looking downward, head bowed in silence, hands held close in prayer. What we ought to be paying attention to, however, is the heart that lies behind those hands …. The emotional face of Israel is always changing. It is in constant fluctuation between the desire for a normal life and a sense of duty to one’s country. Teenagers in particular are victim to contradicting feelings, since it is always a struggle for them to balance their school, family, social lives, religion and, on top of it all, an obligation to serve in the army. As shown in the videos of the four Israeli teenagers, Sasha, Shlomi, Na’ama and Yaki, courage for their nation and all they hold dear to them is very easily challenged by fear for their own lives, fear of terrorism and death. This chronic threat and anxiety proves that the face of Israel can change in a second from valiance in doing God’s will to utter panic. Emily Park, Villanova Preparatory School Brian Grisin, Instructor (excerpt) U sually, culture and politics of other countries are hard to learn unless one actually visits the country. However, this project was very easy to understand because of the detailed explanation from the book and the various pictures from the Power Point. The news about wars and famine in the Middle East made me believe that all countries in the Middle East are autocratic countries. Therefore, Israel’s commitment to democracy was very surprising. The election system in Israel was also different than what I thought. Israelis vote for one party and its platform, and seats are assigned to each party in proportion to its percentage of the total vote. This system ensures a wide spectrum of political views in the Knesset, including the major centrist parties, small parties and a number of religious parties.14
  15. 15. Hannah Hoffman, Villanova Preparatory High School Brian Grisin, Instructor (excerpt)A fter years of struggles, the United Nations voted to establish a Jewish State in Palestine in 1947. This was a landmark achievement forJews. They could finally claim the land that many believed God had givento them, and act as any other nation. They could govern their nation asthey pleased, and decide how they wanted to live and worship. Although Israel is the Jewish homeland, all are accepted to live andworship there as they please. This freedom granted by the Jewsdemonstrates their comprehension that not everyone believes thesame things … Kevin Kim, St. Monica Catholic High School Marc Nuno and Siobhan O’Neill, InstructorsK evin’s fictional account deals with the experience of a young boy named Ephraim, on his first trip to Israel. Passover is coming soon,and Ephraim and his mother spend their first full day in Israel in theshuk (marketplace), shopping for the seder meal. A wrong turn downan alleyway brings Ephraim face to face with a symbol which hadappeared to him, blurred, in a dream: That shape was the Star of David. As she led Ephraim away, his motherinstructed him, “You should always take pride in it, Ephraim. Always.” 15
  16. 16. Caselyn Larino, Pomona Catholic High School Allicen Naal, Instructor (excerpt) T he people of Israel, also called the Jewish people, trace their origins to Abraham, who established the belief that there is only one God, the Creator of the universe. Abraham, his son Isaac and grandson Jacob are referred to as patriarchs of the Israelites. All three Patriarchs lived in the Land of Canaan, which came to be known as the Land of Israel. The name Israel derives from the name given to Jacob. The people of modern day Israel share the same language and culture, shaped by their Jewish heritage and religion, and based through generations starting with the founding father Abraham. Jews have had a continuous presence in the Land of Israel for the past 3,300 years. Jews have striven continuously to reestablish their bond with the Land of Israel, although foes of the Jewish people did their best to obliterate the Jewish connection with the Land. After thousands of years of exile, the Jewish people have returned to their land.16
  17. 17. Poetry 17
  18. 18. First Prize Poetry Israel of Light Rouel Soberano, Bishop Montgomery High School Bernadette St James, Instructor An ancient land rises in the east … As the sun sets the mountains cast shadows Enveloping the land in darkness … But the sun always rises And through the darkest of the dark Light always prevails … A sacred land shines in the east … A city upon the hill Upon which hope and freedom radiate Like the warm rays of the benevolent sun … In this land, people walk hand in hand Basking in the freedom gained through hard years Of fighting and conflict Of suffering and death Of pain and misery … But also of hope and light For a better future As the shining land Rises like a beacon out of the darkness …18
  19. 19. A homeland stands in the east … Standing united as God’s peopleStanding united as people hoping for peace Standing united as one human race … In this sacred land of promise and hope Of diversity and freedom Of light out of darkness, I promise to let the sun in, Never ceasing to fight the good fight Defending what is right Protecting the very right Of people to live and learn, Never ceasing to always seek truth And serve with honor … As Israel rises in the East As people live in freedom, As the sacred land retains its promise,As devotion and love for freedom hold true, Israel shall never fall And shall always be Jerusalem of Gold, Shining as a beacon of hope In a dark land. 19
  20. 20. First Prize Poetry Figment of My Imagination Angeli Aguas, St. Joseph High School Cynthia Madsen, InstructorMiddle, meaning in between.The Middle East which is located in between it all.Caught in a trap were there is nowhere to fall.This place is no longer a figment of my imaginationfor I have a bit more of an interpretation.I can now make the educated guess that none the less, they’re people.Yet the difference being a majority wake up from a good night’s rest in fearthat they may shed a tear because of the loss of a loved onebrought to them by a gun.To dare and think that bombs and combustion is their human consumption.It’s a bit of a mind tease to think that at such a young ageyou’re entitled to serve your country.The same year they blow out their 18 candles they are handed 18 rifles orsomething of the sort.Yes, that may be an exaggeration but none the less they take pride in their homeNo questions asked, they know their history.I’ve went from a fabricated image of turbans, dirt roads and heat that youcouldn’t beat.To fashion sense, stop lights, and a cool breeze that doesn’t seize.Hearing the fictitious stories almost makes me want tofall on the ground.But now I seem to have found a bit more.Over the course of 60 years they’ve been through it all.In combat for peace and justice; their hearts are restless.Seeking nothing but serenity;Through dedication they have built a democracy.I’ve went from a fabricated image of turbans, dirt roads, and heat that youcouldn’t beatto fashion sense, stop lights, and a cool breeze that doesn’t seize.20
  21. 21. Second Prize Poetry Israel Patrick Villar, Chaminade High School Kristina Ortega, InstructorO Israel,land of democracy and home to all,I see the sea of diverse faces standing proudly, tall.A country with a historical past,rich with stories of triumph and hardships of man,I listen to your tales told by the faces of your people, Israel.Through your people’s glittering eyes,Reflecting rays of hope and light,I see Zion forever grounded, shining so bright.A free nation given to the Jews,Rekindling hope in times of trial,I watch your people standing united as one, Israel.Amidst periods of darkness,Tested by the fires of war and persecution,your people have looked towards this solution.A land free from genocide, endless death, and racism,I see people free in the fields of Zion, Israel.Fleeing from the pyramids and Auschwitz,lands of death and oppression,I see you now grinning with a proud expression.Whether reform, conservative or orthodox,your people united for survival, Israel.Fighting for peace and democracy,advocates and allies of all who cherish justice,I can see your risen, waving flag, O Israel.A democracy run by a cabinet,Seeking to provide help for all,I see your courts, Israel.Stand forever proud and tall O Israel,a holy land of an ancient past,I hear the joyous singing of your people.A country for all to know,Devoted to justice and peace,Israel, Israel 21
  22. 22. Third Prize Poetry Danielle Fischer, Notre Dame High School Cindy Lee-Moon, InstructorThe earth has a face but a map is no mirror.A speck on a map tells no stories.When character overtakes statisticsIt breathes life into history’s rigid words.Characters.A country of thoroughly united individuals,The same core, but unique.Normal.Roots run deepFollow the vein from fingertips to the heartTrace up through mother’s blood,In dust and stone and paper.People flung like specks of inkIn streaks across the globe’s broad canvasBanished too many times overSome blended, watered down,Some erased.So the paper scarred, vowed never to forget.New upon old. Remember.Fear of the bleach, fear of dilutionHope for a true physical presenceHope to be worthy of the word of God;Written to be sometimes close, sometimes distant,Tattooed into the land, their history just the same.Need of a common place to bleed to, to bleed for.22
  23. 23. It’s remarkable, really.A land so new, to skip the mistakesSkip the social evolution,The given violence that stained, mottling the history of other countries.To be new, aware, intelligentborn into democracyborn into equalitywelcoming immigrationand to still have culture.Culture deep enough to compose a country.Thousands of years in inkto define, unite, defend.New upon old. Remarkable.Progressive, true, but others set it back a stage.Back to when all ink was splayed, bleeding everywherePeople grabbing for spaceno matter who belonged before.Surrounded by woe-wishersYet wanting nothing more than peaceDespite the necessity to fight,The willingness to fightTo prevent a fatal miss-stroke of the penOne failure and home is physically lost.So much at stake, but so much dignityto value the life of the attackerKnowing their face is the mirror.Look for the humanity, at the personHope that they will do the same.New upon old. Israel. 23
  24. 24. Honorable Mention Poetry Adelle Barte, Louisville High School Mary Wilson, Instructor Jewish RootsDo you know who I am? I live a life, Of long ancestry. From the time of Abraham And the promise of a land …Light the path .. The path to believe and hope for the people, God’s people, The Holy people of Israel, The Holy Land, My Holy Jewish brothers and sisters Ramin Sobati, Louisville High School Kristina Ortega, Instructor The Little Nation That Could What a great man Herzl was … In 1903, there was a large immigration From Europe to Israel, which started a foundation … In 1948, the Jews rejoiced and gained Independence At the ceremony, every Jew in attendance The Jews are fighting for their own good To preserve the little nation that could Sharlena Singleton, Pomona Catholic High School Allicen Naal, Instructor There are different places in Israel, Lots of faces there be The lowest point is a salty place Called the Dead Sea Safe from persecution, It is a homeland for the Jews …24
  25. 25. Dina Nichols, Notre Dame High School Cindy Lee-Moon, Instructor A Land and a People Connected Canaan God’s covenant A place in history Never forgotten Diaspora Jews away from the homeland Yet still connected By a common faith, culture, history Some long to come back A Declaration of IndependenceA dream becomes a reality, Israel is proclaimed a state Prayers are answered A new beginning To flourish To thrive To remember Matthew De La Peza, St Francis High School Mark Fredette, Instructor A Boy’s Hometown Mom and Dad yelling at each other, He storms out the door and runs to the beach. Drops of sorrow down his face Longing to see the face of his brother. The sparkling ocean whispers in his ears, “I am your home. I am truly yours.” He closes his eyes and sees his sibling On the battlefield. Suddenly an explosion Causes the water to start rippling. As his mind races, he hears a voice full with pride. Herzl speaks to him with reassurance, “Have confidence, boy. We are strong…” 25
  26. 26. Nashaw Jafari, Bishop Montgomery High School John Fitzimons, Instructor Look over there my children, Do you see that orchid? It overflows this garden with its luscious scent And gathers people from around the world To wonder at its beauty. This orchid shares the gifts it receives from God Do not worry my children, God’s grace will never run out My children look at Jerusalem Jennifer Van Trieste, Louisville High School Josh Wilson, Instructor Many Faces, One Shore From afar, it’s all one color – A violet, stormy shade of jade. Each stone does not mesh with its brother: One solid mass, one small country. When pushed against by harsh untruths, They pushed forward to their old home. This red rock here lost all in youth But found everything on this shore. This smooth, black rock – typical friend – Is just a girl like me. These pains This teen could never comprehend … This green does not share their beliefs, But he is home as neighbor still. He can still share in the stones’ grief, Because he is still a stone as well. These stones carry many faces, Tell many stories of their hopes. But they exist – one – a jade place; One people come from many shores.26
  27. 27. Steven Holtzen, Don Bosco Technical Institute Claude LeBlanc, Instructor ExpressionsGems,Shining bright, nature’s treasure.Ruby, blood shed in Israel,Blood shed in Israel’s name …A face of IsraelBlanketed in misery.Emerald,Rolling hills and lands of honey,Emerald fields stretched endlessly …Lands bestowed upon themby the LordSurvivalGems, wrought in the bellows of the earth,Survive, enduring pressure,Reforming.To live on,And be reformed.Into a gem,Wrought in the Lord’s guiding hands,The craftsman,To form a gem of countless facesAnd matchless beauty. 27
  28. 28. Audrey Stanford, St. Joseph High School Cynthia Madsen, Instructor Israel, Israel, Israel Animals roam where the people of old proudly stood Standing like ghosts on an open prairie The griffon vulture flies free calling to the people below .. Barely audible on the open wind … This time not speaking of the past But of the future … Israel, Israel, Israel Old ones with memories as countless as the stars Glance wearily at the past Placing their withering hands On the shoulders of the youth Youth glance up in a hasty rush Latching on to the dreams of the children … All together yelling Israel, Israel, Israel All together saying, crying, hoping, and wishing Israel, Israel, Israel28
  29. 29. Selene Smith, Marymount High School Rita Morgan, Instructor Israel, beautiful, cultural, unique, diverse … But on the news, all we see? Terror, fear, combat, difficulty Our ignorance should be banned. Did we never connect the dots? Israel: an insignificant news story? We should think not! Rich in achievements, But also in normalcy … Israelis are more similar to Americans Than most of us seem to believe Democratic government and Religious freedom. Please note: A wide variety of people, All with the right to vote.Never again will israel be an apathetic subject To Americans today, Because we know it’s so much more Than what the news anchor will say. 29
  30. 30. Art30
  31. 31. First Prize Art Contest The Many Faces of Israel Leanne Villarivera, Notre Dame High School Cindy Lee-Moon, InstructorI decided to show what I have learned about Israel in the form of artwork. Each letter that spells out Israel has a picture symbolizing a specialmeaning that I thought was significant. The “I” represents the integration of American customs. People fromIsrael are thought to be total strangers to most Americans, but they arejust like many of us. Israel has combined many American traditions intotheir lifestyles. The many faces of Israel listen to the same type of music asus and watch movies and shows that are shown in Israel as well. The twohands illustrate the combination of America and Israel. The “S” stands for shalom. Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. Israelis know for having a lot of violence. I have learned that the many faces ofIsrael are in desperate need of peace in their society. The wars haveimpacted the many faces of Israel. The “R” portrays religion and culture. I have learned that Judaism is notonly a major religion in Israel, but can also be a culture. The many facesof Israel seek Judaism. I have learned that Judaism is a lifestyle to the manyfaces of Israel. The people sacrifice time in order to worship and I greatlyadmire that. (continued) 31
  32. 32. Leanne Villarivera, continued The “A” depicts agonizing pain. The many faces of Israel have been through a large number of unfortunate events. Many lives, homes and valuable possessions were lost in the wars, bombings, shootings and horrifying killings. This picture illustrates a young girl expressing her excruciating pain. This symbolizes that the impact of the war and all the killings affect a majority of the many faces of Israel. This single face is just one in a million of all the others who have suffered large amounts of anguish and pain. The “E” stands for equality. The many faces of Israel are very diverse. Many faces of different cultures live in Israel. All the people there are given the gift of equality. Every single face of Israel is treated like any other individual. I just wish the rest of the world had this special gift. My illustration for equality is the world and people standing around it while holding hands. This shows that the many faces of Israel stand, hand-in- hand. They get along and have not too many racial problems, compared to other places. The “L” demonstrates lives at risk. I have learned that living in Israel means risking your life every day. The many faces of Israel have been involved in numerous life-threatening incidents, such as suicide bombings. My painting depicts a suicide bombing. The many faces of Israel are at risk and do not even know it. Since Israel is such a small area, the death of one Israeli can affect many people since everyone seems to know each other. Learning about Israel has taught me to have a greater respect for the many faces of Israel. This experience in being able to learn has opened my eyes to the fabulous faces and lifestyles of Israel. I have learned that the many faces of Israel are what makes this country so unique.32
  33. 33. Second Prize Art Contest Becky Calvo, Louisville High School Mary Wilson, InstructorT he photo above is a picture I made representing the “Many Faces of Israel.” On the face is a picture of The Dome of the Rock, The WesternWall, a map of Israel, and the Israeli flag. I thought it would be best torepresent how culture can be weaved into the heart of others. 33
  34. 34. Third Prize Art Contest Abel Regalado, Bishop Alemany High School Mary Killmond, Instructor I n my collage for “The Many Faces of Israel” I have included many pictures that vary in meaning. I have pictures of life in Israel, basically what occurs there and how life is lived out. I felt that in order to get a better understanding of Israel’s day to day life, I would have to search for themes that represented the many characteristics of Israel. I wanted to reveal these different ‘faces’ of Israel through photographs and symbols. You have the faces of the sad and depressed, or even dead. You also have the faces of the happiest children you will ever see. I added both of these different perspectives so that one might look at this and realize that Israel is a country like our own. With people and children who laugh and cry just as we do. I also added the different scenery in Israel: From the sculptures and the buildings, to the historical sites and the beautiful pictures that capture the great beauty of the land of Israel. I added pictures of the military and consequences of war. Children being exposed to violence at so young of an age, armed with guns and smoking cigarettes. It is hard to believe that a country with so much beauty and with people just like ourselves could have suffered so much violence and death over the years.34
  35. 35. We humbly thank all of the inspiring educators and outstanding Catholic secondary schools who have partnered with us in building bridges between our communities and sharing the miracle of Israel with over 10,000 students in Los Angeles, Orange County, Fresno and Bakersfield.TEACHER SCHOOLVictor Arenas Bishop Amat Memorial High SchoolJoe Banfield St. Anthony High SchoolMaggie Bove-LaMonica Verbum Dei High SchoolMichele Butorac St. Matthias High SchoolEric Cadena Chaminade High SchoolCindy Campbell San Joaquin Memorial High SchoolJennifer Campbell Bishop Amat High SchoolEdward Clark Damien High SchoolJohn Collins Pomona Catholic High SchoolKathleen DeSantis San Joaquin Memorial High SchoolRoger DeSilva Notre Dame High SchoolJeanine DiCesaris-Kraybill Pomona Catholic High SchoolJohn Fitzsimons Bishop Montgomery High SchoolMark Fredette St. Francis High SchoolMargaret Govero St. Bernard Catholic High SchoolBrian Grisin Villanova Preparatory SchoolHolly Haynes Mater Dei High SchoolShane Johnson Villanova Preparatory SchoolMary Killmond Bishop Alemany High SchoolApril Kramer Chaminade High SchoolClaude LeBlanc Don Bosco Technical InstituteCindy Lee - Moon Notre Dame High SchoolMaureen Linehan Ramona Convent Secondary SchoolCynthia Madsen St. Joseph High SchoolMary Marsella Garces Memorial High SchoolSonya Mercado St. Bonaventure High SchoolRita Morgan Marymount High SchoolDenis Munoz St. Bernard Catholic High SchoolAllicen Naal Pomona Catholic High SchoolFatima Nicdao Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High SchoolMarc Nuno St. Monica Catholic High SchoolSiobhan ONeill St. Monica Catholic High SchoolKristina Ortega Chaminade High SchoolJason Parrot St. Bernard Catholic High SchoolElisa Perez Ramona Convent Secondary SchoolLinda Petrich St. Joseph High SchoolMichelle Purghart Holy Family High School College PreparatoryTomas Renna Bishop Montgomery High SchoolSusan Rizo Garces Memorial High SchoolStephen Schumacher Santa Margarita Catholic High SchoolMike Sifter Alverno High SchoolBernadette St. James Bishop Montgomery High SchoolJoe Swoboda Servite High SchoolMelea Walden Jserra Catholic High SchoolChris Weir Servite High SchoolJosh Wilson Louisville High SchoolMary Wilson Louisville High SchoolTheresa Yugar Sacred Heart High School 35
  36. 36. Dr. Daniel Lieber, Chair Elaine Albert, Director Rabbi Hal Greenwald, Assistant Director Dr. David Ackerman, Educational Coordinator Advisory Council Michael Altman, Malka Blitz, Julie Bram, Gary Cypres, Steven H. Feder, Irwin S. Field, Cliff Goldstein, Abner Goldstine, Dennis A.Gura, Stanley Kandel, Leslie Kessler, Sharon Krischer, Linda Mayman, Marla Rosen, Faith Schames,Terri Smooke, Karl Sussman Action Group Dr. Parviz Afshani, Marc L. Benezra, Stuart Bernstein, Prof. Gerald Bubis, Susie Chodakiewitz, Avi Davis, Deborah Kattler Kupetz, Ernest Z. Klein, Paul Kujawsky, Dr.Ariel Malamud, Jo Ann Oster, Dr. Irwin Reich, Nathan D.Wirtschafter Jewish Community Relations Committee Terri Smooke and Glenn Sonnenberg, Co-Chairs Marc Carrel, Vice Chair Andrew Cushnir, Executive Director The Jewish Federation Stanley P. Gold, Chairman of the Board Richard V. Sandler, Vice Chairman Bettina Kurowski, General Campaign Chair John R. Fishel, President The Holy Land Democracy Project is a joint project of The Jewish Federation, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Diocese of Orange and the Diocese of Fresno.www.JewishLA.org Exhibit photography generously contributed by Orly Halevy