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Eastside Catholic students win in Holocaust Center contest

Sammamish Review | August 3, 2016 | By Sarah Troy | Several Eastside Catholic School students received awards for their submissions in the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s 2016 Writing, Art and Film Contest.

More than 900 students from 70 schools participated in this year's contest. Students were asked to respond to the question “How does the Anne Frank Tree sapling (recently planted in Seattle) and what you have learned about the Holocaust, inspire you?”

Aava Sikchi, a middle schooler from Issaquah, and Sammamish 10th-grader Kyle Jenkins each earned first place honors for their written essays. Sophomore Emmie Head’s written submission earned an honorable mention.

Several Eastside Catholic sophomores were also recognized for their film entries in the contest. Mitch Flippo (Bellevue) and Sarah Troy (Sammamish) tied for second, and Sacha Mallalieu (Sammamish) and Mina Head (Sammamish) placed third.

Established in 1989, the Holocaust Center for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that strives to teach tolerance to schools and communities in the Pacific Northwest through lessons of the Holocaust.

See all of the winners and their projects

Local student honored at Holocaust Center Writing, Art and Film Contest

Auburn Reporter | Aug. 1, 2016Wyatt Pritchard, an eighth-grader from Cascade Middle School, took honorable mention honors for writing at the recent Holocaust Center for Humanity's Writing, Art and Film Contest.

Nearly 900 students, from grades 5 through 12, from more than 60 different schools from throughout the area responded through paintings, essays, sketches, poems and films. The winners were honored July 24 at the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle.

Pritchard's teacher is Alethea Dozier.

The following is an excerpt from Wyatt's poem: "In a time in your life where you are never certain/if you will live or if you're being watched through the curtain/there is only one thing that refuses to disappear/that this is faith, it make things become clear." (Read Wyatt's poem here.)

For more than 25 years, Holocaust Center for Humanity has been teaching tolerance and citizenship through lessons of the Holocaust and provides inspirational education opportunities and resources to teachers and the community. The center offers teacher training, a speakers bureau of local Holocaust survivors, "travelling trunks," and the writing, art and film contest.

The contest empowers the students to creatively speak out and explore different aspects of their daily lives while engaging with the lessons of the Holocaust.

A full list of the winners and their work is available here.

George Elbaum, survivor and member of the HCH Speakers Bureau, honored in Israel at Technion

Lavie and Elbaum - 2016 receiving award at TechnionSAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK (June 15, 2016) — Dr. George Elbaum of San Francisco, a businessman and aerospace engineer, who writes and speaks about his experience as a child survivor of the Holocaust, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship on June 5 from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The ceremony took place during the Technion Board of Governors (BOG) meeting (June 4-8, 2016) on the university campus in Haifa.
Accompanied by his wife, Mimi Jensen, Dr. Elbaum was recognized for “devotion to the Technion and Israel . . . business accomplishments that have spanned the globe and bridged countries . . . and for sharing (your) story, in order to impart the message of tolerance to present and future generations.”

A steadfast supporter of the Technion and Israel, Dr. Elbaum is an active member of the American Technion Society (ATS) National Board of Directors, the ATS North Pacific Region Board and the Technion Board of Governors.

Together with his wife, he is a Technion Guardian — an honor reserved for those who support the Technion at the highest level. The couple has supported the Technion with gifts that include the George J. Elbaum Fund for the Satell Technion-MIT Leadership Program, the Whiteman International Foundation Fellowships (named after Dr. Elbaum's mother) in the Grand Technion Energy Program, and the Formula Student Race Car project.

Dr. Elbaum was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1938. As a child, he was smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto and lived with a series of Polish families who hid him and his Jewish identity from the Nazis. Only he and his mother survived, as they lost 10 family members to the Holocaust. In 1949, Dr. Elbaum immigrated to the U.S., and in 1955 he enrolled at MIT, where he earned four degrees — a bachelor’s and a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics, along with a second master’s and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.
He began his career in Los Angeles in the aerospace industry, and then moved into the international business arena. In 1972, he co-founded Intertorg, a consulting firm representing American and European corporations in the Soviet Union (including General Motors, U.S. Steel, Reebok, etc.), where he marketed their products and services. After 25 years, he switched gears again, turning to commercial real estate investment and development.

In 2010, he wrote and published Neither Yesterdays Nor Tomorrows, a book of vignettes from his childhood during the Holocaust, and started speaking to student groups across the U.S. and in Poland about survival and tolerance. In 2014, he followed his first book with a second volume, Yesterdays Revisited, about the feedback/letters he’s received from students at the 100-plus venues where he’s spoken.

The five-day BOG meeting was comprised of award ceremonies and dedications, presentations by speakers that included Middle East expert Ambassador Dennis B. Ross, and other events such as an Innovation Panel Discussion, featuring Technion graduates such as Dov Moran, inventor of the DiskOnKey (USB flash drive). Other San Francisco-area participants included Ruth Owades and Lou Lenzen.

Photo: George Elbaum (right) receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie at an awards ceremony on the Haifa campus on June 5, 2016.

Chimacum student places 1st in Holocaust art contest

Chimacum Middle School eighth grader Eva Casey stands with her teacher Gretchen Berg, at a July 24 ceremony for the Holocaust Center for Humanity's annual Writing and Art Contest. PTLeader.com | Eva Casey, an eighth-grader at Chimacum Middle School, recently won first place in her age group in the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s annual Writing, Art & Film Contest.

For the past several years, all Chimacum seventh-graders have been given the opportunity to write an entry for this contest as a culminating activity at the end of the unit of study about the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. This year, almost 900 students from 70 schools participated in the contest.

Casey is the second winner from Chimacum. In 2014, Journey Orchanian won second place in the writing portion of the contest.

“The art part of the contest wasn’t easy, but I knew I had an OK idea about what I was going to do,” wrote Casey in an artist’s statement posted on the Holocaust Center's Facebook page. “I wanted to only put the names of victims on the picture at first, but later ,I added survivors to give a sense of hope. It was overwhelming how many names I read; I don’t think I could ever write all of them down. All in all, the tree was hard to work with for me, but the message was great, and I enjoyed drawing it.”

An awards ceremony took place July 24 at the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle; Casey's art was used on the front of the ceremony invitations.

View the award winners. 

KIRO7- Sapling of chestnut tree Anne Frank gazed at from window planted in Seattle

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By: Maggie Wilson, May 11, 2016

SEATTLE —Anne Frank lived in hiding, in the annex of an Amsterdam apartment, during Nazi occupation when she was a child.

“As long as this exists,” she wrote of the sun, blue sky and chestnut tree she would gaze at from the window, “how can I be sad?”

The white horse chestnut tree, weakened by disease, succumbed to a 2010 windstorm in the Netherlands. It was over 170 years old, according to The Sapling Project.

The Anne Frank House, with permission from the tree's owner, gathered chestnuts from the dying tree and germinated them, intending to donate resultant saplings.

An excerpt of a 1968 speech by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, is hosted on the Sapling Project’s site.

“How could I have known,” he asks, “how much it meant to Anne to see a patch of blue sky, to observe the seagulls as they flew, and how important the chestnut tree was for her, when I think that she never showed any interest in nature.”

A video uploaded by the Anne Frank House in 2009 shows views of the chestnut tree. Watch it here.

One of its saplings was planted in January in Seattle in Frank’s honor.

The Holocaust Center for Humanity in Belltown was one of 11 sites in the country selected to receive a sapling from the historic tree.

Ilana Cone Kennedy with the center said they were granted the chestnut sapling in 2009. The trees came from Amsterdam and required three years in quarantine in a special nursery.

“The little tree that came to Seattle was too small to plant in a public park,” Kennedy said. “Seattle Parks and Recreation has been nursing the tree in a greenhouse since 2013.”

The sapling was dedicated at Seattle Center’s Peace Garden. The Peace Garden is near the base of the Space Needle. The garden was planted in 1996.

A beloved feature of the garden is a Ceanothus impressus “Puget Blue,” which is covered with tiny blue flowers in early summer.

Recently, Seattle’s new Holocaust Center for Humanity welcomed a traveling exhibit honoring the memory of Anne Frank. One woman, Agi Day, reflected in Seattle this spring to KIRO 7 on the personal importance the Anne Frank display held for her.

“Just being in the Holocaust Center is reminiscent of many things for me,” said Day. “And Anne Frank, specifically, because I’ve been there in Amsterdam. And I, too, was a hidden child. Different story. But, again, a hidden child. … My mother, my sister, my grandmother were hidden in a convent, dressed as nuns. ... I was too young to be in the convent. So I was hidden with a Catholic family, a couple [with] no children. And they pretended I was a cousin from the countryside."

Kennedy, with the Holocaust Center for Humanity, said in the wake of a Seattle shooting at the Jewish Federation in 2006, people “from all walks of life” came together to show their support for the Jewish community and those impacted by the shooting.

In the shooting at Seattle's Jewish Federation building, six women were shot. One of them was killed.

Kennedy was working in the building that day -- and recalls being “incredibly moved by the outpouring of support.”

“In our application for the sapling,” Kennedy said, “we mentioned that this tree was not only one of hope and remembrance, but, in the spirit of Anne Frank, should serve as a reminder of what we can do when we put our differences aside and stand together.”

Of the Anne Frank exhibit in Seattle, Kennedy says every day people come to visit the display and are filled with their own questions and stories. The center has hosted thousands of students.

At the end of their tour, visitors are invited to leave comments on paper leaves and place them on a tree painted on the wall.

“The comments are moving and now cover the whole wall," Kennedy said. "One of them reads simply, 'We are all Anne Frank.' And another, 'I could invite the lonely kid that sits near us at lunch to come hang out with me and my friends.'"

Photographer Meryl Alcabes captured beautiful images from the sapling dedication ceremony. Click here to see them.

 

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