Finalists Announced in Maltz Museum Essay Contest


Ten Students Vie for $100,000 in Scholarships and Prizes

Cleveland, Ohio, March 17, 2011 – This year more than 1,700 students from 139 schools shared their solutions to stop hatred and discrimination by entering the third annual Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest. 10 of those students have risen to the top and will compete for $100,000 in scholarship prizes at an Ohio college or university. Their essays address a variety of issues, from race and religion to gay and gender rights to ethnic discrimination, and offer heartfelt and innovative solutions.

Essays have been read and scored by more than 200 community volunteers. “We are very proud of these young people and encourage their efforts to be catalysts for change in their schools and communities. They have stepped up to the Maltz Museum’s mission to build bridges of understanding between persons of all religions, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds.” said Lynda A. Bender, Director of Education and Public Programs. Nearly 5,000 entries have been received in the contest’s first three years, an astonishing number that evidences the depth of concern among the youth of our region.

These 10 student finalists were narrowed down from 26 semi-finalists after a panel of select judges read their essays. Judges this year include Civil Rights Attorney and CNN Legal Analyst Avery Friedman, The Plain Dealer Editor Debra Adams Simmons and Grand Prize “Stop the Hate” Scholarship Winner 2010 Andrea Bestor among others.

These finalists will compete for three college scholarships by giving oral presentations at the awards ceremony on April 10 at Severance Hall.

  • Kourtney Burns, Shaker Heights High School
  • Bracha Greenfeld, Yavne High School, Beachwood (University Heights resident)
  • Heather Guhde, Beaumont High School, Cleveland Heights (Euclid resident)
  • Hayleigh Sanders, Olmstead Falls High School
  • Kari Semel, Shaker Heights High School
  • Jasmyn Shumate, Shaker Heights High School
  • Alexander Stojsavljevic, Normandy High School, Parma
  • Kyle Susman, Solon High School
  • Cedric Thorbes, Glenville High School
  • Elliot Wainwright, Elyria High School

The contest is open to public, private and home schooled students in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit Counties. Juniors and seniors complete for three, four-year scholarships (one each $50,000, $25,000 and $15,000) to an Ohio college or university; they and younger students compete for cash prizes, class visits to the Museum and resource materials for their schools.

About the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: An American Story

Opened in 2005, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage introduces visitors to the beauty and diversity of that heritage in the context on the American experience, promotes an understanding of Jewish history, religion and culture and builds bridges of appreciation, tolerance and understanding with those of other religion, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds serving as an educational resource for Northeast Ohio’s Jewish and general communities. The Museum includes An American Story, The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery, an internationally-recognized collection of Judaica, and a special exhibition gallery featuring important exhibitions of national and international acclaim.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program or organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.


© MALTZ MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE 2011, All rights reserved