Four MMI Preparatory School students received awards in the 24th annual Israel T. & Mildred Klapper Memorial Holocaust Essay Contest, marking the first time in the history of the contest that one school won all four awards in the Middle School and High School categories.
Eighth grader Jakob Narrow placed first in the Middle School division and junior Adam Tron won the High School division. Eighth grader Lauren Urosevich was second in the Middle School category and senior Wesley Guarneri was second in the High School category.
The contest, which is open to students in grades 7-12 as well as post-high school students, is sponsored jointly by the Hazleton Jewish Community Council and the Greater Hazleton Ministerial Association. Mrs. Jennifer Novotney serves as the MMI faculty advisor for the contest.
This year’s essay topic discussed Timothy Snyder’s fourth lesson from his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, which states: “Take responsibility for the face of the world. The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.” Students were asked to reflect on how we oppose swastikas and other signs of hate and still preserve freedom of speech.
A panel of judges chosen by the Greater Hazleton Ministerial Association read each essay and selected the winners. Prize-winning entries will be read by the students and prizes will be awarded at the Hazleton Holocaust Community Service on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. at Beth Israel Temple in Hazleton.
Jakob Narrow is the son of Howard and Marie Narrow of Hazleton, Adam Tron is the son of Dr. Eduardo Tron and Dr. Graciela Bianco of Mountaintop, Lauren Urosevich is the daughter of Dr. Thomas and Lori Urosevich of Mountaintop, and Wesley Guarneri is the son of Vincent and Sop Guarneri of Wilkes-Barre.