Jackson Center Announces Statewide Essay Contest Winners

The Robert H. Jackson Center and the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York Bar Association partnered to present a two-day youth education event in Jamestown recently, which began with a presentation of awards and an interview with Sophia of the Buffalo Holocaust Resource Center.

Students in fifth through eighth grades were invited to participate in a statewide essay contest based on Karen Levine’s award-winning book “Hana’s Suitcase.” Entrants were asked to explain how the story helped them to better understand how intolerance and racism can result in violations of peoples’ civil and human rights.

Contest winners were recognized at a dinner reception at the Jackson Center. The after-dinner program featured an interview with guest speaker Sophia, a Jewish resident of Holland during World War II who was imprisoned at Bergen-Belsen during the same time Hana Brady, the subject of Levin’s book, was imprisoned at Terezin. Sophia now lives in Amherst and is a retired special education teacher.

Three students were recognized for their winning essays and were each presented with certificates and autographed copies of the 10th anniversary edition of “Hana’s Suitcase” and “Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor” by Gail Jarrow in recognition of their winning entries. The contest winners were: first place, Malasher Johnson of Milton L. Olive Middle School in Suffolk County, who was also awarded a $500 savings bond; honorable mention, Pahola Gonzalez of Milton L. Olive Middle School and Sophia Adams of Wilson Foundation Academy in Monroe County.

Sponsors were: New York State Bar Association Law, Youth & Citizenship Program; Ahlstrom-Shaeffer, American Red Cross, Cattaraugus County Bank, Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Agency, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Comfort Inn & Suites, Double A Vineyards, Evans Discount Liquors, Hopes Windows, Jamestown Mattress, Lake Shore Savings, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Metzger, Price Abstract, Robert H. Jackson Center, Serta Mattress, Shults Management Group and Temple Hesed Abraham.

The event, which was coordinated by Paul Lombardo, Jackson Center volunteer, is part of the ongoing mission of the Jackson Center to educate youth on the legacy of United State Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert H. Jackson. At the request of President Harry S. Truman, Jackson served as U.S. Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials of surviving Nazi leaders.

The center is located at 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. Tours are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call the Jackson Center at 483-6646 or visit roberthjackson.org.