Stephen D. Smith Keynote Speaker at Holland & Knight Student Essay Contest Awards Event

Thu, 07/15/2010 - 12:00am

To read the Jewish Journal story about the event, click here.

LOS ANGELES, CA – July 15, 2010 – Tonight, the law firm of Holland & Knight and the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation will present its awards and scholarships to the 10 first-place winners of the firm's Holocaust Remembrance Project, an annual national essay contest for high school students designed to encourage and promote the study of the Holocaust.

The 10 winning essays for 2010 were chosen from thousands of essays nationwide.  Each first-place winner will receive a college scholarship of up to $7,500.

The Awards Ceremony will take place at the Skirball Cultural Center of Los Angeles, and will conclude a week of events for the winning high school students focusing on the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation Institute; the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance; the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the oldest Holocaust museum in the United States; and meetings with Holocaust survivors.

Holland & Knight's 2010 national first-place winners are:

Sara Brenner, a senior from Port Washington, New York
Donald Brown, a senior from Vicksburg, Mississippi
David Day, a senior from Golden, Colorado
Shalva Ginsparg, a junior from Hollywood, Florida
Isaac Helleman, a senior from Plano, Texas
Rachel Hain, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio
Alice Lee, a senior from McLean, Virginia
Kristen Ney, a senior from Hubertus, Wisconsin
Rachel Schwarzman, a senior from Bangor, Maine
Doreen Xu, a senior from Powder Springs, Georgia

To read the first-place, second-place and third-place winner's essays, please visit

"Holland & Knight established this program to serve as an educational tool to further students' understanding of the impact of the Holocaust," said Holland & Knight Managing Partner Steven Sonberg.  "Our firm recognizes the moral imperative of teaching young people about this watershed event, and is honored to provide the resources for the operation of this project to the voices that will be heard in generations to come."  Jerry Levine is the Chair of the 2010 Program.  Levine explains that the firm takes great pride in affording this opportunity to students each year, and is proud to host the event in L.A., in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

In addition to the prizes awarded to the 10 first-place winners, 10 second-place and 10 third-place winners also receive cash prizes, medals and certificates.  The 10 first-place winners will also participate in intense seminars and testimony from historians and survivors.  Other events include:

Week-Long Immersion with Holocaust Survivors, July 12-15
The week-long experience for the students, educators and survivors will take place July 12-15.  The activities will include Touring the Museum of Tolerance, The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and a performance of Thurgood at Los Angeles' Geffen Theater.  Most importantly, the students and teachers will have time to listen to the stories of the survivors, ask questions, and spend time together.  

Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speaker for Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, July 15
The awards ceremony, now in its 16th year, will take place on Thursday, July 15 at the Skirball Cultural Center of Los Angeles.  The event will feature keynote speaker and Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, Stephen D. Smith.  Smith was founding director of the Holocaust Centre, Britain's first dedicated Holocaust memorial and education center.  He has been involved in memorial projects around the world, including the creation of the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda.

Glynn Turman, an Emmy Award winning actor, will be the Master of Ceremonies for the program's awards ceremony.  Turman is known for his role as Mayor Clarence Royce on the HBO drama series The Wire.  He started his career at the age of 12 in the legendary Lorraine Hansberry's landmark Broadway production of A Raisin In The Sun, with Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.  Turman performed in such plays as My Africa, Athol Fugard's My Children, and his own autobiography/one-man show Movin' Man.  His many film credits include Sahara, How Stella Got Her Groove Back," Men of Honor, Gremlins, and the cult classic Cooley High.  Turman and his wife co-founded and run a free western style summer camp, "Camp Gid D Up," for inner-city and at-risk youth.

About the Holocaust Remembrance Project:  The Holocaust Remembrance Project was instituted by Holland & Knight in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.  Since its inception, the Project has awarded more than $1,000,000 in scholarships, cash and prizes to young writers, and acted as a living memorial to the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust.  In addition, the project has provided scholar trips for hundreds of teachers seeking to improve their ability to teach the lessons of the Holocaust, with specialized seminars throughout the week, and a teacher trunk valued at $1,000.00 for each school community.  For more information and the read the winning essays, visit

About the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation:  Established as a 501(c)(3) public charity in 1996, the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation manages and coordinates charitable giving for the firm.  Funded through contributions from the firm, Holland & Knight attorneys and staff, as well as external sources, the foundation underwrites several important programs that support education.

About Holland & Knight LLP:   Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices as well as Abu Dhabi, Beijing and Mexico City.  The firm is among the nation's largest law firms, providing representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.  Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location.