Evan Kolin

The Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University announced that Shelli Orzach (Adams High School) and Evan Kolin (International Academy) are the winners of the 2016-2017 Jewish Writing Competition.

This competition, now in its second year, invites high school students across the Metropolitan Detroit area to submit an essay or poetry on any Jewish-related topic.

The goal of this competition, Center Director Howard Lupovitch explained at the awards ceremony, is “to encourage burgeoning young Jewish intellectuals to think and write — an especially important skill at a time when 140 characters passes for complete thought.”

Shelli Orzach

Orzach wrote an essay titled “Shenkin Street,” a vivid description and reflection of this hip area and cultural mecca in Tel Aviv, and what it means for Israeli identity. Kolin’s essay, “Barely a Jew,” was his response to the notion that, because he is not observant, he is barely a Jew. In this ironically-titled essay, Kolin reflects on the elements that comprise his well-developed commitment to Judaism and the Jewish community.

Both students receive a cash award of $500 and an opportunity to publish their essays in the center’s annual newsletter, which will appear later this year. Read the essays online at judaicstudies.wayne.edu/2017-winners.php.