Writing and Art Contests

Each winter the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center sponsors two contests for students in grades 5 through 12. Click on the links below for complete details about the contests, including this year’s themes and deadlines. Contact rfrydman25  @ gmail.com with any further questions.

The 2024 Lydia May Writing and Max May Holocaust Art Contests have as their theme:

Righteous Gentiles

חֲסִידֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם

Choose and research a Righteous Gentile. What inspired this person to risk his or her own life to save Jews and others who were marked for death by the Nazis?

One person can make a difference!

Righteous Gentiles, or more formally “Righteous among the Nations,” are defined by Yad Vashem: “The Righteous Among the Nations, honored by Yad Vashem, are non-Jews who took great risks to save Jews during the Holocaust. Rescue took many forms and the Righteous came from different nations, religions and walks of life. What they had in common was that they protected their Jewish neighbors at a time when hostility and indifference prevailed. . . . Most rescuers were ordinary people. Some acted out of political, ideological or religious convictions; others were not idealists, but merely human beings who cared about the people around them. In many cases they never planned to become rescuers and were totally unprepared for the moment in which they had to make such a far-reaching decision. They were ordinary human beings, and it is precisely their humanity that touches us and should serve as a model.”

Of course, there are a few very famous Righteous Gentiles, but most are not well known.  Try to choose one of the latter – you may want to show us why that person should be better known.

Here is a brief list of resources to help students get started:

A local Righteous Gentile, Johanna Van Hagen



The local Bosma family:


General resources:

Students will find plenty of information on the web with a simple search.  However, most deal with only a few individuals.  The following are the best sources for large databases of people to consider.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem


Holocaust Museum in Washington


Jewish Virtual Library


 The librarians at the ERC at Wright State will be happy to help: contact beth.anderson@wright.edu

We know that the uncertainties of this school year may present obstacles to students, teachers and parents alike when it comes to creating art and writing for the contests.  We encourage entries from students being schooled at home as well as from the traditional classroom.

Entries must be submitted by the week of March 18-22, 2024.  Click on the links below for full information on each contest, including how to submit.

Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Writing Contest

Click here to see a booklet of some past winning entries.

Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest

The Dayton Art Institute has a virtual tour of the 2021 art on exhibit there:


In 2002 we published a booklet containing some of the best contest entries from the past decade. Contact us if you would like copies, or view the entire booklet here. (large PDF file)

In 2003 and 2004, a selection of Art Contest entries were exhibited at the Webster Street Market, the Dayton Art Institute, and Sinclair Community College. Click here for the complete exhibit catalogue – thanks to Jill Wysong of the DAI.

Since 2004, selected Art Contest entries have been exhibited at the Dayton Art Institute. Some of these are pictured on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DaytonHRC