Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest

This contest is held under the auspices of the Holocaust Education Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. It is sponsored by Renate Frydman and family in memory of Grandfather Max May, pictured here. Framing of the art is sponsored by Allen Seymour in memory of his wife Carole.

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 dhrcdirector @ with any further questions.

The theme for this year’s Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Writing Contest and Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest is:

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

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.

Winners will be notified soon after the deadline, March 22, and will be announced at the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration in April.

click: artentryform for the contest entry form

If you have trouble downloading the form, contact daytonholocaustresourcecenter @

You can also ask to be added to that e-mail list, if you are not on it already; we send updates periodically.

Entries should be brought to Beth Jacob Synagogue on North Main Street during the week of March 18-22.  Be sure to phone first to make sure someone is there to let you in.  See their website for their location, hours, etc.  Their phone is 937-274-2149.  Problems getting your entry to Beth Jacob?  Call Melinda at 937-238-1194.

DIVISIONS: Division I is for grades 5-8. Division II is for grades 9-12. Students at any greater Dayton area school, public, parochial or private, are eligible. Entries must be submitted through a teacher, except in the case of home-schooled students. No more than two entries per student, please.

AWARDS: Monetary awards will be given for First, Second, Third Place and possibly Honorable Mention or Best of Show.  Awards will be announced at the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration, this year at Beth Abraham Synagogue on April 28.


Media that may be used: Drawing, Painting, Photography (if using computer imagery, it must be created as part of your own design), Printmaking, Three-dimensional Sculpture (mixed media assemblages, wood carvings, etc). Particular care must be taken with sharp edges, glass, and other delicate material. The glue must hold up when displayed and traveling to various locations.

All entries must be of manageable size and suitable for public display.

The Holocaust Education Committee reserves the right to exhibit any of the art entered in this contest, including photos of entries on this website or elsewhere. The art remains the property of the Holocaust Education Committee.

Each entry must have TWO entry forms: one attached to the artwork itself (on the back or bottom) and another copy to be included in an envelope mailed to the Resource Center by the teacher. This envelope may include forms for all the entries from a school or class. This makes it easier to identify and keep track of all entries. Download the online form just above.

mailing address:

Dayton Holocaust Resource Center

525 Versailles Dr, Dayton, OH 45459

questions? e-mail dhrcdirector @