Asher Essay Contest and...



A student may submit one entry for each contest.

ATT sponsors the Asher Essay Contest annually for all of its grades 3 -12 students of its affiliated schools. Established through the generosity of Helen and Norman Asher, the program allows our students to show their creativity, their ability to research Jewish topics, and to improve their writing skills. The goals of the contest are:

  • To encourage students to do research in the primary sources of Judaism in their preferred areas of interest
  • To explain the relevance of Torah to all aspects of life
  • To allow students the opportunity of strengthening their commitment to Judaism through writing
  • To encourage students to improve their writing skills
  • To recognize and celebrate our students' creativity and their writing skills

2017-2018 Asher Essay Contest Prizes: $50.00 check per winner

Asher Essay Contest Rules:

1. All essay submissions must include an essay title, first name, last name, home address (include city, state, zip, & apartment # when applicable), email address, grade, and school in order to be eligible. 

 2. If submissions are hand-written, essays must be legible, done in ink, and written on one side of the paper.

 3. Deadline: Monday, January 22, 2018, by 5:00 p.m.

4. Essays may be submitted by:

  • Mail:      3531 Madison Street, Skokie, IL 60076
  • Email:
  • Online:  Go to

 5. Length of essay: 500 word maximum

6. For teachers only - If done as a class assignment, please be sure to:

  i. Include the attached cover sheet with your class submissions. (Click here to download cover sheet.)

  ii. Have each student include an essay title, his/her first and last name, home address (include city, state, zip and apartment # when applicable), email address, grade, and school on his/her submission.

  iii. If submissions are hand-written, essays must be legible, done in ink, and written on only one side of the paper.

7.      Essay Topics:
        a.       Research a question about a Judaic topic that you are interested in. Your essay should include the answer as well as its rationale.

                   • e.g.: What brocha do you make on a granola bar?        
        b.       Research a historical/current Jewish personality or event. Using what you have learned from your research, explain how it applies to your Jewish values and/or contemporary Jewish life. (Essay should include two parts, a brief summary of what has been researched and its relationship to you or modern life in general.)
                   • e.g.: Write a brief summary (1 -2 paragraphs) of the Inquisition and then explain how it impacts our lives today.
        c.       Create a poem, play or other type of creative writing on a Jewish theme, idea, personality, event, or holiday.
        • e.g.: Write a poem about Rosh Hashana from one of its related objects' perspective (e.g. shofar, apple, machzor). 
        d.       Explain a tefilah (prayer) from the Siddur and its special meaning to you and the role it plays in your life.
        • e.g.: Select Modeh Ani and explain why it makes me happy to be alive.
        e.       Explain a difficult passage from the Tanach. Present a minimum of two resolutions to the problem.
        • e.g.: Why didn't Yosef inform his father of his presence in Egypt?
        f.       Describe a modern problem and show how our sacred texts deal with the problem.
        • e.g.: The Sanctity of Marriage; Environment; Social Justice
8.      Asher Essays will be judged on these criteria:                                            
                        i. Following directions -  Be sure to include your heading     
                       ii. Content/research/originality and creativity   
                      iii. Mechanics (grammar, spelling, etc.)
9.      All submitted essays are the property of the ATT and may be published in an ATT publication. Please retain a copy of your submission for your records. Winners will be requested to resubmit their essays electronically.

For Online Submission, complete the form below.

First Name:
Last Name:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Submit Essay:
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