Pogrund Family Essay Contest

2023 – 2024 Pogrund Family Essay Contest

The ATT’s Pogrund Family Essay and Judaic Artwork Contests are for students, grades 3-12, of its affiliated schools. Funded through the generosity of the Pogrund Family, the contests provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity, ability to research Jewish topics and to express themselves through writing/art. A student may participate in one or both contests by submitting one entry for the Pogrund Family Essay contest and one entry for the Pogrund Family Judaic Artwork contest.

Contest Prizes: $50.00 check per winner (In 2022-2023, 34 ATT students were Pogrund Family Essay winners!)

To view Pogrund Family Essay Contest Flyer, click here.

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

Essay Topics

Select one of the essay topics below:

  1. Research a question about a Judaic topic that interests you. Essay should include the answer as well as its rationale. (e.g.: Does Hashem expect us to work for success or to rely on him alone?)
  2. Explain how a major Jewish event influences your life. (e.g.: Yetzias Mitzrayim, Matan Torah,  the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition)
  3. Create a poem, play, speech, memoir, personal essay, journal, diary, short story, letter or other type of creative writing on a Jewish theme, idea, personality, event, or holiday. Be sure to include details, facts, customs, etc. to illustrate your knowledge of the subject.
  4. Explain a tefilah (prayer) from the Siddur and its special meaning to you and the role it plays in your life.
  5. Explain a difficult passage from Tanach. Present a minimum of two resolutions to the problem. (e.g.: How did the Jews make an Eigel, Golden Calf, just 40 days after Har Sinai?)
  6. Describe a modern problem and show how our sacred texts deal with the problem. (e.g.: Sanctity of Human Life; Anti-Semitism; Sanctity of Marriage; Environment; Social Justice)

Essay Contest Rules – click here.

Length of essay: 500 word maximum

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

Hand-written submissions must be legible, done in blue or black ink, and written on one side of the paper.

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 may be requested to resubmit their essays electronically.

Essays may be submitted by Wednesday, January 17, 2024, by 5:00 p.m. by mail, email or in the online form below

ATT – Pogrund Family Essay Contest
3531 Madison Street
Skokie, IL 60076


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For Teachers Only:
If done as a class assignment, please be sure to:

  • If done as a class assignment, please be sure to:
  • Include the Pogrund Family Essay class cover sheet with your class submissions.
  • 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 (student or parent), grade, and school on all pages of his/her submission.
  • If submissions are hand-written, essays must be legible, done in blue/black ink, and written on only one side of the paper.

Essay Contest Judging

Judging will be based on the following:

  • Following directions – Be sure to include your heading and an essay title.
  • Content/research/originality and creativity
  • Mechanics (grammar, spelling, etc.)

To view 2022-2023 Essay Contest Winners, click here.

Pogrund Family Essay Contest Entry Form

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