Press Release
June 2, 2011

Holland & Knight's Holocaust Remembrance Project Awards 10 Essay Winners Scholarships and Life-Changing Experience in South Florida

The Only National Holocaust High School Essay Contest Brings Students Together with Survivors for the 17th Year

MIAMI – June 2, 2011 – On June 30, 2011, the law firm of Holland & Knight and the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation will once again present awards and scholarships to the 10 first-place winners of the firm's Holocaust Remembrance Project, an annual national essay contest for high school students designed to encourage and promote the study of the Holocaust.

The 10 winning essays for 2011 were chosen from thousands of essays nationwide. Each first-place winner will receive a college scholarship of up to $10,000. Since the project began in 1995, students have received more than $1 million in scholarships and prizes.

The awards dinner will take place on the evening of June 30 at the JW Marriott on Brickell Avenue in Miami and will conclude a week of events for the winning high school students including visits to the Holocaust Memorial of Miami Beach; the Jewish Museum of Florida; The Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida; the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki (Seminole Tribe of Florida) Museum; and, most importantly, meetings with Holocaust survivors. The group will also be treated to a private screening of the film "Triumph of the Spirit," the first movie about the Holocaust to be filmed at Auschwitz, with a presentation by the director Robert M. Young and actor Edward James Olmos.

Holland & Knight's 2011 national first-place winners are:

Rachel Baer, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio
Andrew Eckholm, a junior from New York, New York
Jeremy Fuster, a senior from Sherman Oaks, California
Jennifer Hansler, a senior from Twinsburg, Ohio
Shaye Heyman, a senior from Mound, Minnesota
Rivka Jacobs, a junior from Cumming, Georgia
Erika Mendoza, a senior from Beaumont, Texas
Bianca Stoica, a senior from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Genevieve Tuite, a sophomore from St. Petersburg, Florida
Hannah Zweig, a sophomore from Port Washington, New York

To read the first-place, second-place and third-place winners' essays, please visit  

"Holland & Knight established this program to encourage young people to research Holocaust history and apply its lessons in their own lives," said Holland & Knight Partner Stephen Moss, Chair of the 2011 Program. "Year after year, we witness the life-changing results and we are gratified to know that each student will carry the lessons and experiences they share through this project into the future."

In addition to the prizes awarded to the 10 first-place winners, 10 second-place and 10 third-place winners also receive cash prizes, medals and certificates. The 10 first-place winners will participate in educational activities and testimony from historians and survivors. Select teachers also have been invited to share the students' experiences with survivors in order to bring these lessons of the Holocaust back to the classroom. Each of these teachers will receive a trunk filled with educational materials on the Holocaust and valued at $1,000.00.

Keynote Speaker and Master of Ceremonies for Awards Dinner on June 30
The awards dinner will feature keynote speaker and actor in "Triumph of the Spirit," Edward James Olmos. "Triumph of the Spirit" was the first movie about the Holocaust to be filmed at Auschwitz. The 1989 film documents the life of a Jewish boxer Salamo Arouch, who was forced by Nazi SS guards to fight other prisoners to death at the infamous Auschwitz death camp. Olmos is also known for his role as teacher Jaime Escalante in "Stand and Deliver," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988, and roles in "Miami Vice," "Selena," "Blade Runner" and "Battlestar Galactica." He was awarded a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1985 for his work in Miami Vice.

Michael Putney, a South Florida television host, will be the Master of Ceremonies for the program's awards dinner. Putney leads the on-air content and direction of "This Week in South Florida" (WPLG-TV) as the host. He reports on local and national news covering political and governmental issues and also contributes to the Miami Herald. He is the recipient of two Emmy Awards.

Our Sponsors
Together with the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation and the law firm of Holland & Knight, major sponsors of the Project include: The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, The Betsy Hotel on Miami Beach, The JW Marriott Miami, SunTrust Bank, Bahia Mar Resort, Southern Wine & Spirits, CSI Leasing, Mahoney & Associates, Resolve Marine Group, 15th Street Fisheries, and Art Pollack Photography, along with hundreds of Holland & Knight lawyers, staff members, and friends of the law firm.

About the Holocaust Remembrance Project: The Holocaust Remembrance Project was instituted by Holland & Knight in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps. Since its inception, the Project has awarded more than $1,000,000 in scholarships, cash and prizes to young writers and acted as a living memorial to the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust. In addition to scholarships, the Project offers free lesson plans and materials to assist in the teaching of the Holocaust. A comprehensive teacher resource guide is available online and is free of charge to all high-school educators.

About the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation: Established as a 501(c)(3) public charity in 1996, the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation manages and coordinates charitable giving, and directly operates several important programs that support education. It is funded through contributions from the firm, Holland & Knight attorneys and staff, as well as from external sources.

Latest News and Headlines