Pardes Student Wins 2018 Bronia & Sam Bronkesh Jewish Spirit Prize

Pardes 7th grader Eliana Rosenfeld is the inaugural award winner of the Bronia & Sam Bronkesh Jewish Spirit Prize’s newly established Middle School Division.  Over 80 High School and Middle School participants from across the Valley submitted essays. The essay contest is part of the annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration presented by the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association and sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education. The event took place at Beth El Congregation in Phoenix where Eliana read her essay to a packed house of several hundred.

This year’s book  “The Children of Willesden Lane” chronicles the story of Lisa Jura.  Lisa was a 13-year-old piano prodigy when she escaped WWII Vienna on the Kindertransport. The Kindertransport brought over 10,000 children, overwhelmingly Jewish, to the safety of England.

In her essay, Eliana focused on the importance of having a positive mindset, a purpose in life and the strength to persevere. She referenced renowned Austrian Holocaust Survivor Viktor Frankl. “Forces beyond our control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”  Eliana credits Pardes and her teachers for teaching her about the Holocaust and inspiring her to stand up to try to make a positive difference.