Thousand-strong Crowd Sees Three Overseas Winners Crowned at Annual “My Family Story” Contest at Museum of the Jewish People

36 finalists flown in from across the globe to exhibit their personal artistic Jewish heritage projects

Photo by Nir Shaanani

TLV – On Friday, June 9, 2017, over 1,000 people lined up at The Museum of Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, as its Koret International School for Jewish Peoplehood held the 22nd annual international competition to mark the culmination of its flagship project, My Family Story.

My Family Story, a fun-filled, multigenerational Jewish heritage journey to the past, is a global year-long scheme in which young participants delve into their family roots and connection to the greater story of Jewish people, before each channeling what they learn into a personal artistic creation. Rabbi Talia Avnon-Benveniste, director of the Koret International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies, noted that the project “enables every student and family to explore and cherish the inherent treasure in their own unique family heritage, and to present this heritage back to the world as real museum-pieces.”

Photo by Nir Shaanani
This year, 155 institutions, and more than 20,000 students from 25 countries – including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, South Africa and Venezuela – participated in the My Family Story initiative.

Of the 200 outstanding designs submitted to the judging panel, 50 were then selected to take part in the program’s highlight; a competition ceremony and exhibition held in memory of Manuel Hirsch Grosskopf, at the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. As part of the competition, thirty six finalists from overseas were flown to Israel to take part in person. You can view the full catalogue of finalists online here.

Adobe Spark Page

First place for the North America, Australia and South Africa category went to 11-year old Naomi Silverman, from San Jose, CA. Naomi’s entry – called “Schatz’s Dreck-a-Mix,” an interactive video series, based on research into the life and history of Naomi’s Great Grandmother Rita Rosen – can be seen in full by clicking the image directly above. Lilia Szpielewicz, from Grodno in Belarus took first place for Europe and the FSU fork “I and My Household,” and the winning entrant for Spain and Latin America was “Lighting my Steps” by Esther Mizrahi Wainberg, from Caracas, Venezuela.

This year, with the support of the Covenant Foundation, My Family Story expanded in the United States, with the pilot launch of a spin-off project using local artists to enrich both the creative and group-building experience for participants at venues outside of the day-school setting. The scheme’s pilot locations were The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Stroum JCC in Mercer Island, with more locations expected for the next year’s competition.

An exhibition showcasing all of the finalists’ works will remain on show to visitors at the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot throughout June.