After a long pandemic-induced delay, Rabbi Simon Jacobson announced the winners of this year’s 6th annual MyLife: Chassidus Applied Essay and Creative Contest during this week’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied broadcast in honor of Chai Elul.
This highly anticipated annual event has gained a new level of urgency this year as it comes in the wake of the global disruption, impacting us all. The contest winners are usually announced around Yud Alef Nissan. But due to the Covid outbreak after Purim, the ceremony had to be postponed.
But, in the true spirit of Chassidus, which teaches us that darkness leads to greater light, this year’s contest has now yielded thirteen (instead of usual three) monetary winners. Says Rabbi Simon Jacobson, dean of The Meaningful Life Center and founder of the contest, “When faced with challenges and upheavals, Chassidus empowers us to dig deeper and find even more powerful resources. And that is exactly what we have done. The delay has now created the opportunity to award many more people across the spectrum for presenting, in all sorts of innovative ways, the relevance of Chassidus to our lives today.”
Over the last six years since the inception of the MyLife Contest, thousands of entries have poured in from around the world, and from people of all backgrounds — students, laypeople, Rabbis, shluchim, educators and professors. Due to its wide appeal, this year the contest was expanded into seven tracks, including a Hebrew track and a creative track (for music, poetry, sculpture, tapestry and other art forms), awarding 13 monetary prizes, totaling $33,500.
English Essay Winners:
2nd Place, $3,600 winner: Shaina Slavin, Shlucha, Machne Yehuda, Jerusalem. Sydney, Australia. Age 20. Topic: A Time to Heal
English Student Winner:
$500: Lily Richman, Student at Machon Alte Seminary. Twinsburg, OH. Age 24. Topic: Seeing the Future
English Essay Finalists:
Anonymous, Student Beis Chana – Tzfas Seminary St. Age 19. Topic: The Super Human Unmasked
Liba Rimler, Teacher, Cheder Chabad of Monsey. Pomona, NY. Age 21. Topic: Weaning Our Children Off Extrinsic Motivation
Moshe Miller, Writing, translating, teaching, guiding. Self-employed. Chicago, IL. Age 65. Topic: Window for Words
Aidel Cohen, Tzivos Hashem, Writer and Editor. Brooklyn, NY. Age 25. Topic: Unconditional Trust
Koby Berkovits, Student, Kesser Torah College. Sydney, Australia. Age 18. Topic: Complacency- and How to be Dissatisfied With It
Chaya Rivkin, Student, Machon Shoshanat Yerushalayim. New Orleans, LA. Age 19. Topic: Judaism: Irrelevant Micromanagement
Sara Blau. Extra-Curricular Director of Beis Rivkah. Brooklyn, NY. Age 31. Topic: Soaring Free (mixed media with text and visual).
Hebrew Essay Winners [Men]:
1st Place, $5,000 winner: Elozor Nachshon. Jerusalem. Topic: Challenges with Time and Deadlines for Those with ADHD
2nd Place, $1,800 winner: Menachem Mendel Dekel. 770 Kevutzah. Topic: Competition – Growth or Decline?
3rd Place, $1,000 winner: Rabbi Dovid Zalmanov. Kiev, Ukraine. Topic: How to Choose the Right Diet?
Student, $500 winner: Menachem Mendel Yeshayahu. Kiryat Shmuel, Haifa. Topic: A Chassidic Approach to OCD
Hebrew Essay Winners [Women]:
1st Place, $5,000 winner: Devorah Leah Garelick. Neharia, Israel. Topic: The Secret of a “Good” Mistake
2nd Place, $1,800 winner: MEliah Chadad. Netanya, Israel. Topic: Fill Your Life with Gratitude: The Chassidic Approach to Preventing Emptiness and Achieving Fulfillment
3rd Place, $1,000 winner: RChana Berger. Migdal Ha’Emek, Israel. Topic: The Taste of Life
Student, $500 winner: Mushka Tabib. Kfar Chabad, Israel. Topic: Is Fundamental Change Possible?