The 27th annual AJW Hanuka Cover Contest, for students in grades 1-8, called on young artists in the community to reflect on the meaning of the Festival of Lights. It was exceptionally challenging this year to pick one artwork for the cover of this special edition. At least a half dozen entries were in the running — any of them would have made for an attractive cover to this special edition.
We are proud to announce that Eliah Fink is the winner of this year’s Hanuka Cover Contest. Eliah was the 1st Runner-up in the 2017 contest, so he is a testament to the adage that persistence pays off.
Eliah, 12, is in the seventh grade at Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School in St. Louis Park. He is the son of Stephanie Bell and Howard Fink, of Minneapolis. His older sister, Eleanor, also attends Heilicher.
During an interview at the Jewish World offices on Sunday, Eliah explained that he was “brainstorming ideas” and doodling when the Hanuka dreidel provided inspiration for his illustration.
In the Diaspora, the dreidel has four Hebrew letters on its sides (nun, gimel, hei and shin), which form the acronym Nes Gadol Haya Sham— “A great miracle happened there.” In Israel, the dreidel has a pei, instead of the shin, and letters stand for Nes Gadol Haya Po— “A great miracle happened here.”
The top panel of Eliah’s artwork shows an Israeli boy at the window with the appropriate dreidel decoration and hanukia. The door is marked “1948,” which represents the year when the modern State of Israel declared independence. In the bottom panel, there are similar festive decorations and the door is marked “1776,” representing the date of America’s Declaration of Independence.
Eliah’s artwork was skillfully executed with colored pencils. At Heilicher, he enjoys making clay sculptures as part of an elective class. And he likes his social studies class, where the Civil War is being discussed. He also plays sports (baseball, soccer and basketball), and reads fantasy fiction in his free time.
As this year’s winner, Eliah received a gift card, an embroidered ball cap (“American Jewish World Hanuka Contest Winner”), chocolate Hanuka gelt and a certificate suitable for framing courtesy of the American Jewish World. We also have certificates, caps and chocolate gelt for the runners-up (you can see their artworks: HERE).
We congratulate all of the artists who entered our contest this year. You’re all winners in our book. For those still eligible to enter, we hope to see your work again next year!
Since 1912 the AJW has served as an important news resource for the Jewish community. The Jewish World unites the main Jewish communities in St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as those in Duluth, Rochester and smaller cities, and bridges the divides between the various Jewish religious streams.