Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Harris and Zelma Freedman Scholarship

Harris and Zelma Freedman Scholarship

The Harris and Zelma Freedman Scholarship awards students first, second, and third place prizes for the best academic paper written in the field of Jewish Studies.

Who is eligible to apply for the Jewish Studies Essay Contest?

Any full-time student who wrote a paper on a Jewish Studies topic during the past academic year (Fall 2020 – Spring 2021). Students of any class standing are eligible to apply.

You need not be a Jewish Studies student, nor does the paper have to have been written for a Jewish Studies class. The important factor is the topic. As long as you wrote a paper in the field of Jewish Studies, you can submit it for this contest.

If you have questions about whether or not your paper fits our eligibility requirements, please contact Professor Eliyana Adler.

How do I apply?

To apply, please submit your paper with a 1-page cover sheet to jstd@psu.edu by 15 April. In the subject line of your email, please include your first and last name along with the name of the scholarship (example: JSP Essay Contest – FirstName LastName). Essays must be submitted in the form of a Word Document with only a title. The cover sheet should include the title of your paper, your name, and the course and professor it was submitted for. Please note whether you are pursuing a Jewish Studies major, minor, or certificate.

If you receive a Jewish Studies Essay Award, we will ask you to submit a short bio about yourself to be featured on our website. In addition, you will write a brief blogpost about your paper and research to publish on the website and social media.

Applications Due: April 15th, 2021.

2021 Award Winners

1st Place

Masters Director's Fund Essay Prize Recipient:

“Resurgent Antisemitism: The Threat of Viktor Orban and His Political Arsenal” by Jacob Green

2nd Place

Masters Director's Fund Essay Prize Recipient:

“Ugly Jews in the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man” by Morgan Seiff

3rd Place

Harris and Zelma Freedman Scholarship Essay Prize Recipient:

“Solomon’s Temple: Historical Sources, Accuracy, and Reconstruction” by Dov Gordan

Additional Questions

Students are competing for one of three top places. First place receives an award of $500, second place receives an award of $300, and third place receives an award of $200.

We plan to hold an awards ceremony at the end of April. All applicants will be notified of our decisions by the end of the semester.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Interim Director of Jewish Studies Professor Eliyana Adler.