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Winning Chai-ku Poems Exhibit Youth’s Vision for the Future

Solomon Schechter winners include: (Top Row) Ariel Gordon, Jamie Cowan (Bottom Row) Alex Patt, Jeremy Eisen, Madeline Shani, Lily Temkin. Adults pictured are Michael Johnston, President and CEO at Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford; Howard Sovronsky, President and CEO at Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford; Andrea Kasper, Head of School at Solomon Schechter Day School.. Submitted photo

Students from two West Hartford schools won awards for their poems.

Submitted by Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford

Solomon Schechter winners include: (Top Row) Ariel Gordon, Jamie Cowan (Bottom Row) Alex Patt, Jeremy Eisen, Madeline Shani, Lily Temkin. Adults pictured are Michael Johnston, President and CEO at Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford; Howard Sovronsky, President and CEO at Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford; Andrea Kasper, Head of School at Solomon Schechter Day School.. Submitted photo

Solomon Schechter winners include: (Top Row) Ariel Gordon, Jamie Cowan (Bottom Row) Alex Patt, Jeremy Eisen, Madeline Shani, Lily Temkin. Adults pictured are Michael Johnston, President and CEO at Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford; Howard Sovronsky, President and CEO at Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford; Andrea Kasper, Head of School at Solomon Schechter Day School.. Submitted photo

Last fall the Aim Chai Endowment Campaign invited students in Greater Hartford to write a Chai-ku. A Chai-ku is a unique spin on the Japanese poetic form known as Haiku. A Chai-ku is a poem about the writer’s vision and hope for the community expressed in 18 words or less.

The Chai-ku competition has been an amazing opportunity for the youth of our community to have a voice to share their hopes for the future. Each Chai-ku was judged anonymously by a panel of judges, all of whom were impressed with the high level of ingenuity, creativity and originality of each submission.

The winning authors have been notified and publically acknowledged. The winning Chai-kus are below:

Ages 7 years & under 

1st place: You should always be safe, make friends, respect others, and always be kind. – Jeremy Eisen, age 7
2nd place: Friends play together forever and ever, stay safe forever and ever, and be friends forever and ever. – Lily Temkin age 7 and Maddie Shani, age 7
3rd place: It should be that you should share and be nice whenever you see somebody. – Alex Patt, age 7

Ages 8-12 years
1st place: Kindness, community, and having faith in G-d/These are the foundations/Remember these things/Improve Greater Hartford – Ariel Gordon, age 12
2nd place: Beautiful songs/Intertwined voices/Raised in harmony/Unraveling ribbons/Of shining notes/Hanging in the air/Synagogue services – Liya Simon, age 11
3rd place: Happiness all around and peace in the air. Children of all races playing in perfect harmony as one. – Jamie Cowan, age 12

13-17 Chai-Ku Winners

From left: HHNE students Kiarra Austin, Linor Ben-Naim, Ilan Small. Submitted photo

From left: HHNE students Kiarra Austin, Linor Ben-Naim, Ilan Small. Submitted photo

1st place: A thriving mixture of beliefs: genuine, tolerant, peaceful./Sun shining through the stained glass./Kaleidoscope colors, true diversity. – Ilan Small, age 16
2nd place: A place where people don’t have to walk around with masks on, pretending to be something that they aren’t. – Kiarra, age 16
3rd Place: A community where you’re accepted/A community where nobody is judged/A community where you belong/My community – Linor Ben-Naim, age 15

The Aim Chai Endowment Campaign is the first community-wide endowment campaign in the nation. Aim Chai is a collaboration of nearly 30 agencies, organizations, synagogues and schools partnering together to endow and sustain Jewish Hartford in perpetuity. Learn more at www.aimchai.org.

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