By Joan Kranz
FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Three Fairfield County students are recipients of the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County’s 2016 National History Day Awards. Rebecca Ronnai, a seventh-grader at Weston Middle School, and Sofia Dodar and Julia Abbazia, both sophomores at Greenwich High School, won the Society’s annual award for entries that incorporated Jewish history and heritage into the National History Day’s theme, Exploration, Encounter and Exchange.
The three young women received award certificates and prizes on May 22, at a program hosted by the Jewish Historical Society at the Stamford Jewish Community Center. Attendees viewed Dodar’s and Abbazia’s prize-winning Senior Division group exhibit “FDR: Through the Eyes of Survivors,” and Ronnai’s Individual Documentary: Miracle of the Holocaust: Exploration of Survival.
Ronnai says she was inspired to make her documentary after seeing the film “Woman in Gold.” Her grandfather, who escaped Austria at a very young age, attended the award ceremony. Ronnai will join about 3,000 students June 12-16 at the University of Maryland in College Park for the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Competition. The competition is the culmination of a year-long academic program involving more than half a million middle and high school students from around the world.
“The appreciation and study of history is alive and well in the next generation. We hope to award even more prizes next year,” said Elissa Kaplan, president of the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County.
Joan Kranz is chair of the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County National History Day.
CAP: National History Day award winners: (l to r) Sofia Dodar, Julia Abbazia, Rebecca Ronnai