CT Briefs

Eight teens earn Hexagram Scholarships

The Commission on Jewish Education and Leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford have announced the winners of the Hexagram Scholarships.  Created by an anonymous donor, the Hexagram Scholarships are awarded to Jewish high school students from Connecticut who write an essay either advocating or rejecting the centrality of the hexagram in Judaism, based on quotes from Exodus 20, 3-6 and Amos 5, 25-27.  The full text of all the winning essays is available at www.jewishhartford.org.
In his essay advocating the centrality of the hexagram, 1st place winner Daniel Blas of New Haven, writes: “In today’s fragmented world, it is vital that Jews have something to unite them.  Hexagrams mark Jewish tombstones, synagogues, and Jewish safe havens. Its prevalence almost single-handedly justifies its necessity in Judaism. The Diaspora and a disparity in religious ideology both pose significant obstacles to a cohesive religious group. Having the universally recognized hexagram not only combats that divide, but it also encourages solidarity through its ubiquity and recognizability.”
Conversely, Jeremy Ross of Avon rejected the centrality of the Hexagram, writing: “The Hexagram in Judaism is also known as the Star of David, or the Shield of David. The Shield of David is representative of the Lord, because the Lord shielded David. Those statements bring us to the conclusion that the hexagram (Star of David or Shield of David) is a symbol of God Himself. The problem with this is that in Judaism no images or symbols of God are permitted. This is evident in Exodus 20, 4; “You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth.” Based on the quotations above, which are from Scripture, it is clear that the hexagram is not legitimate in Judaism.”

The Hexagon Scholarship winners are:

Jeremy Ross, Avon Old Farms, 1st place
Daniel Blas, Ramaz HS, 1st place
Joshua Rubin, Berlin High School, 2nd place
Carmi Cheskis-Gold, Hamden Hall, 2nd place
Joshua Ferrebee, Rocky Hill HS, 3rd place
Hannah Glass, Glastonbury HS, 3rd place
Deanna Lieberman, Simsbury HS, 3rd place
Jenna Dimenstein, Sound School, 3rd place

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