A Yeshiva University (YU) student writing on Hurricane Sandy won first place in the 2013 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics essay contest, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity announced. The contest has taken place since 1989.
Gavriel Brown, YU Class of 2014 and originally from Silver Spring, Md., won a competition that invited students across the U.S. to write about ethical problems confronting the model world. In his winning essay, “Losing Self, Finding Self,” Brown discussed how he volunteered at a shelter during Hurricane Sandy and the feelings he experienced of a barrier between himself and the victims of the storm. “Often and with ease do we separate ourselves from the suffering of others,” he wrote.
“Today’s college students are listening to the ethical voices within. They are drawing on their memories and the lessons of their teachers, and are concerned with the morality of their private and public experiences. They are challenging us all to make a difference,” Elie Wiesel said in a statement.
The second prize went to George “Lawson” Kuehnert of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his essay, “Grace and Gasoline: Self-Immolations in Modern Tibet and the Ethical Limits of Nonviolent Protest,” in which he discusses the ethical limits of nonviolent protests and self-immolation.