Sophomore wins Israel scholarship in art contest

Emilie Benyowitz, BP Staff

Leila Miller, Outside News Editor

Sophomore Emilie Benyowitz has won third place in the Jewish Federation’s city-wide The Future is Now art contest, earning a $500 scholarship toward an organized trip to Israel, which she will use this summer.

The theme of the competition, which celebrated the Federation’s centennial, was the future of the Jewish people. Emilie won for her photograph of a blue Israeli flag drawn symmetrically across two white-painted hands.

The idea struck her during class one day, and Emilie used her classmate Shirlee Meisel’s hands as the painted model.

“I knew her work was beautiful and I was really happy for her,” said Art teacher Roen Salem.

But Emilie hadn’t thought that she would win and was shocked when her mom gave her the news on June 10 after picking her up from school.

“I was so happy I was going to cry,”she said.

Students from throughout Los Angeles were eligible for the contest and could submit either a photograph, story, video, or art piece. There were around six entries from Shalhevet competing with hundreds of others from 16 middle and high schools throughout Los Angeles County.

Emilie is currently the Web Photo Editor for The Boiling Point and will become overall Photo Editor next fall.  Earlier this year she won the paper’s first-ever award in photography in the International Quill and Scroll Writing/Photo Contest, for a picture of Choir arriving to sing at the dedication of the Los Angeles Holocaust Memorial and Monument.

Some day, Emilie said, she would like to be a fashion photographer,“because I love magazines and want to take the front cover,” she said in an interview.

Emilie thinks she inherited her passion for photography from her grandfather, who was a photographer for the royal family in England.

“He passed away and I’m kind of taking over for him,” Emilie said. “Whenever a famous person came in, like the prime minister, my grandfather would take the pictures.”

So far, however, she has never taken a photography class. But in a first for Shalhevet, Roen has agreed to allow Emilie and fellow sophomore Sammy Sheff to take AP Studio Art next year with a concentration in photography as a form of visual art, as well as drawing and painting with the rest of the class.

“They’ll have regular assignments but they will use photography for their AP medium,” Roen said.

First place in the contest were two senior boys from YULA, who split the $2,000 prize toward a trip, and a girl from Bnos Devorah, who won $1,000 for second place. Emilie’s family will accept her award’s certificate on her behalf at a ceremony at the Federation on June 26, as she will undoubtedly be taking photos in Israel by then.