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A Letter to Students from Elie Wiesel:

Whatever the answer to essential questions of society and individual human beings may be, education is surely its major component. But what would education be without its ethical dimension? Many of us believe them to be inseparable. That is why this Prize in Ethics Essay Contest was established in 1989 by our Foundation. Thousands of students from hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation have participated. Through their writing, they explored their concerns and beliefs, their fears and their hopes.


While we suggest relevant topics each year, applicants are encouraged to choose any subject they feel strongly about, provided it is related to the domain of ethics.

The quality of the essays we have received over the years has been remarkable. It is with great difficulty that winners are chosen by a special committee of teachers and scholars.

We appeal to college students to send us their essays. We promise you they will not be ignored. In fact, we shall be proud to be your first readers. And perhaps your first critics and publishers.

We wish you good luck.

This year’s topics:

  • What does your own experience tell you about the relationship between politics and ethics and, in particular, what could be done to make politics more ethical?
  • Articulate with clarity an ethical issue you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself.
  • Carefully examine the ethical aspects or implications of a major literary work, a film or a significant piece of art.
  • Clearly analyze the relationship between religion and ethics in today’s world.
  • How does a recent political or cultural event shed light on the ethics of rebellion/revolution?

For instructions and application, see http://www.eliewieselfoundation.org/ .  Deadline is JANUARY 8, 2010



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