The 2024 Milton Wolf Prize in Student Advocacy
A Centropa Civics Project Competition
for US public school students, grades 6-12
Find your civic passion—
and advocate for it by doing these five steps:
Identify a community problem you think is important.
Research about the issue in your community, state, and/or country.
Learn how local people & organizations are addressing that problem.
Create a visual presentation (video, PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.).
Educate others (online or in person) about this issue
and show them how they can get involved.
Cash prizes for 5 winning projects,
5 runner-up projects,
and small grants to 3 schools submitting strong projects, to be donated to community organizations.
BE LIKE MILTON WOLF:
MAKE THINGS HAPPEN FOR THE PEOPLE
WHO NEEED IT MOST
He was a scientist, businessman,
and a diplomat skilled at negotiation.
She was a Muslim who saved a Jewish friend
during the Second World War,
and received a Righteous Among the Nations Award.
When war came to Sarajevo in 1992,
the hero needed to be rescued.
Milton Wolf served as America’s ambassador to Austria during the height of the Cold War in the 1970s. In the 1990s, He became President of JDC (the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an international Jewish aid organization), just as a very hot war in Yugoslavia was taking place.
JDC was sending food and medicine into the besieged city of Sarajevo, and bringing people out – as long as they could secure visas.
Not many people were lining up to take Zeyneba Hardaga, an elderly Muslim woman in failing health, her daughter, granddaughter, and terminally ill son-in-law.
But Milton Wolf was determined to help. To get them out of the war zone, Wolf negotiated with the Bosnian Serbs, the Bosnian Croats, and the Bosnian government. There were meetings and phone calls, followed by more meetings and phone calls. The Israelis agreed to take Zeyneba – but not her family. It all looked hopeless, and in February, 1994, the last JDC rescue convoy was only days from pulling out of Sarajevo.
While everyone else had given up, Milton Wolf refused to quit. In The Washington Post he wrote, “the woman who wouldn’t abandon the Jews is not going to abandon her own family.”
Then, with only days to spare, all the permissions came through and Zeyneba packed a tiny suitcase and made room for the one thing that mattered to her most (besides her family): the Righteous Gentile Award she received from Israel.
When the mud-splattered bus convoy arrived at the Croatian border on February 5, 1994, a silver haired man in a business suit was the first one on the bus. “Now where is my friend Zeyneba?” Milton Wolf called out.