BY LEAH LEVY / SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //

Edie Barr (L-R), JIFLA Chair of Community Relations; Jed Linsider, winner Eitan Linsider and Kim Linsider.

Edie Barr (L-R), JIFLA Chair of Community Relations; Jed Linsider, winner Eitan Linsider and Kim Linsider.

Eitan Linsider, a fifth-grader at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy, felt confident about his chances in the recent essay contest sponsored by the Jewish Interest Free Loan Association (JIFLA).

Fresh off GHA’s Mitzvah Day project, Eitan had some ideas about the contest’s theme: “Why Giving a Hand Up Is Better Than a Handout.” He set to work on his essay, which reflected on his own experiences of doing good deeds.

“I think that giving a hand up is better than giving a handout because giving a handout is like giving someone a million dollars, while giving a hand up is like teaching someone how to earn a million dollars,” Eitan wrote. “I would rather learn how to earn a million dollars, because that way I could do it over and over again and earn a lot more money.”

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Eitan’s language arts teacher, Shari Sokol, was delighted to learn that her student was one of three winners.

“I am so proud of Eitan’s work!” she said. “I felt that Eitan did a wonderful job integrating his experiences on Mitzvah Day and our studies of Martin Luther King, Jr. into his essay.”

Sokol, a first-year teacher at GHA and a new arrival to Atlanta, has spent a good deal of time working to improve her students’ writing skills. She feels that the ability to write clearly and well is vital to their later academic success.

“Eitan has learned how writing is not only a way of expressing oneself, but also a way to persuade others to believe in what you do and a way to bring about change,” she said. “I hope Eitan will continue to use his writing skills to make a positive impact in the world.”

Sokol’s lessons certainly paid off for Eitan. He won a $100 gift card from JIFLA and now plans to use his prize, along with other savings, to purchase a new computer.

Also taking home prizes for their work are Temple Sinai Hebrew School student Ty Klein and Home School for Hebrew School student Bootsie Glasser.

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