Last week, the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) held its fifth annual History Day Fair as part of the larger National History Day Competition. The National History Day competition is an event in which more than a half a million students participate each year. The projects examine an event in history and how it relates to a national theme.

For the past five months, under the guidance of their Social Studies teacher Ms. Kristen Waterman, the eighth-grade students researched events in history related to this year’s National History Day theme, Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. HALB students investigated time periods as far back as the 1840s, and as recent as the 1970s. They learned the importance of debate, and the various types of diplomacy that exist to foster relationships between nations. Students were able to present their information as a documentary, website, or exhibit. Each project type allowed students to use real world skills to present their research in a fun and exciting way. The top three groups in each category will move on to compete virtually in Long Island History Day in March.

Winning Documentary: The Auschwitz Protocols: Creating a Debate and Sparking Diplomatic Action (Isaac Cohen, Dovid Feldhamer, Sammy Rosenblatt, Yehoshua Wiesel, Daniel Wohlgelernter)

Winning Exhibit: Mary Surratt: Innocent Victim or Criminal Mastermind? (Anya Fischman, Ariella Gast, Dahlia Singer, Yaira Steinman)

Winning Website: A Failure of Diplomacy at Evian (Yehoshua Fogel, Michael Freund, Aaron Hackel, Joshua Lampert, Noam Lazar)