2020 Annual Morris J. & Betty Kaplun Foundation Essay Contest
Submission Deadline03/20/2020


  • Due to current circumstances, we have extended the contest deadline to Tuesday, March 17, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • If you tried to submit your essay on March 11 or March 12 and had difficulties doing so, please try again. We had a short-lived technical glitch. If you submitted on one of those two dates and want to confirm that we received your essay, please email info@kaplunfoundation.org.

Established in 1955, the Morris J. and Betty Kaplun Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization underscoring the humanitarian and Jewish concerns of its founders. The Kapluns were refugees from Nazi persecution and dedicated their lives to a variety of philanthropic causes. The Foundation endeavors to continue their good work. We encourage young people to treasure our shared Jewish heritage, reflect on our Jewish values, and better understand our contribution to civilization and culture. To this effort, the Foundation sponsors an annual essay contest open to both junior high and high school students.

Essay topics

Level 1 – Grades 7, 8, 9

Honoring thy father and mother: how and why, from your own perspective.

Level 2 – Grades 10, 11, 12

Reflect on ways that being mindful of the 10th Commandment — “Thou shalt not covet” — can help us navigate our social media-driven world.


Please note that the instructions have been updated from past years and that ALL essays must now be submitted online. Do not include your name in the essay itself—use the appropriate fields to enter your name and other personal information.

  1. Essays must be entered into the online form linked below.  They must be a minimum of 250 words.  Level 1 entries may not exceed 1,000 words.  Level 2 entries may not exceed 1,500 words.
  2. Entries must be received by March 13, 2020
  3. Winners will be notified by May 31, 2020
  4. The first prize entry in each level will receive $1,800, the next 5 winners in each level will receive $500.  A $18 entrance prize will be awarded to the first 50 essays received in each level.
  5. All entries will become property of the Foundation and may be reproduced by the Foundation, with attribution.
  6. The Foundation suggests finishing your essay prior to starting your application, as the online application cannot be saved and submitted until it is complete.
  7. Questions can be sent to essays@kaplunfoundation.org
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