Meet our Teen Writing
Contest Winners

Recently The Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Times partnered together for the My 2020 Journey Writing Contest. This contest honors The Associated’s 100th birthday, capturing the historical perspective of 2020 and the importance of community during this unprecedented time.

Get to know our youngest first place winners.

Evan Rosen, age 13, winner of the Pen Pals category (age 13 and under).  Read his winning entry here: The Longest, Fastest Year of My Life.

Ayelet Friedman, age 15, winner of the Young Writers category (ages 14 to 19). Read her winning entry here: One People, One Heart.

What school do you attend?

Evan: Boys’ Latin School of Maryland

Ayelet: Bais Yaakov of Baltimore

How are you involved in your local Jewish community?

Evan: I have volunteered a lot of my time into cleaning streams, helping veterans, helping young and older people by visiting them at their homes (before Corona) and places like Ronald McDonald House. And much more.

Ayelet: I volunteer for organizations such as Jewish Volunteer Connection, Jewish Cemetery Association, Yachad and other organizations of which my parents are involved. I am a member with my family at Congregation Shomrei Emunah, where I love the davening and youth activities. I have participated in a program known as Good Neighbor Day as well. I additionally joined the Chesed League with a few of my close friends. I have had such a wonderful time with each of these activities and feel accomplished knowing I may have helped the community even if in the slightest bit.

What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime?

Evan: My favorite thing to do in my downtime is playing with my friends and playing tennis.

Ayelet: I enjoy writing, reading Jewish history, and singing. I have used this time to connect with my family but more specifically my older sister, and I feel much closer to her as I did prior to the pandemic.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Evan: I don’t really know what I want to be, but if I had to choose something, it would be a CPA.

Ayelet: As of now I am unsure. I have many years to decide, although the field of education intrigues me.

Who is your role model?

Evan: My role models are my mom and dad. They have always been there for me. I have learned everything from them which is why I am who I am today.

Ayelet: I can’t possibly choose a single role model, for there are far too many in my life to choose just one. I have learned an incredible amount from each of them. My mother, who has always taught me how to care for others, to my father who led me to pursue my passions. My grandparents, for their love of Judaism and the importance of giving to the community and supporting our family. My older sister for her perseverance. My younger siblings for their happiness. As I continue through life, I feel secure knowing I have such admirable people to guide me in the future.

What inspired your writing for the contest? And, why is writing important to you?

Evan: Coronavirus inspired my writing. It taught me not to take anything for granted even something as simple as being able to be hang out with friends without worrying about our health and wearing masks. Writing is important to me because you can write down all your thoughts on it and nobody will be able to judge you on it. Writing also makes other people happy. It is so fun when you can bring joy to other people. There is nothing better than it.

Ayelet: Looking around, one can easily see how supportive and obliging our community has been and continues to be towards each other during these troublesome times. I feel writing is the most straightforward and significant way to express how I feel.

To read all of the talented contest entries please visit

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