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Megan's Muse

Quick Links: 2020 Winners and Submissions · Past Winners · About Megan 
 

An Annual Creative Arts Competition for Confirmation Students to Honor the Life of Megan Miriam Berman 

Megan's Muse is an annual creative arts competition for current Congregation Beth Emeth (CBE) Confirmation students, sponsored by CBE's Sisterhood. Its purpose is to stimulate creative thought and expression as inspired by Judaic writings.

Each year a "theme" is chosen by a panel of judges, and a quote or verse is chosen from traditional or non-traditional Jewish writings. Entries are judged by the Confirmation student's ability to convey their understanding and interpretation of the theme via a creative medium.

Winners were announced on December 11, 2020, as confirmation was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. The winner of Megan’s Muse receives a $500 award. The judges have the option to award additional prizes as warranted. The hope of Sisterhood is that the winner(s) will use this award to further enrich themselves spiritually, creatively, or academically. You can view the competition rules and application.


Theme 2020

... I reached the conclusion that our future shouldn't be about following in the exact footsteps of our predecessors. We are here to learn from our elders and use their knowledge to push us even farther. We are each young adults who have an outstanding amount of potential. We are supposed to learn from our parents – learn from their knowledge, learn from their mistakes, learn from our heritage and, somewhere in there, learn who we are.

Megan Miriam Berman
Confirmation Speech
June 10, 2000


Co-Winner

The Book of My Life – Sarah Moldover

Explanation: I wrote and composed an original song about someone paving their own path through life, while still taking inspiration from those who have had an influence on them. My lyrics reflect the idea of the quote, which talks about learning from our elders, but not following in their exact footsteps. The melodies of the song (both vocal and piano) move with the lyrics, rising and falling as the singer explains their past and present journeys.

Lyrics | Sheet Music | Recording

The Book of My Life: Lyrics

Turn a new page
My story still ages
This book is my guide
Let it be my sage

Breathe in and breathe out
I’m writing it all down
No turning around
I’m living it out

I’ve been taught lessons and I’ve been told lies
I’ve learned from the weak and I’ve learned from the wise
I’ve learned from my friends and my family ties
But what shall I do with this knowledge, this prize

I’ll use what I’ve learned
I’ll chase what I’ve yearned for
Find my place in this world
A place that I’ve earned

I’m leaving my mark
I’m writing my own part
My ancestors’ blood
It flows through my heart

I’ll take my lessons, I’ll learn from my lies
Find the theme of the story, see through the disguise
I’ll take every word and read between the lines
These teachings all guide me to live my life

I may not know much
But I know how to love
To learn and to love
Might just be enough

Sheet Music (click on image for pdf of all 4 pages)


Co-Winner

Soar – Ryder Paley

Explanation: The project consists of six drawings. Each of the five drawings in a drawn frame represents an ancestral Jewish memory. The final drawing of the Ziz, the legendary Jewish bird whose wingspan obliterates the sun, represents how the collective memories give the next generation the power to soar and allow it to reach more potential than it could alone. This connects to Megan's quote by showing that we learn from our predecessors to find our own flight path and grow from their experiences.

  

  

  

 


 Honorable Mention:

Significance – Mikayla Feldmen

Explanation: I wrote a poem based on how people coming from different backgrounds, ages, and cultures are all significant.. Sometimes people feel insignificant as they grow and experience the trials of life... 

A lot of people continue believing that they are insignificant… and that there is something wrong with them…. I wanted to highlight through my poem that no matter your background, your ideals, your age, race…you are significant in some way... 

Megan highlights in her quote that “we are supposed to learn from our parents - learn from their knowledge, learn from their mistakes, learn from our heritage and, somewhere in there, learn who we are.” People can learn from their family and from their past mistakes.. …and decide whether…you want to be a good influence on the world…
 

Significance
Significance.
It all starts with an egg and a sperm
coming together to create something.
Something small.
Something that grows.
Something that becomes human.
Something that becomes 
significant.

Babies are significant.
They bring laughter.
They bring curiosity.
They view the world through wide eyes.
They slowly but surely figure it out.
Figure out that they are present,
they are breathing,
they are alive,
and they are 
significant.

Children are significant.
They bring creativity.
They bring fun.
They grow and learn over time.
They learn about so many things.
They learn about math,
about science,
And learn about so much more.
They begin to understand
Understand the harsh realities of the world
And over time,
They can get into trouble,
be punished,
learn from their mistakes,
and in turn, 
become their own person,
and become
significant.

Teenagers are significant.
They bring logic.
They bring humor. 
They learn to perform,
to pretend to be someone else,
to appeal to social norms.
They lose themselves
and can often be moody, 
distant,
pessimistic.
Some believe they lose significance,
they lose family,
they lose friends,
they lose their worth,
but as long as they persevere,
they will find it again,
and realize that they were always 
significant.

Adults are significant.
They bring responsibility.
They bring ideas.
They change the world as it is,
creating more lives,
teaching their ideals to others,
watching as their children grow.
They are open-minded,
and can therefore make bad decisions
that can impact their lives as a whole.
They can drink,
they can do drugs,
they can commit crimes.
They can be criminals,
but as criminals,
they are significant,
as they are role models
for the rest of humanity,
and can affect the next generation’s
significance.

Elders are significant.
They bring stories.
They bring knowledge.
They make sure the youth knows the past,
tell of the good and bad parts of history,
ensuring that the new generation shapes the world
how they want it.
They can be repetitive,
and can therefore appear as annoying to children,
yet those children still process what they tell them.
They might not like it,
they might think that it is insignificant,
but they understand soon enough.
Through sharing old ideals
that mix with new ones,
the children and the grandchildren of the seniors
create their own perspectives on life,
and change the world as a whole.

Through the contribution of ethics,
principles,
and older cultures with the newer variations,
elders help shape the future,
and are therefore
significant. 

Towards the end of a life,
people lose their significance.
I am not saying that they weren’t ever significant,
just that they are not significant any more.
Once their time on Earth is up,
they pass away
and make their way to Heaven. 

Remember when I said that they weren’t significant?
Their bodies aren’t.

Corpses are not significant.
They cannot laugh like the baby.
They cannot use their creativity like the child.
They cannot use logic like the teenager.
They cannot be responsible like the adult.
They cannot tell stories like the elder.
But angels?
Angels are indeed 
significant.

Sat, April 17 2021 5 Iyyar 5781