Simon Schama at Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo, Egypt. (PBS)

In this moment of checking your head, your privilege, and your coat (assuming you’re lucky enough to have one), along comes an essay contest for teenagers in grade 9 through 11, ages 13 to 18, encouraging them to “examine how stories shape our identities.” The contest springs from Simon Schama’s acclaimed TV series and book The Story of the Jews. Among other prizes, winners will get a trip to New York City and lunch with the ever enthusiastic Columbia University historian.

Fire up those computers, kids. You’ve got until June 13th to submit your entries.

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