Oprah's Essay Contest Judges

Sara J. Bloomfield
Sara J. Bloomfield is the Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The Museum has welcomed more than 23 million visitors, including 80 heads of state. Sara joined the Museum in 1986 when it was a project in development, grappling with the complex issues of building a "living memorial" to the Holocaust on the National Mall. She served in a number of positions before becoming Director in 1999. Under her direction, the Museum created a series of innovative leadership training programs for law enforcement, the military and diplomats, and launched its Academy for Genocide Prevention. She also established the Museum's National Institute for Holocaust Education and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,

Sara has advised memorials and museums around the world, such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Argentine government's effort to memorialize the victims of "the Dirty War," the Holocaust museum being built in Buenos Aires, the memorial advisory committee at Ground Zero in New York, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the Iraq Memory Foundation. The Forward newspaper named her as one of its "Forward 50" Jewish leaders in 2004. In 1999, she was the first recipient of the Jan Karski Award of the Anti-Defamation League, Washington Chapter and Jewish Women magazine named her one of "10 Women to Watch" in 2000.

Douglas Greenberg
Douglas Greenberg is the Visiting Professor of History at the University of Southern California and Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. Douglas came to the Shoah Foundation in 2000 from the Chicago Historical Society, where he served as President and Director for seven years. Before that, he was Vice President of the American Council of Learned Societies and Associate Dean of the Faculty at Princeton University. He has also taught history at Rutgers and Lawrence Universities. He is the author of three books and has edited many books and essays on the history of early America and American law, as well as on technology, scholarship, and libraries. He has received several recognitions throughout his career including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation.

The Shoah Foundation Institute holds almost 52,000 video testimonies of eyewitnesses to the Holocaust in 56 countries and in 32 languages. These invaluable testimonies have been digitized and indexed and are available for use by scholars and educators around the world. The Shoah Foundation Institute creates educational products and programs that reach 2 million students in 18 countries and 50,000 schools in the United States and Europe. Visit the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education,

Dr. Alexandre Kimenyi
Dr. Alexandre Kimenyi is a Professor of Linguistics, Ethnic Studies and African Languages at California State University, Sacramento. Born in Rwanda, Alexandre left in 1971 to continue his education at UCLA as Fulbright Fellow. He planned to return to Rwanda and aid in the development of his country. Unfortunately, due to the massacre of the Tutsi people in 1973 and the 1994 Tutsi genocide, almost all of his friends and family members have been murdered. He joined the University in 1976 after receiving his PH.D in linguistics from UCLA. He has since become a U.S. citizen.

Although a linguist by training and profession, he has also conducted research in ethnic studies and genocide, and Holocaust studies. Outside the classroom, he has authored four books on linguistics and has also co-edited a book on genocide. His linguistic articles have been published in international journals such as La linguistique; Linguistics; Anthropological Linguistics; Studies in African Linguistics; Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, and Education, Science and Culture. Others have appeared in conference proceedings. He has also contributed to World's Languages Linguistic Encyclopedias.

Thane Rosenbaum
Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor, and the son of Holocaust survivors. His novels include: The Golems of Gotham (2002), which was named one of San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Books and one of the New York Public Library's Best Books for Teens 2002; Second Hand Smoke, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 1999, and the novel-in-stories Elijah Visible, which received the Edward Lewis Wallant Award in 1996 for the best book of Jewish-American fiction. His articles, reviews and essays appear frequently in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among other national publications.

Thane is the John Whelan Distinguished Lecturer in Law at Fordham Law School, where he teaches courses in human rights, legal humanities, law and literature, and also directs the Forum on Law, Culture and Society. He is the author of The Myth of Moral Justice: Why Our Legal System Fails to Do What's Right, which was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Best Books of 2004. His forthcoming novel for young adults, The Stranger Within Sarah Stein, will be published by HarperCollins.

Rachel Shankman
Rachel Shankman is the daughter of Holocaust survivors and was born in a displaced persons camp in Munich, Germany. In 1991, Rachel joined the Facing History and Ourselves staff and is now the Memphis Regional Director. Facing History and Ourselves is a national educational organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in civic education that encourages the skills, promotes the values, and fosters the ideals needed to sustain a democratic society. They offer interdisciplinary programs, resources and speakers for middle and high school educators that relate the past to the world today. Working with the Memphis Advisory Board, Rachel provides leadership on implementing educational and community programming for the region. She also plans, organizes, and participates in Facing History workshops and other professional development activities for educators. Visit Facing History and Ourselves,

Prior to coming to Facing History, Rachel served as the first woman President of Beth Sholom Synagogue, has served on numerous boards and was a graduate of Leadership Memphis, Class of 1994. She is listed in Who's Who for the year 2000 and is the recipient of the Women of Achievement Award in the category of initiative. She was also received the Bishop Carroll T. Dozier Award for Peace and Justice from Christian Brothers University.