Emma Lazarus Project

The Emma Lazarus Project explores the story of Emma Lazarus, a fifth-generation American Jew caught in an important turning point in American and Jewish History. The initiative—including an exhibit, curriculum and poetry contest—uses primary sources straight from the archive to encourage students to piece together Emma’s fascinating story, and to join the ongoing conversation about American identity.

For All Her Storied Strength

by Sophie Goldensohn

Middle School



For all her storied strength, Lady Liberty weeps as she stands,

As what she symbolizes is crushed to dust in politicians’ hands,

She cries, for she can no longer shelter,

The exiles and immigrants as their truest protector,

The strength of the government is one stronger than she,

And she can’t stop them, no matter how pressing the need be,

Behind her expressionless mask lies a face of frown lines and sorrow,

As she is forced to worry for the refugee’s uncertain tomorrow,

She hopes for a brighter future, where America will, at last,

Have a chance to return to it’s open-armed past,

But for now, she stands sobbing, one thing clear,

She is the shell of an era past, an outdated souvenir.