Violins of Hope

The Violins of Hope

Violins of Hope Exhibition

February 26 – March 24, 2019

Violins of Hope is a collection of instruments that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Amnon Weinstein, a luthier in Israel, began collecting and restoring the violins more than 20 years ago, and he has dedicated the collection to 400 family members he lost in World War II. The instruments have been played by prominent musicians in venues worldwide, giving voice not only to the owners of the violins, but also to the millions of Jewish people who perished.

Music has long had a strong presence in Jewish culture. Before the war, traditional klezmer music was played at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other celebrations. Other Jewish musicians had successful classical music careers.

The Violins of Hope exhibition offers a unique educational experience through its showcase of 26 Holocaust-era violins, each telling the stories and experiences of a different violin owner.

Some of the Violins of Hope were played by musicians who were able to flee Europe before the Holocaust, while others were played in ghettos and labor camps to earn money for food. Jewish musicians even played in concentration camp orchestras to entertain the Nazis and to lift the spirits of their fellow prisoners. The violins also share the stories of Jewish resistance fighters and tales of loss and reunification following the war.

Visit the Violins of Hope exhibition in the Young@Art Gallery inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The violins will be on view from February 26 – March 24. The exhibition is organized by Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach, in collaboration with The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.

Young@Art Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and during evening performances.*

*From March 8–10, access to the Violins of Hope exhibition is limited to the south entrance of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts building. All other entrances and park grounds are blocked, due to the Scottsdale Arts Festival. The Center’s south entrance is located adjacent to the circle driveway on Second Street. Please look for the Violins of Hope banner.

Access to the exhibition does not grant you access to the Scottsdale Arts Festival. If you wish to purchase a ticket, please visit the Center’s Box Office. Better yet, help support Scottsdale Arts and its ability to present more programs like the Violins of Hope by buying a membership. Members get into the Scottsdale Arts Festival for free!

Parking will be extremely limited due to area events. In addition to Scottsdale Arts Festival traffic, there are Spring Training baseball games on Saturday and Sunday. Please plan accordingly.


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Related Events

Violins of Hope

The Second Generation: A Reading by and Conversation with Children of Holocaust Survivors

Sunday, March 17, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
SMoCA Lounge

Deborah Sussman, David Asser, Janice Friebaum, and Linda Burt Pressman are all published authors. They also are all children of Holocaust survivors. Hear readings from the authors and engage with them in conversation about the impact of the Holocaust on this second generation.

Author bios

David Asser is an immigration attorney in Phoenix. Asser was born in Amsterdam in 1961, moved to the United States in 1998, and has worked in immigration law since then. A member of the California State Bar, Asser handles complex litigation cases in the Ninth Circuit and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Asser pursued a career in theatre, film and television as a writer, producer, actor, and director. He studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles and developed and produced several drama series for the Dutch networks.

Janice Friebaum holds a bachelor of arts in environmental studies from Eisenhower College, a master of science in plant ecology from the University of Tennessee, and a master of arts in Jewish and Holocaust studies from the University of Chicago. She is the founder and first chairperson of Generations After-Descendants of Holocaust Survivors in Greater Phoenix. Friebaum recently served on the Advisory Committee of the Martin-Springer Institute of Northern Arizona University and the We Remember Project of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society. She is currently a Holocaust educator; workshop and training instructor; Coordinating Council member of Generation of the Shoah, International; and vice president of the Phoenix Holocaust Association.

Linda Pressman is a freelance writer, editor, and author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, which is permanently housed in the collections of Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the National Library of Israel. Her freelance work has appeared in Kveller; Brain, Child magazine, Motherwell magazine, Six Hens, and the Phoenix Jewish News. She is working on a second memoir.

Deborah H. Sussman is a writer and editor based in Tempe. Formerly an editor at Scholastic Magazines and at the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Sussman is the communications and media specialist for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She has taught writing at the University of Virginia, Phoenix College, and ASU, and co-teaches the workshop Mothers Who Write. Her work has been published in The Washington PostThe New York Times, and Art in America, and she is a contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books blog.

Violins of Hope

Violins of Hope Tribute Concert

Tuesday, March, 19, 7:30 p.m.
Virginia G. Piper Theater

For this tribute concert dedicated to Holocaust survivors and their families, music and stories combine to provide a powerful new lens through which to view the important role of music in Jewish life, before, during and after the Holocaust, and to express the themes of spirit, resistance, resilience and hope.

Violins of Hope boxes image

Treasure Boxes at the Store

Commemorate the Violins of Hope with handmade treasure boxes by local artist Shannon O’Hara. These limited items are exclusive to The Store @ the Center and available in multiple designs and sizes.

Local Holocaust Testimonials

Rise of Anti-Semitism

Testimonial by: Esther Jagerman

Fleeing Nazi Europe

Testimonial by: Daniel Storch and Ruth Joseph

Fleeing Nazi Europe

Testimonial by: Sheryl Bronkesh

Ghettos and Labor Camps

Testimonial by: Esther Schon

Ghettos and Labor Camps

Testimonial by: Oskar Knoblauch

Concentration Camps

Testimonial by: Bluma Polanski

Concentration Camps

Testimonial by: Mirla Raz

Concentration Camps

Testimonial by: Zohar Raz


Testimonial by: Sonia Breslow

After the Holocaust

Testimonial by: Alan Jablin

After the Holocaust

Testimonial by: Janice Friebaum

Learn more about related events hosted by The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix