Violins of Hope Phoenix, a project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, was recently awarded a grant from the Newton and Betty Rosenzweig Fund for the Arts through the Arizona Community Foundation. The Violins of Hope project showcases instruments used by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, with concerts and exhibitions around the world. It will come to Phoenix in 2019.

“We were actually the first grant ever coming out of that fund,” said Alison Johnston, project manager for Violins of Hope Phoenix. “We’re really honored to have been awarded the grant and have the program recognized for the importance that it will bring to the community, not only from the perspective of educating the community about the Holocaust, but also the fact that it is really probably one of the largest collaborative projects that this community has ever seen where Jewish and non-Jewish agencies are working together.”

Amnon Weinstein, an Israeli violin maker, has collected and restored more than 60 violins as part of the project. Previous performances have been held at venues worldwide, such as Monte Carlo in 2014, a concert and exhibition in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as in performances throughout the U.S.

The program will kick off in Phoenix on Feb. 24, 2019, with a performance by Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham and the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra. The violins will be on display at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. JN

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