Dear Violins of Hope friends and supporters,
Violins of Hope Los Angeles County has now come to a close for the moment, hope to reschedule all the postponed events. It is with great pride that I reflect and share the phenomenal programs that took place.
When we began working on this project almost four and a half years ago, we knew it would be a wonderful project for our community. It turned out to be above expectation, the project was embraced widely, as the important message of hope and tolerance resonated.
Thanks to our collaborating partners, synagogues, temples, churches, schools and organizations, we were able to offer a very diverse program throughout the greater Los Angeles community. Despite the ever-changing State imposed limitations, our concerts were well attended and thanks to the talented musicians, the beauty and the magical sounds of the restored instruments shined. Adding to the joy of music, the instruments were exhibited at several concerts, bringing them close to the audience. In addition, we had great exposure at the Holocaust Museum where a large number of visitors had a close view together with their history.
While every event was special, for me personally, the educational programs at schools had exceptional meaning. The essence of Violins of Hope, teaching history through music, was magnificently presented in various ways, and presented to a wide audience via live-stream https://youtu.be/pOlkwZpgyMw
One of the last events was at St Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Westwood, where two hundred students eagerly listened to a historical introduction to the program followed by Avshi Weinstein speaking about the story of the violins and their restoration. This was most rewarding because a majority of the students were not familiar with the Holocaust and introducing it in this way was very meaningful. Their religion teacher expressed her great appreciation.
And finally, an enormous thank you to you, our supporters and donors, who made it all possible. We could not have done it without you and your dedication. I truly appreciate the opportunity to chair this incredible program. It was a labor of love, and certainly received much pleasure in return. I will treasure this enriching experience for the rest of my life.
With appreciation and gratitude, Susanne
P.S. In case you didn't have a chance to see the opening gala, please click the link below.
PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT UP-TO-DATE COVID 19 HEALTH REQUIREMENTS WILL BE ADHERED TO IN ALL VENUES ACCORDING TO LOCAL, CITY AND STATE REQUIRMENTS. IN MOST CASES VACCINES ARE REQUIRED AND MASKS MUST BE WORN.
"Music has the ability to move us, calm us, and help us. Let's honor the importance of music in our lives."
Please join us for another virtual event of music and memory, when we remember our history and celebrate our future.
This program includes stories of the past together with music played by select musicians including very accomplished young prodigies, to lift your spirits in anticipation of the return of the Violins of Hope collection in November. We hope to have our rescheduled program in-person, via concerts, exhibits, lectures and meaningful events.
There is no charge for this event, but registration is required. Please reserve your spot by clicking the "book" button in the section below.
You will receive a link to the program during the week of September 27th.
Violins of Hope is a program of remembrance and resilience, spoken through the universal language of music.
See you on September 30, 2021.
Thank you for joining us for both screenings of The Return of the Violin. We had a great response and according to all your emails, calls and texts it was a very moving experience and very much appreciated for bringing this information to you.
For those of you who did not have a chance to join us, this film, told through the eyes of a Polish Holocaust survivor, Sigmund Rolat, who dreamed of seeing the instrument return to his hometown, Czestochowa, Poland and through his great effort and major contributions, bring back Jewish culture to Poland. It also documents the story behind the theft and reappearance of a 1731 Stradivarius once owned by Bronislaw Huberman, who saved Jewish musicians during the Holocaust and founded the Palestine Symphony, later to become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
History, intrigue and triumph are the hallmark of this documentary. This precious violin was stolen not once but twice. The first time in 1919, when it was recovered within a few days. The second time in 1936, and it took almost 50 years to resurface when the thief made a deathbed confession. It was finally acquired by famed violinist, Joshua Bell, who considers this violin to be his most precious possession.
Haim Hecht, the director/producer of the film, whose family is also from Chestohowa, Poland, introduced the film in a pre-recorded interview from Tel Aviv. Following the screening we had a live Q&A with the editor of the film.
We plan to see you again, virtually in September. Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay well. The Violins of Hope collection returns to Los Angeles in November and we will be able to welcome you at in-person events.
Until then, fond regards,
Since we cannot be together in person yet, hopefully very soon, we are bringing you an amazing documentary of Bronislaw Huberman, the electrifying Polish violinist, who made history in 1935-1936 by saving Jewish musicians from Nazi persecution. Huberman created a cultural phenomenon in Palestine with the founding of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
This film, Orchestra of Exiles, not only documents his humanitarian and artistic rescue missions, but also has special meaning for Violins of Hope. The film features interviews with Amnon Weinstein, founder of Violins of Hope, discussing how many of the orchestra musicians had their instruments repaired in his workshop and how they came to be included in the Violins of Hope Collection.
After the screening we will have an in-depth discussion and Q and A with Josh Aronson, the Producer/Director and writer. You don’t want to miss it!
Stay safe and well and see you April 15th.
Due to distribution rights, we are unable to provide a full screening of the movie; however, you can still view the Q&A featuring the film's Producer and Director, Josh Aronson by clicking the forward arrow on the photo.
We are thrilled that so many of you viewed our Virtual Reimagined Opening Gala. It illustrated the depth and breadth of Violins of Hope, and the great need for us to work toward combating hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism. No matter where you are, this is a universal issue facing the whole world.
Thank you so much for your incredible supportive comments and kind words of encouragement to continue this mission of educating our next generations so the tragic past would not be repeated.
History is the foundation of our future and young people must learn real history to develop the strength to stand up against hatred. It is also our obligation to teach lessons of tolerance in our world of diversity and multiculturalism. Hopefully, this will ensure that our future generations will live in a world of dignity and humanity.
We have survived as a result of rescuers, and Amnon and Avshi Weinstein are doing their share, not only rescuing but restoring the instruments to come alive and speak to the world through the language of music.
We appreciate your tremendous support and we will continue to bring you meaningful programs until the Violins return to Los Angeles. We promise to present an equally rich and broad program as originally planned.
Until then, stay safe and well,
The Violins of Hope collection will again make the journey from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles in an unprecedented collaboration between the Soraya at CSUN, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, New West Symphony, and the Holocaust Museum Los Angeles. Under the leadership of Chair Susanne Reyto, Violins of Hope will offer a comprehensive program in Los Angeles County, reaching thousands of people in our community through concerts, students education programs and an exhibition featuring the Violins of Hope.
Israeli violinmakers, Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, have devoted the last 20 years to locating and restoring violins of the Holocaust as a tribute to those who were lost. This is their contribution to humanity. Today, these violins not only serve as powerful reminders of an unimaginable experience, but also reinforce key lessons of tolerance, inclusion and diversity that are essential for today and for future generations.
Watch this video to learn more about Violins of Hope in LA County.