How to make your reservation and participate:
- WATCH the 2-minute trailer at https://youtu.be/N4FBVBL0ck4
- As soon as possible, click on the Eventbrite link (below) to make your reservation to:
a) Receive the Vimeo link along with a password to watch the 56 minute film on either January 26th or 27th, and,
b) Receive a ZOOM link for the Q & A session with the director, the writer, and one of the actors. This zoom will take place from 7:45-8:30 pm on January 27th.
“Stories From the Violins of Hope” is an original drama which brings Stories of Surviving Holocaust Violins to New Generations through a Filmed Performance by The Braid (formerly Jewish Women’s Theatre)..
It tells the true story of the famed collection of stringed instruments that survived the Holocaust and were brought back to life, and to the world, by an Israeli family of violin makers.
The filmed performance features seven actors along with five musicians from the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJSCP), including virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi, who plays a violin from the Violins of Hope collection.
Speaking from Israel where he continues to restore Holocaust violins sent to him from all over the world, violin maker Amnon Weinstein, who founded the traveling Violins of Hope project with his son, told playwright Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum, “I had to find a way to let these violins speak, to tell the world they were once played by people who had dreams, and so much talent that has been lost. Every piece of music played on them says, ‘Never Again.’”
Rosenbaum explains, “The story is based on my extensive conversations with Amnon and my research about the violins. What struck me was that Amnon’s father, Moshe, was also an extraordinary violin maker. He left Lithuania for Palestine before World War II and set up a music store and workshop in Tel Aviv. Members of the newly founded Palestine Orchestra, (now the Israel Philharmonic) all of whom were exiled Jews from Europe, wanted to get rid of their German-made instruments. Moshe could not bear to destroy them, so he put them away in his attic. Years later, his son Amnon reclaimed and restored them, and added them to his collection of violins that survived concentration camps, ghettos, transport trains and the forests of Eastern Europe. This is a story that needs to be told.”
“The violins will outlive Holocaust survivors and be there to tell the story to the next generation,” said Dr. Noreen Green, Artistic Director of the LAJSCP. Green curated the music that will be performed by LAJSCP throughout Rosenbaum’s play.
The Braid’s Artistic Director and Producer of Stories from the Violins of Hope, Ronda Spinak said, “We are honored and thrilled to have found a way to present this fresh, original, deeply moving work which gives voice to our Jewish heritage in a unique and contemporary way.”
Spinak continued, “The Braid’s Advisory Council Member and writer Lisa Rosenbaum’s unforgettable script, enhanced by the beautiful music, offers a soulful way into this moving story and gives a gift to each audience member that will long be remembered.”
Amnon Weinstein agrees, saying, “Every performance with the Violins of Hope is a monument to a boy, a girl, a man, a woman who cannot speak anymore. It reminds us that as long as the song of a violin can be heard, there is reason to have hope.”
The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies-Muskegon is pleased to bring this drama via Zoom to the West Michigan community on January 27th – the International Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. January 27th is the day Soviet troops entered Auschwitz liberating those Jews who were not forced to endure the death marches.