Home Federation Network JCFR visits VHM and Violins of Hope exhibit

Network JCFR visits VHM and Violins of Hope exhibit

Casey Coles Bentley and Alistair Bentley read the description on a display card with a short history of the violin.

Network JCFR is the premier young adult Jewish network in Richmond. Our goal is to help native Richmonders and newcomers build and provide enrichment in all facets of life, from professional and religious to cultural and communal.

On Oct. 6, Network JCFR was fortunate to have an educational night at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Matt Simpson, director of Guest Relations, opened the museum after hours for over 30 participants with an exclusive tour of the Violins of Hope.

Throughout the evening he shared the violins personal stories, if known, as well as the significance of music at the time and how music was an integral part of camp life in almost all the Nazi-run camps.

After the war, Amnon Weinstein was determined to reclaim his lost heritage by locating and restoring violins played by Jewish musicians during this period in his Tel Aviv workshop.  Each violin has its own story of resilience and survival.

Together they remind us that no matter how diverse we may be, we share the desire to live with dignity, to be treated fairly and kindly, and to express ourselves freely.

Overall, the event was a powerful reminder that just as the violins are the voice of hope we are also the people of hope who will keep their song alive. Violins of Hope is not only a memorial to lost culture and people it is about the power of keeping our cultural alive through stories and community experiences.

As Amnon says, “wherever there is music there is life” and as we vow to never forget let us also never forget their songs.

The Violins of Hope were displayed for 12 weeks at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, Virginia Museum of History & Culture, and the Black History Museum through Oct. 24.

Dr. Ashley Rosenberg and Adam Shustak look at one of the Violins of Hope displays at the Virginia Holocaust Museum on Oct. 6.
Young professionals listen to a Richmond Symphony performer who is playing an instrument from the Violins of Hope exhibit.
Young professionals tour the VHM and the Violins of Hope exhibit.
Matt Simpson, director of Guest Relations, VHM, explains details on the Violins of Hope exhbit to the Network JCFR group.

For more information on future events, reach out to Rachel Peters at rpeters@jewishrichmond.org .