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Giving Voice to the Voiceless

  • Violins of Hope Birmingham presents “Giving Voice to the Voiceless”

    In this unique presentation, students and teachers will be introduced to the stories and the music of violins rescued from the Holocaust. 

    The violin and its music have always been central to Jewish life. During the Holocaust, the graceful and uplifting sound of the violin inspired hope, even in the darkest times.

    In 1996, Amnon Weinstein, an Israeli luthier, began collecting violins that had belonged to victims of the Holocaust. He did this to honor the age-old Jewish tradition of violin music, as well as to break the personal silence of his own family about relatives who had perished during the Holocaust.

    Although most of the musicians who originally played these instruments were silenced by the Holocaust, their voices and spirits live on through the violins that Amnon and his son Avshi have lovingly restored and now call the "Violins of Hope."

    Today, some 70+ years after the Holocaust, these violins are giving voice to the voiceless. Their music resonates with hope.

    This educational program will showcase the beautifully restored violins and the stories of their survival. Students will hear first-hand from Avshi Weinstein about his family, his father Amnon, and the amazing life's work they have undertaken together. Avshi will weave the story of each precious violin, and as the violins are played, students will be inspired to find their own voices, to speak out for the voiceless, and to learn from the past to help build a brighter future.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018

    Alys Stephens Center, Jemison Concert Hall
    1200 10th Avenue South, Birmingham

    9:30 am-10:30 am, Grades 6-8 

    12:30 pm-1:30 pm, Grades 9-12

    Both performances open to college students.

    There is no charge for this event.
    Reservations are required by Monday, April 2.

    RESERVATIONS: Middle/High School

    An online Reservation Form can be found on the website of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center:


    Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Deadline for reservations is Monday, April 2.



    Reservations being taken by the UAB Institute for Human Rights:  or  205-934-5643

    Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Deadline for reservations is Monday, April 2.


    For more information, see the attached flyer or contact the BHEC.

    Learn more about Violins of Hope Birmingham

  • APT Violins of Hope Birmingham Programming

    Alabama Public Television and Violins of Hope Birmingham present a series of programs that serve as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of music to lift hearts in even the most horrific of circumstances. Airing April 8th-9th

    Sunday, April 8

    2:30 pm
    uses never-before-seen pre-war archival footage and first-person testimonies; it chronicles the Jewish life and culture of Kastoria, a picturesque lakeside village in the mountains of Northwestern Greece, near the Albania border. Here Jews and Greek Orthodox Christians lived together in harmony for more than two millennia until World War II, when this long and rich history was wiped out in the blink of an eye. TREZOROS (the Ladino/Judeo/Spanish term of endearment meaning "treasures") takes us from the joyful innocence of the pre-war years through the heartbreaking struggles of the Holocaust, to the unique place in time and history of a Greek Jewish culture lost forever.

    4:00 pm
    tells the story of Dominican and Jewish teenagers in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood, who, together with the legendary theater director Liz Swados (Runaways), staged a musical about the Dominican Republic's rescue of 800 Jews from Hitler's grasp. The film interweaves this little-known – and racially complex – Holocaust story with an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of the making of the theater production.

    5:00 pm
    tells the true story of how Jewish prisoners held in a concentration camp during World War II fought back against the Nazis — not with guns or bombs — but through song, dance and laughter. The poignant and inspiring documentary follows a modern-day theater troupe from Minnesota as they travel to Terezin and attempt to re-stage the shows. Weaving together interviews with the original writers, witnesses to the original production, and scholars, MAKING LIGHT IN TEREZIN tells a story not only of survival, but also the triumph of a culture, artistic expression and the human spirit.

    6:00 pm
    , narrated by Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody, is a documentary featuring Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein and his efforts to restore violins recovered from the Holocaust. Some were played by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps; others belonged to the Klezmer musical culture, which was all but destroyed by the Nazis.

    Monday, April 9

    11:00 am
    is the story of Max Steinmetz told through the eyes of Luke, a high school student, that has become interested in learning about the Holocaust after watching historical black and white footage. Luke partners with Alabama Public Television to film an interview with Max, a Holocaust survivor, with hopes of going beyond the history books. Max tells a compelling story of being rounded up and sent to Auschwitz where he was separated from his parents and sister whom he never saw again. Luke grapples with his own emotions as he hears this first-person account of the extermination of Jews at Auschwitz, being a prisoner and a slave laborer, and finally being liberated.

    9:00 pm

  • Violins of Hope Learning Resources

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