Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
This past week concluded six amazing weeks of Violins of Hope programming. I am so proud that this was a project of our Federation and of the efforts of the two amazing women who worked for more than three years to bring it to our community, Rachel Hoffer and Julee Landau Shahon.
Through this program, I have made many new friends and connections, both Jewish and non-Jewish. In my 33 years working in Jewish communal service, it has been rare that I can say that any particular program has significantly altered the fabric of the community. I can say that about Violins of Hope. It has been a game-changer. Here’s how:
44,000: Number of people who attended a Violins of Hope event
24,000: Number of students who attended an educational program
8,175: Number of people who visited the Violins of Hope exhibition at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
1,800: Number of people who visited the Amnon Weinstein, the Man behind the Music photography exhibition at Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center
225: Number of teachers who attended professional development workshops
104: Number of volunteers who helped at events
100+: Number of corporate, foundation and individual donors who supported Violins of Hope
50: Number of schools who participated in educational programs and field trips
40: Number of collaborating partners
36: Number of adult events, including book talks
This week’s Torah portion is Shemini (Eighth) in Leviticus. This portion discusses the ritual of purity including the mikvah, a purifying pool, and the difference between the pure and the impure.
Violins of Hope has had a purifying effect on me and, I believe, on our community. It has reminded us to embrace differences and to be “upstanders” instead of bystanders. I hope many of you participated in some of the events and programs, and that you too feel the “purifying” effects of teaching love over indifference.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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