Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Our Violins of Hope programming is in full swing and the impact has exceeded my wildest expectations. I was most fortunate to be a part of several Violins of Hope events in Flagstaff last week. We reached more than 3,000 students and adults through lecture and music at Shepard of the Hills Lutheran Church. One of the program administrators shared that the visiting students were in awe of what they saw and heard and were inspired to create a world without hate. He also shared that the adult visitors found the program engaging and “forward-thinking” and added that he wouldn’t be surprised if people from Flagstaff came to some of the Violins events in the Valley.
If you haven’t been yet, I strongly urge you to go to one or more of the amazing Violins of Hope concerts, exhibitions and lectures running through March 24, including concerts by world-renowned violinist Xiang Gao at the Arizona Science Center on March 23 at 8pm and on March 24 at 6pm. It presents a theatrical concert telling of the stories of Jewish musicians seeking refuge in Shanghai during the Holocaust. See all the planned events at violinsofhopephoenix.com.
This week’s Torah portion is Pekudei (Accounts) in Exodus. In it, the Mishkan (G-d’s portable dwelling) is completed. A cloud appeared over it signifying the Divine Presence had come to dwell within it.
Watching the students touch, and in some cases play, the violins that have survived the horrific acts of the Holocaust, I can’t help but feel that the Divine Presence is hovering over every congregation, every church, every arts center and every school where the Violins of Hope’s message of respecting and embracing differences is being spread and lovingly received.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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