A first in Pennsylvania: ‘Violins of Hope’ on tour in Berks | Regional News from Berks

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READING, Pennsylvania – An exhibit known as “The violins of hope“opened for the first time in Pennsylvania on Monday.

Instruments rescued from the Holocaust will stop in Reading and other parts of Berks County to promote unity and understanding.

There are 57 violins, a cello and a viola in the collection. Amnon Weinstein, Israeli luthier, has restored instruments over the past two decades.

“These instruments were played by musicians in concentration camps,” said David Gross, executive director of the Reading symphony orchestra.

The first came to Weinstein from members of the owner’s family.

“When he opened the violin, he found ashes there that clearly came from the Holocaust, and it was so important to him, and that’s kind of why he wanted to do this,” Laurie Waxler said. , director of development of Jewish Reading Federation.

The collection has toured the world. Gross was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to Berks County.

“We thought it was an opportunity to use them as a vehicle to bring the community together to talk about important issues of prejudice, racism, anti-Semitism and to bring people together towards unity and hope,” said declared Gross.

The Jewish Reading Federation also helped bring the project here.






Instruments will be displayed at GoggleWorks, University of Alvernia and University of Kutztown. There will be over 30 community events, and the instruments will be taken to several local schools spread their message of hope.

“When you look at these tiny, fragile instruments,” Waxler said, “and you realize the journeys they’ve taken, and you realize that the will of the people is so strong, and it stays through the music played in the music. violin.”


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