Violins of Hope Education Programs

Schools throughout the Bay Area, grades 7-12, will host storytelling, performances, conversations and multi- media sessions featuring lessons from the Violins of Hope and opportunities to engage school music programs. Provided by JFCS Holocaust Center, Facing History and Ourselves, Peninsula Symphony and Music at Kohl Mansion.

The exhibition Violins of HopeA Journey of Heroism, Healing and Humanity at the War Memorial Veterans Gallery in San Francisco is free and available for groups and school tours. For information or to schedule a docent-led tour, contact Lisa Coscino at

Educational lectures, films, and community conversations are available to the public. Visit the Calendar page to view listings. Return to this page for educational offerings including: school assemblies, field trip opportunities, and other special programs.

Past Events:

Violins of Hope at the Farkas Center
Mercy High School, San Francisco

Mercy’s Farkas Center annually recognizes International Holocaust Remembrance Day with an event that brings Shoah survivors, scholars and students from Mercy and other area schools together. On January 21, 2020, we welcome the Violins of Hope for a celebration of the cultural richness and resilience of music written by and for those targeted for genocide in the Third Reich. It is a deep honor for Mercy to welcome those who have shepherded this project, including those excellent musicians who will play the actual instruments belonging to members of the Jewish community of Europe, carefully recovered and lovingly restored. We will gather in Mercy’s McAuley Pavilion at 4pm. The program will last until 6:00 pm and includes a reception in McAuley Gallery. A collection of the violins will be on display in the adjacent classroom.

At the Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Catholic Schools, Mercy High School San Francisco – open to the public.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 4:00 – 6:00 pm: to register, click HERE.

Mercy High School Theatre
3250 19th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132

Teacher workshops:

Holocaust and Human Behavior with Violins of Hope

All Bay Area educators (grades 7 – 12) are invited to these interactive workshops in San Francisco and Oakland about music as tool for resistance and survival in the Holocaust. The workshops will feature the Violins of Hope, a collection of violins recovered from the Holocaust, some of which were played by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps. 

Both workshops include Holocaust Survivor testimony, resources for your classroom, and dinner. 

Educators who attend either of the workshops may have the opportunity to bring the Violins of Hope musical performance to their schools. 

This workshop is presented by the Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center and Facing History and Ourselves in partnership with Violins of Hope and Music at Kohl Mansion. Support for this program is provided by the JFCS Preisler Shorenstein Institute for Holocaust Education.

October 23, 2019 –
San Francisco:  to register, click HERE

November 13, 2019 – Oakland: to register, click HERE.

For students and teachers:

18th Annual Day of Learning featuring the Violins of Hope,
San Francisco

Presented by the JFCS Holocaust Center

Students in grades 7 – 12 and teachers from all public and private schools throughout California are invited to JFCS Holocaust Center’s Day of Learning to gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and patterns of genocide in order to inspire moral courage and social responsibility in the future.

The many workshops include eyewitness testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust or genocide. The Day of Learning program is free and a light lunch is provided.

This educational conference is specifically for students and active classroom teachers. The JFCS Holocaust Center has many community-wide programs. Please visit our website for upcoming events.

The Day of Learning is a program of the JFCS Preisler Shorenstein Institute for Holocaust Education. Our 2020 partners include: Achieve, The Athenian School, Anti-Defamation League, Bishop O’Dowd High School, Bylo Chacon Foundation, Congregation Emanu-El, Facing History & Ourselves, The Genocide Education Project, Hamaqom, The Helen and Joe Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Catholic Schools at Mercy High School, JFCS YouthFirst, Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, Moreau Catholic High School, Pacific Atrocities Education, San Benito High School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Schools of the Sacred Heart – San Francisco, Woodcreek High School.

The JFCS Holocaust Center is funded through the generous support of individuals, foundation grants, and program fees.

Sunday, March 8, 2020, 12:30 – 5:00 pm: to register, click HERE.

Our Sponsors

  • Hewlett 50 Arts Comissions
  • Walter & Elise Haas Fund
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation
  • San Mateo County Arts Grants Program
  • Y&H Soda Foundation
  • American Legion
  • Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
  • Carlstrom Productions
  • Fleishhacker Foundation
  • Hellman Foundation
  • Mercy
  • Kohl Mansion
  • Shenson Foundation
  • The Jewish News
  • Bella Charitable Foundation
  • Kessinger Family Foundation
  • San Mateo Daily Journal