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.

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

For students and teachers:

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

Presented by the JFCS Holocaust Center

Students (grades 7-12) and educators from all public and private schools throughout California are invited to gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and patterns of genocide. Attendees will choose from 18 different workshops and will hear testimony from a survivor of the Holocaust or genocide. Registration required.

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

Special school programs will be available with the musicians and instruments of the Violins of Hope (January-March 2020).

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.

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 –
San Francisco:  to register, click HERE

November 13th – Oakland: 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