Haberer: Violins of Hope successfully creates statewide community collaboration

Collaboration has long been a topic of interest and discussion amongst community organizations and funders, all of whom are interested in impacting and encouraging nonprofits to work together for the greater good.

Marty Haberer

When the idea of the Violins of Hope was first brought to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, we knew it could be such an event. One that would establish a standard and model for collaboration to be replicated.

Whether considered as an exhibit, musical program, lecture or educational effort, Violins of Hope stands as a marked success.

The truth is, Violins of Hope was more than just one event. It was an entire network of events that united the community statewide in a favorable light.

Individual organizational missions barely mattered. Through this project, groups that rarely if ever engage with each other learned to collaborate and found areas of common ground.

Every partner came so unselfishly to the table. Everyone wanted to participate at the highest level. It was such a gift to be able to focus on creating the best possible experience.

This program could not have come to us at a better time. With hate crimes in the news on a regular basis, it is important to transcend religious and other barriers to facilitate a community-wide dialogue about music, art, social justice and free expression and the importance of cooperation and collaboration to achieve common goals and strive for peace and harmony.

There are many to thank for the success of the Violins of Hope project in Arizona.

Our co-chairs, Julee Landau Shahon and Rachel Hoffer, along with Alison Johnston, project manager, spent countless hours ensuring that each opportunity to interact with the violins would be a memorable one.

The many donors, corporate funders, foundations and partners for supporting and believing in the importance and impact of this project.

And most importantly, the community-at-large. With the help and support of volunteers from around the state, we have executed one of the first and largest collaborative projects ever to be implemented in our community.

By the end of our five-week program, we reached more than 24,000 students in over 50 schools, with our education programs and close to 44,000 people in total from all demographic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Following are some additional, impressive results from our Violins of Hope program.

  • 8,175: Number of people who visited the Violins of Hope Exhibition at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts;
  • 5,000+: Number of students and adults attending Violins of Hope programs in Flagstaff, Sedona and Tucson;
  • 1,800: Number of people who visited Amnon Weinstein, the Man behind the Music, photography exhibition at Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center;
  • 225: Number of teachers who attended VOH professional development workshops;
  • 104: Number of volunteers who participated as docents and helped at events;
  • 100+: Number of corporate, foundation and individual donors who supported Violins of Hope;
  • 40: Number of collaborating partners; and
  • 36: Number of adult events.

The Violins of Hope have made their way back to the Weinstein’s workshop in Tel Aviv.

A heartfelt thank you to Amnon, Assi and Avshi Weinstein for sharing their Violins of Hope with us. We will be forever grateful to have had these amazing instruments in our community. They have left a lasting impression that will not soon be forgotten.

Editor’s Note: Marty Haberer is president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.

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