Alexandra Newman ’01 recently returned to Parker to share history and music from the Violins of Hope program.
As a volunteer docent with Violins of Hope, Newman spoke about the history of the program, which consists of a series of concerts based on a private collection of violins, violas and cellos acquired since the end of World War II. The organization has more than 40 string instruments played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust, which they have painstakingly restored and present in cultural exhibitions and performances with a message of hope, resistance, resilience and unity.
In her presentation, Newman introduced the violins she would play and provided some historical context to the songs “Hebrew Melody” by Joseph Achron, the Yiddish lullaby “By the Road Stands a Tree” and “Shalom Aleichem,” which means “peace be with you” before performing them. And, as a special note, Newman shared that she attended Parker from JK until the 3rd grade and learned to play violin from longtime instructor Irene Quirmbach, who was also in attendance.
Parker thanks Newman for sharing her instruments and talents, as well as teacher Wendy Olt and juniors Jack Charfoos, Ethan Dennis, Ben Kagan, Danni Kaplan and Sarah Matthews from the Jewish Student Connection for bringing this experience to the school.