Joliet Public Library and Jewish Community Centers of Chicago (JCC) presents Violins of Hope: Showcasing Jewish Stories of Resilience through Music

The Joliet Public Library is proud to announce our partnership with the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago to bring the Violins of Hope exhibit in August and September to the Ottawa Street Branch in downtown Joliet.


Violins of Hope is an international sensation that showcases Jewish stories of resilience, resistance and unity through the power of musical performance. Six Holocaust era violins will be on display in the lower level of the library from August 8-September 7. These violins are part of a private collection which were lovingly restored and played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust.

Violins of Hope exhibit in August and September to the Ottawa Street Branch in downtown Joliet.

“We are honored to bring this exhibit to our library and community,” said Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library, Megan Millen. “Patrons will have the opportunity to view these instruments and learn about the powerful stories behind them.”


The opening night of the exhibit is on August 8 at 6 p.m. and will feature members of the Hufford Honors Orchestra and guest speaker, Pastor Chris Edmonds. Pastor Edmonds is the son of WWII hero Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, whose fearless bravery saved the lives of more than 200 Jewish American soldiers in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. The public is invited to attend and no registration is required.


Bringing Violins of Hope to Illinois is made possible through significant funding from Front Row Sponsors: MacArthur Foundation, Jelmar LLC, The Walder Charitable Fund, and Pritzker Military Foundation on behalf of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.


“Through hands-on experiences of performance, learning about their unique stories, and thinking into the future with the powerful knowledge of the ability of the human spirit to overcome hate and evil, we aspire to make a difference for all who experience this amazing project,” said Ilene Uhlmann, JCC Chicago’s Director of Community Engagement and Violins of Hope.

The library will also be hosting a program in partnership with Joliet Jewish Congregation on August 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ottawa Street Branch. More information will be on the library’s website,, as more details become available.


About Violins of Hope: Israeli violin makers, Amnon and Avshalom (Avshi) Weinstein, have spent the last 20 years collecting and repairing 70 Holocaust-era violins and other stringed instruments from around the world, some with the Star of David on the back and others with names and dates inscribed in the instrument. Together they have lovingly located and restored the violins to reclaim their lost heritage, give voice to the victims and reinforce essential messages of hope, harmony, and humanity. The violins have traveled to cities across the globe, including Rome, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Cleveland, London, Washington D.C., Sarasota, Birmingham, Fort Wayne, Phoenix, San Francisco/East Bay, Los Angeles County, Richmond and now Chicago. For more information about Violins of Hope Chicago visit


About JCC Chicago: JCC (Jewish Community Centers) Chicago, founded in 1903 and rooted in Jewish values, offers a life-affirming journey fostering a connected, inclusive community from birth through senior years. With a focus on growing good kids and building connections, it is JCC Chicago’s mission to strengthen the Jewish community, from generation to generation. Today, JCC Chicago serves a diverse population of more than 60,000 community members who learn, grow, and thrive through early childhood, day and overnight camps, teen, adult and family offerings, fitness and wellness, aquatics & sports and special events and happenings year-round.   With headquarters in Northbrook, JCC Chicago has over a dozen facilities that serve the greater Chicagoland area including: seven Early Childhood and Daycare Centers, nine Apachi Day Camp locations, Camp Chi Overnight Camp and Perlstein Retreat Center (located in Lake Delton, WI) and five Community Centers. For more information on JCC Chicago programming and commitment to community visit,


About the Joliet Public Library: The Joliet Public Library is a resource for the Joliet community to read, explore, ask and discover. For more information, visit or call 815-740-2660. Library hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.