Centre College recently received a $10,000 grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence (JHFE) to enhance Jewish life on campus and enrich Holocaust education, drawing upon a Violins of Hope (VOH) event in Louisville scheduled this fall and additional programming throughout the year.
JHFE is a Louisville-based non-profit with resources to offer grants to organizations that share its mission “to improve the health outcomes of Louisville residents and to foster a vibrant Jewish community throughout Kentucky.” The organization awards grants in three areas: Jewish life, community health and medical research.
In making its request for a grant, Centre sought to align with JHFE’s priorities of strengthening “the spiritual, cultural and social programs that grow individuals’ Jewish identity and sense of belonging and connection to the Jewish community” and to provide “programs in the broader community that celebrate and build awareness of Jewish culture, heritage, history and contributions.”
Dr. Shana Sippy, assistant professor of religion and advisor to the Jewish Student Organization (JSO) will help to develop this year’s programming, beginning this fall with book groups open to the entire Centre community. The groups will discuss James A. Grymes’ book, Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust—Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour, by James A Grymes, in advance of his lecture at Bellarmine University that is part of the larger Violins of Hope (VOH) event series. The grant covers the cost of the books and transportation to the VOH event on October 23rd.
The VOH series is a collective of more than 50 instruments once played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. The instruments, which were restored by Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein, survived concentration camps, pogroms and many long journeys. A consortium of funders, including the JHFE, is making it possible for the instruments to be displayed and played as part ofLouisville’s dialogue about music, art, social justice and freedom of expression.
JHFE’s grant to Centre will also support campus lectures and programs offered by scholars of the Holocaust and Jewish Collective Memory, deepening campus discussions around the relationship between history, personal testimony, criminal evidence, trauma and the sacredness of material objects.
Finally, Centre’s grant from JHFE will help to bring a Rabbinic student to campus, who will lead some Shabbat and holiday services and host other events for Jewish students and community members throughout the academic year. Grant funds will also cover costs for Centre students to attend events for Jewish college students throughout Central Kentucky, in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University.
by Centre College News
September 6, 2019