In January 2023, at age 78, Ana Gershanik secured the “Violins of Hope” holocaust education program for New Orleans.
The project brought together The National WWII Museum and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for a week of performances and events centered around instruments, once owned and played by victims of the Holocaust. It told of hope found through music in a time when there was little to be hopeful for.
A lifelong educator and musician, Ana has always pressed for programs that brought together music and education. This was that on grand scale. She knew that this collaboration could teach in a way that textbooks simply can’t.
Those who know Ana know that she’s not only passionate about education and music; she’s passionate about volunteerism. Over her life, Ana has served on countless non-profit boards and given incalculable amounts of her time, effort, and support to community organizations and initiatives. She’s seen great successes and some unfortunate failures over her years, but all of those experiences were educational. And the connections made, invaluable.
Ana gives credit to others for the hard work to pull this program together, but she had the network to make it happen. And she knew it would be costly. “My part,” Ana says, “was to assemble people from the community and raise funds through them.”
If it took good fundraising, it also required substantial creativity. “Maybe creativity is enhanced with age,” Ana says, “because of all you have gained by experience.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Peoples Health and the New Orleans Saints are proud to celebrate Ana Gershanik as a Peoples Health Champion. In the words of Champions Selection Committee member, Angela Hill: “Ana, you are a gift to the community.”
“Maybe creativity is enhanced with age, because of all you have gained by experience.”
If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.
A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.