WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Dir. Aviva Kempner | 100 min
Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who never finished high school, who rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build 5,500 schools, providing 660,000 black children with access to education in the segregated American South.
Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used his wealth to become one of America’s most effective philanthropists.
Recipients of Julius Rosenwald’s seminal Rosenwald Fund for African American artists and intellectuals include Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Julian Bond, Ralph Bunche, W.E.B. DuBois, Katherine Dunham, Ralph Ellison, John Hope Franklin, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Dr. Charles Drew, Langston Hughes, Augusta Savage, and Gordon Parks.
Addressing needs brought about by the Great Migration, Rosenwald also funded the building of housing and YMCAs for African Americans.
Director Aviva Kempner in conversation following both screenings.
Presented as part of 40 Years of Filmmaking: An Aviva Kempner Retrospective
Saturday, November 166:00 PM Q&A
Friday, November 2212:30 PM Matinee / Q&A
Aviva Kempner has a mission in life. She makes films that investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and celebrate the untold stories of Jewish heroes. To her list of those heroes, she has now added Moe Berg. Based in Washington, DC, director-writer-producer Kempner boasts a resume of critically acclaimed and award-winning documentaries, including Rosenwald, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, and Peabody winner The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. She also produced another WWII documentary, Partisans of Vilna. She is an avid voting rights advocate for the District of Columbia and is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.
- This stirring documentary evokes a vision of American comity from a past that speaks to the present. ― Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal