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EMBRACED BY AUDIENCES NATIONWIDE!
250+ Film Festivals, Museums & Special Events Screenings
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Jury Award Winner - Teaneck International Film Festival & Nashville Film Festival
ROSENWALD | A new documentary film by Aviva Kempner
“A great American saga of interracial cooperation”
-Julian Bond, Civil Rights activist
“A powerful civil rights story, engaging both the heart and the head.”
-Dan Raviv, CBS Radio
Rosenwald tells 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 5,300 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.
Addressing needs brought about by the Great Migration, Rosenwald also funded the building of housing and YMCAs for African Americans. Recipients of his seminal Rosenwald Fund for African American artists and intellectuals include Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Bunche, W.E.B. DuBois, Katherine Dunham, Ralph Ellison, John Hope Franklin, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Dr. Charles Drew, Augusta Savage, and Langston Hughes.
This important new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Aviva Kempner (The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg, Partisans of Vilna) reveals Rosenwald as a silent partner of the Pre-Civil Rights Movement.
Interviewees include: Julian Bond, Congressman John Lewis, Maya Angelou, Rabbi David Saperstein, Benjamin Jealous, A’lelia Bundles, Eugene Robinson, George Wolfe, David Levering Lewis, Ossie Davis, David Levering Lewis, Rita Dove, David Driskell, Congressman Danny Davis, and Gordon Parks.
Photo: Julius Rosenwald with Booker T. Washington (1915)
Courtesy of University of Chicago Library, Special Collections
USA, 2015, 95 min
A film by Aviva Kempner
A production of The Ciesla Foundation
Writer, Producer & Director Aviva Kempner
Editor Marian Sears Hunter
Composer Zane Mark
Consultants Peter Ascoli, Julian Bond, Stephanie Deutsch, Mary Hofschwelle
The Press Agrees – Rosenwald is a revelation!
Conversation with Aviva Kempner and American Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) | Watch on YouTube
Center for Jewish History roundtable with Aviva Kempner and Julian Bond | Watch on YouTube
Huffington Post by Nell Minow | Aviva Kempner on Her New Documentary About Julius Rosenwald
SFGate by Ruthe Stein | Aviva Kempner brings to screen the legacy of Julius Rosenwald
Movie City News by Andrea Gronvall | Aviva Kempner Talks Rosenwald
Los Angeles Times by Susan King | Documentary looks at Jewish philanthropist who helped black schools
The Movable Feast by Stephen Saito | Interview: Aviva Kempner On Uncovering A Hidden History In Rosenwald
Cinema Without Borders by Bijan Tehrani | Aviva Kempner Interview
Immersed in Movies by Bill Desowitz | Aviva Kempner Interview
The Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rae | How a philanthropist aided black education in Jim Crow South
News One Now with Roland Martin | Watch Aviva Kempner Interview
MSNBC's Morning Joe with Roland Marti | Aviva Kempner and Rev. Al Sharpton discuss the late Julian Bond
American University Radio's The Kojo Nnamdi Show | Aviva Kempner and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton discuss the late Julian Bond
Jewish Telegraphic Ageny by Lisa Hostein | Rosenwald tells story of Jewish philanthropist who transformed black lives
Jewish Exponent by Marissa Stern | Documentary Reveals the ‘Rosenwald’ Behind Rural Black Education
TrustMovies by James van Maanen | Get an Oscar polished up: Aviva Kempner's new doc arrives in theaters
TagHollywood by Andrea Lita Rademan | The incredible story of an unknown civil rights hero
African American Film Critics Association by Kam Williams | Review
Jweekly.com by Arno Rosenfeld | Film fest panelists tackle social justice — and fundraising
The New York Times by Cara Buckley | Why This Movie Now? Planning Release Dates, From ‘Straight Outta Compton’ to ‘Meru’
Also Directed by Aviva Kempner