Rosenwald – Interview w/ Director Aviva Kempner

Documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner's passion is showcasing and enlightening the masses about under known Jewish figures in American history.  She's given us the full tales of baseball legend Hank Greenberg and broadcast pioneer Gertrude Berg.  In Rosenwald, Aviva gives us the amazing philanthropy showcased by former president of Sears.  Click through for my interview with Aviva about her career and about the remarkable life of Julius Rosenwald.


ROSENWALD is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who rose to head Sears, partnered with Booker T. Washington to build 5,400 Southern schools in African American communities in the early 1900s during the Jim Crow era, and became an influential Chicago philanthropist. 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. Because of his modesty, Rosenwald’s philanthropy and social activism are virtually unknown today.

From Angelika Film Center Website.

Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Aviva Kempner:

Aviva and I started our chat by talking about Hank Greenberg and she quickly jumped to the amazing man that was Julius Rosenwald.

In the documentary a lot prominent figures had amazing things to say about Rosenwald and in particular a speech by Julian Bond was the inspiration for Aviva covering Rosenwald.  I asked about those interview and about the research involved in creating these historical documentaries about specific figures.

The film focuses on the impact to the city of Chicago by Rosenwald and so I asked Aviva about the city itself.

I asked about the current restoration of the schools and Rosenwald's charity forever impacting the area.

Aviva talked about the one element of Rosenwald that surprised her.

We ended our chat by discussing the impact she hopes the film has on viewers and I asked about how being a documentary filmmaker has impacted her life.

Rosenwald Interview with Writer/Director Aviva Kempner.


This wonderful documentary on the amazing charity work of Julius Rosenwald opens in Dallas this Friday at the Angelika.  It'll expand to Fort Worth on October 2nd at the Modern and finally in Austin the following week.  For more information about where this heartwarming documentary is playing please go, here.

Educate yourself with this well made documentary by Aviva Kempner.