Critically Acclaimed ‘Rosenwald’ to Screen in Bennington

Critically Acclaimed ‘Rosenwald’ to Screen in Bennington

Critically Acclaimed ‘Rosenwald’ to Screen in Bennington

Southern Vermont College will host filmmaker Aviva Kempner at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, at Oldcastle Theatre in Bennington, for a community showing of her critically-acclaimed documentary, ‘Rosenwald,’ the remarkable story of Sears Roebuck businessman/philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who, in the early 1900s used his considerable wealth to build more than 5,000 schools to help African-Americans in the South. The screening will be followed by a brief talk by Kempner and opportunity for Q & A with the award-winning producer and director. The film and talk are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Kempner’s work is inspired by investigating non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and the untold stories of Jewish heroes. One of her most notable films is ‘The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,’ a Peabody-winning and Emmy-nominated account of the Jewish slugger who fought anti-Semitism in the 1930s and 40s. She also conceived of and produced ‘Partisans of Vilna,’ a documentary on Jewish resistance against the Nazis and produced and directed ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg,’ a humorous and eye-opening story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg.

Kempner lives in Washington, DC, where she plays a prominent role in the artist and film community. She started the Washington Jewish Film Festival in 1990, and is an activist for voting rights for the District of Columbia. She was intrigued by the story of Rosenwald, who never finished high school but rose to become the president of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington and inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), Because he was a modest man, his philanthropy and social activism are not well known today. The film’s running time is approximately one hour and 35 minutes. For more information, call 802-447-6388 or send an e-mail to


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