Rosenwald by Aviva Kempner (US, 2015, 90 min.). Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), the social justice teachings of his rabbi Emil Hirsch, and a powerful concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used the wealth he built as part-owner of Sears and Roebuck to become one of America’s most effective philanthropists. By his death in 1932, Rosenwald had funded the building of 5,400 schools across the segregated American South, providing 660,000 black children with access to education. Recipients of his seminal Rosenwald Fund for African American Artists included Gordon Parks Jr., Augusta Savage, Dr. Charles Drew, Katherine Dunham, Ralph Ellison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Langston Hughes. New England Premiere.
Discussion with director Aviva Kempner and Peter Ascoli, grandson and biographer of Julius Rosenwald, follows screening.