On May 16th, Chanan Weissman made his first public remarks as the new White House Jewish Liasison before introducing a screening of Rosenwald at the White House to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. After the film, he welcomed Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, who commented on the film and her ties to the story before introducing a panel discussion with director Aviva Kempner, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein, and Hilary Shelton, Director to the NAACP’s Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy. The panel was moderated by Samuel Freedman, columnist for The New York Times and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
On May 2nd, Aviva attended the Toledo Jewish Film Festival for a special presentation of Rosenwald. The screening was accompanied by a reception with the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Marcovitch, Mayor of the City of Toledo Paula Hicks-Hudson, and Kay Miller all in attendance.
The Woodville School is one of the few remaining Rosenwald schools. Erected in 1923, the building is found off of Route 17 in Ordinary, Gloucester County, Virginia. The school Woodville School, contrasts with most remaining Rosenwald schools due to remaining in fairly good condition. This is in part because the school has never been completely abandoned, serving as both a home and storage house for antiques since the school’s closing. Wes Wilson, of the T.C. Walker-Woodville Rosenwald School Foundation, hopes not to restore the school, but to rehabilitate it, saying, “Restoration is to take it back to the way it looked at a point in time. Rehabilitation would be to make it a usable product while retaining as much a historical presence as you could.” The foundation plans to add bathrooms, air conditioning, electricity, and other modern conveniences to allow the building to serve as a center for the community.
Thanks to the Library of Congress, the film based on the best selling novel, Native Son, will finally be screened uncensored and in its entirety at Museum of Modern Art. The film, which features dialogue written by the novel’s author, Richard Wright, also places him in the lead role of Bigger. Richard Wright was also the recipient of a Rosenwald fund.
You can read more about the story in the New York Times article, here.
On February 4th, David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, opened up the evening at the National Archives with a warm introduction for the film, Rosenwald, as well as for Aviva Kempner and author, journalist, and president of the National Archives Foundation A’Lelia Bundles. Bundles also appears in the film.
The showing saw a large turnout as many enthusiastic viewers stayed for a chance to listen to Aviva and A’Lelia discuss the film after the screening.