Another ‘parlor party’ for The Rosenwald Schools

Posted on December 9th, 2014 by

Last Saturday night, Josh Levin and Debra Fried Levin generously hosted a parlor party for me to help fundraise for The Rosenwald Schools, The Ciesla Foundation’s upcoming documentary that is now in post-production.


Photo credit: Adina Kole

I interviewed Debra last year along with her husband Josh for The Rosenwald Schools. Debra and Josh went on an unusual first date. Knowing that she had written her master’s thesis on Julius Rosenwald, Josh took Debra to various sites around Chicago related to Rosenwald’s life: his Kenwood home, the Sears plant he built on the west side and even his grave in Rosehill Cemetery.


Photo courtesy of Debra Fried Levin

I had a great time meeting all of the people the Levins invited. It was good to hear feedback on the work in progress, which screened at the party. One of the attendees, Wayne Firestone, had this to say on Facebook:

After a week of uniformly disturbing news in our country, last night we saw a documentary in progress by dc filmmaker Aviva Kempner about Julius Rosenwald who helped finance 5000 African American schools run by Booker T Washington in the deeply segregated South in the 1920’s. We had a much needed lift of hope as well from speaker Aaron Jenkins who runs DC’s Operation Understanding that promotes ties between blacks and Jews.


Debra Fried Levin and Josh Levin

Thanks to all who attended. If you would like to hold a fundraising parlor party, please contact cieslafdn@gmail.com. We would be most grateful for help in finishing the film and you would be listed among the end credits. The Ciesla Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.