Lunchtime Talk at Library of Congress on February 24th

On February 24th, 2015, the Library of Congress will host a conversation with a biographer, journalist and filmmaker about Julius Rosenwald’s philanthropic efforts. His contribution helped to build YMCAs for African Americans in the US. With assistance from Madame C.J. Walker, a notable entrepreneur and activist in African American and American History, they made an undeniably positive impact in the lives of many blacks in America.

The panel discussion will include Peter Ascoli, the grandson and biographer of Julius Rosenwald. Journalist A’Lelia Bundles, great-grandaughter of Madam C.J. Walker will present. Also Aviva Kempner, who is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival and the director and producer of The Rosenwald Schools, a documentary that explores the life and legacy of Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Fund will take part in the conversation.

The Library of Congress is located on Capitol Hill at 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540 and the event will be held from 12:00pm to 1:00pm in the James Madison Building on the 2nd Floor of the Law Library. Admission is FREE, however it is requested that everyone RSVPs. To RSVP, click here.

Erica Marshall, Winter Intern

“The Rosenwald Schools” One of Nearly 70 Films to be Shown at 25th Washington Jewish Film Festival

25 years ago, when the Washington Jewish Film Festival was founded, there was only a slate of eight films. This year, there will be “nearly 70 films and over 100 screenings,” according to current director Ilya Tovbis. One of those films is WJFF founder Aviva Kempner’s new documentary “The Rosenwald Schools.” The film is centered on Julius Rosenwald, who gave money to help build over 5,000 schools for African American children all over the South. Ironically, Rosenwald himself never finished high school. He also gave grants to many well-known African American artists, including Langston Hughes and Gordon Parks.

Click here to read more about “The Rosenwald Schools” and the 25th annual Washington Jewish Film Festival at The Washington Post.


Twenty five years ago I started the Washington Jewish Film Festival, and I am thrilled my newest film will be debuting at this anniversary.

We are still obtaining the best version of footage and stills, plus raising the final tax deductible contributions to cover all the expensive last costs for the film.

Hasia Diner Book Talk and Signing on February 26

A wonderful interview with Dr. Hasia Diner is featured at the premiere of  The Rosenwald Schools film at the festival on February 25th at the Avalon Theatre, and she is talking the next day with her new book that was so much a basis for her informative testimony.

Hasia Diner

Photo Credit:,_Hasia

ROADS TAKEN: The Great Jewish Migration To The New World And The Peddlers Who Forged The Way

With Author Dr. Hasia Diner

Delving further into themes raised by Hester Street and The Rosenwald SchoolsHasia Diner tells the story of millions of discontented young Jewish men who sought opportunity abroad, leaving parents, wives, and sweethearts behind to become peddlers selling their goods across the world.

Hasia Diner is a Professor of American Jewish History and director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University.
The event will take place Thursday, February 26 at 7:00 PM at the DCJCC. The event is free, but RSVPs are requested. RSVP here:


Langston Hughes Honored on

On February 1, 2015, Google celebrates the birth of a highly praised and culturally influential author during the Harlem Renaissance, a prosperous time for black art, music, dance, and theatre. Langston Hughes was a writer and a poet and recipient of a Rosenwald grant who found inspiration through the struggle of his people as well as his own life experiences.  The animated features one of his works entitled “I Dream A World”.

“I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!”

This tribute is very timely to not only kick off Black History and to celebrate his birthday, but also to show the newer “technology generation” that dreams evolve but they will never die through great literary works. To watch the video click on this link below!

Thank you Langston!

Erica Marshall, Winter Intern