Preserving Julius Rosenwald’s Profound Story

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, an apt time to share the contributions of Julius Rosenwald, whose challenge grants were pivotal in building nearly 5,000 Rosenwald Schools that educated one-third of African-American children in the South before school integration.

In 2015, I saw D.C. filmmaker Aviva Kempner’s documentary “Rosenwald.” I had never heard of the Jewish philanthropist. It was a transformative experience. Read More

Black Education Before Brown

“It’s a story that touches every pillar of my life,” says Andrew Feiler W’84. “I am Jewish, I am Southern, I am progressive. So, how could I never have heard of it?” 

The Atlanta-based photographer is referring to the history he explores in his latest book, A Better Life for Their Children(University of Georgia Press). The result of a three-and-a-half-year quest that took Feiler to 15 states, the book surveys a small fraction of the 4,977 schools built between 1912 and 1932 (one more school was added in 1937) for Black students across the South. Known as Rosenwald schools, they were the product of a unique partnership between Julius Rosenwald, the Jewish president of Sears Roebuck, and Booker T. Washington, the prominent Black educator.  Read More