It’s been quite the month for Rosenwald, as screenings continue at film festivals and Community Centers along the coast! On March 13th, Aviva returned to the Maine Jewish Film Festvial, where she had shown The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, to a warm reception. Rachel Talbot Ross, president of NAACP of Portland served as MC for the screening, as well as an encore screening the following night. Rachel Talbot Ross also plans to run for Maine state office and is the daughter of Representative Gerald Talbot, a man who reorganized NAACP in Maine and became the first president of NAACP chapter in Portland.
The Maine Jewish Film Festival screenings were also accompanied by a panel of women film makers. Joining Aviva were two amazing Israeli film makers: Shirly Berkovitz (The Good Son, Dir.) and Hilla Medalia (Censored Voices, Prod.).
On March 19th, Aviva attended a screening at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. At the screening were Doris A. Dearing Johnson, Vyllorya Andrette Evans, and Thelma D. Jones.
All three ladies have their own Rosenwald school connection- Doris attended Higison-Rosenwald in Aberdeen, Mississippi where her mother Ora Lee James Bailey was the principal and where Vyllorya’s mother also taught. Thelma attended the Greene County Training School-South Greene High School in Snow Hill, NC. Before the screening, the women talked about their experiences with the schools.
March 22nd was a big day- beginning with this screening at the US Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in Washington DC. She was joined at the screening by Charles Smith, Gladys Gary Vaughn, and David Leon King.
Aviva ended the day with a trip to north for the Baltimore Jewish Film Festival where the filmed screened for a packed house of over 500 people at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts.
On January 24th, Aviva Kempner headed out to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 14th Annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival. Aviva spoke at the screening with Leslie Smith Rosen, the Head of Upper School for AEC, and drew a very enthusiastic crowd.
Upon her return to Washington DC, Aviva attended a screening held by George Washington University’s Department of Religion. Aviva was joined by Stephanie Deutsch, who was interviewed in the film.
Also attending the screening was Lawrence Perry, who had attended a Rosenwald School. He was greatly appreciative of the films creation and loved seeing it.
We’re proud to announce that Rosenwald will be screened March 23rd at the Montclair Public Library as part of the Montclair Historical Society’s film series focusing on Civil Rights and the African American experience with a historical perspective. For more information on the film series, read the Montclair Patch article by Eric Kiefer, here.
Central Davie Academy is a school that sits in Mocksville, NC, on a site that formerly played host to a Rosenwald school. The school, established in 1933 as Mocksville Colored Grade School, stood for many years- eventually becoming Mocksville Colored High School, Davie County Training School (where teachers were trained). The original Rosenwald school no longer stands, but new efforts are being made to commemorate the school with a historical sign near the current school’s flagpole.
On January 18th, as part of a commemoration to Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosenwald was screened before a full house by the JCC Manhattan in New York City. The film was presented by Aviva, who held a small discussion as well. Among the attendees in the crowded JCC event was a woman who was a former teacher at a Rosenwald school.
The next day, Aviva attended another screening of Rosenwald in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr., this time in Washington, DC. Presenting the film with her and joining in on discussion was great civil rights leader, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.