Coincidence at DuArt Film Labs

On a recent visit to DuArt Film Labs in Midtown Manhattan (an excellent company that is an independent filmmaker’s best ally, especially its head Irwin Young and a savior for many independent productions) I was taken aback by a familiar face up on the wall. I was in town primarily to promote The Rosenwald Schools documentary and all of a sudden I found myself face to face in one of DuArt’s offices with a picture of Julius Rosenwald himself. The picture turned out to be part of a 2012 calendar (sponsored by the supermarkets of New York City) that is honoring famous philanthropists. The June subject is Julius Rosenwald, and his picture graces this month’s page along with a summary of his achievements in philanthropy. Gloria Monge was kind enough to tear out the June page featuring Rosenwald so we could share a digital copy of it here.


During his life, Rosenwald was reluctant to put his name on his philanthropic projects–a practice which has resulted in his relative lack of notoriety compared to other early 20th century philanthropists–so it is always good to see him remembered in some way. These sorts of fateful coincidences have happened over and over during the production of The Rosenwald Schools and it gives us a lot of encouragement that the film we’re making is an important one.

Films by Aviva Kempner screen at National Museum of American Jewish History

Aviva Kempner

The Rosenwald Schools work in progress screened at the National Museum of American Jewish History on May 23rd. Following the screening, Aviva Kempner was on hand to discuss the film, which is currently in production. Two earlier films by Ms. Kempner, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, also screened recently at NMAJH in Philadelphia.

Outside the Christian Street YMCA

While visiting Philadelphia, Aviva also stopped by the site of the Christian Street YMCA, which is tucked away on a mostly residential block just south of Center City. Contrary to a note found on the historical plaque in front of the YMCA, this was not the first black YMCA to have its own building. However, it was one of the earliest black YMCAs to make use of Rosenwald’s challenge grant and it is still operating in the same location today. This historic and diverse neighborhood is also the birthplace of the famous singer—and 1930 Rosenwald Fellow—Marian Anderson.

Aviva with Art Salazar

The Rosewald Schools work in progress screens at Brandeis Luncheon

Last Wednesday, May 16th, Aviva Kempner spoke at a luncheon for the Brandeis National Committee at the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, MD. Ms. Kempner showed the work in progress version of The Rosenwald Schools and addressed the audience about making films about Jewish heroes.

Photo credit: Leah Jaffee

To book this film, contact Blair ( at the National Center for Jewish Film. To contact Aviva Kempner about speaking engagements, please email Stay tuned to this blog for updates on future screenings.

Film Screenings at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Join the Museum as it presents diverse and engaging programs illustrating the vast and rich history of American Jews, introducing audiences to cutting-edge Jewish thought and culture, and exploring themes that transcend cultural boundaries.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

(USA, 1999, 95 minutes)

Wednesday, May 9 – 6:30 p.m.

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg 

(USA, 2009, 92 minutes)

Wednesday, May 16 – 6:30 p.m.

The Rosenwald Schools (Work in Progress)

(Excerpt, Approx 20 minutes)

Wednesday, May 23 – 6:30 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets click here.

101 South Independence Mall East  Philadelphia, PA 19106



Work in progress of The Rosenwald Schools screens in Riverside at Temple Beth El

On April 15th, Aviva Kempner screened a work in progress version of her new film, The Rosenwald Schools, to an appreciative audience at Temple Beth El on Central Avenue in Riverside, California. The Rosenwald Schools was accompanied by two more of Ms. Kempner’s films, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg. After the screenings, Ms. Kempner held a Q&A with the audience.

Filmmaker Aviva Kempner with Rabbi Suzanne Singer of Temple Beth El

Check back to this blog for updates on future screenings. To contact Aviva Kempner about speaking engagements, please email