New documentary about Julius Rosenwald to be released this Friday

Rosenwald, a new documentary about the successful American businessman and Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, will have its theatrical debut this Friday at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City. 

This documentary by filmmaker Aviva Kempner reveals how Rosenwald was inspired by Booker T. Washington to build more than 5,000 schools for African Americans living in the South during the 1900s.

In a letter on the Sunshine Cinema website, Kempner writes that she decided to make a film about Rosenwald's life after hearing civil rights activist Julian Bond speak about him and the relationship between Blacks and Jews. She goes on to say that the release of the film is timely in light of the current racial climate in our country.

"Rosenwald is being released just as we need to confront and cure the dysfunctional racism in our land. It’s time we re-work the fabric of America; remove the racist policies and practices that exist and instill some humanity. Our country needs to be washed clean of the hate. Let us collectively view this story of Julius Rosenwald, who heard the call for change one hundred years ago, and walk out of the theater motivated to act," Kempner writes.  

Julius RosenwaldFor further reading on Julius Rosenfeld's support of African American schools, see this chapter from Peter M. Ascoli's biography of his late grandfather, now available in paperback from IU Press.