Special Edition 2 DVD Set

The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities

Produced by Ciesla Foundation

Special Edition -- 2 DVD Set

DISC 1: Rosenwald feature film
(Directed by Aviva Kempner, 96 min, Closed Captioned)
See chapters & features.

DISC 2: Bonus Features. More than 4.5 hours of bonus materials, including interviews with Julian Bond, Maya Angelou, Ben Jealous, Rep. John Lewis, Eugene Robinson, and George Wolfe. Spotlight on Leo Frank, Chicago Riots of 1919, and Rosenwald’s legacy in Chicago. See list of bonus features.
See chapters & features.

Teaching Guide: Includes viewing guide, short & full lessons, journal prompts, glossary, and additional resources. Designed for middle and high school social studies & language arts classes. Suitable for college students. Coming Soon! For more information, visit

Purchase DVD


$36.00 - Rosenwald Home Use DVD *

$350.00 - Rosenwald Classroom/Library Use DVD **

Tiered pricing for K-12 & public libraries available - Contact us

To pay by check - print & mail order form

*Home use purchase cannot be used for classroom/ library use or for public performance.

**Classroom/ Library use purchase does not include public performance rights. See ordering information & terms of use.

Arrange a Screening


Public exhibition formats: DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
Contact us

Additional Resources

  • Rosenwald Schools Restoration & Preservation Projects
  • List of Rosenwald Grant Recipients
  • Rosenwald Memories & Stories
  • Filmmaker’s Rosenwald Blog
  • Press Kit

  • Watch the Trailer





    250+ Film Festivals, Museums & Special Events Screenings

    Played theaters nationwide

    Jury Award Winner - Teaneck International Film Festival & Nashville Film Festival

    ALL SCREENINGS (by state)

    ROSENWALD | A new documentary film by Aviva Kempner


    “A great American saga of interracial cooperation”
    -Julian Bond, Civil Rights activist

    “A powerful civil rights story, engaging both the heart and the head.”
    -Dan Raviv, CBS Radio

    Rosenwald tells the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who never finished high school, who rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build 5,300 schools, providing 660,000 black children with access to education in the segregated American South.

    Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used his wealth to become one of America's most effective philanthropists.

    Addressing needs brought about by the Great Migration, Rosenwald also funded the building of housing and YMCAs for African Americans. Recipients of his seminal Rosenwald Fund for African American artists and intellectuals include Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Bunche, W.E.B. DuBois, Katherine Dunham, Ralph Ellison, John Hope Franklin, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Dr. Charles Drew, Augusta Savage, and Langston Hughes.

    This important new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Aviva Kempner (The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg, Partisans of Vilna) reveals Rosenwald as a silent partner of the Pre-Civil Rights Movement.

    Interviewees include: Julian Bond, Congressman John Lewis, Maya Angelou, Rabbi David Saperstein, Benjamin Jealous, A’lelia Bundles, Eugene Robinson, George Wolfe, David Levering Lewis, Ossie Davis, David Levering Lewis, Rita Dove, David Driskell, Congressman Danny Davis, and Gordon Parks.

    Photo: Julius Rosenwald with Booker T. Washington (1915)
    Courtesy of University of Chicago Library, Special Collections


    USA, 2015, 95 min
    A film by Aviva Kempner
    A production of The Ciesla Foundation
    Writer, Producer & Director Aviva Kempner
    Editor Marian Sears Hunter
    Composer Zane Mark
    Consultants Peter Ascoli, Julian Bond, Stephanie Deutsch, Mary Hofschwelle

    The Press Agrees – Rosenwald is a revelation!


    White House Screens ‘Rosenwald’ for Jewish American Heritage Month | JTA News Brief review by by Matt Fagerholm | Read

    The Journal of the American Institute of Architects by Witold Rybczynski | Remembering the Rosenwald Schools

    New York Times by Daniel M. Gold | Review: Rosenwald, on a Philanthropist Who Created Schools for Blacks in the Jim Crow South

    NPR All Things Considered | Rosenwald Celebrates 'The Greatest Philanthropist You've Never Heard Of'

    Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan | Rosenwald reveals a philanthropist with a mission

    Christian Science Montior | Rosenwald provokes gratitude for the deeds of its subject

    Film Mint by Elias Sevada | Honor the Benefactor: Aviva Kempner’s Rosenwald

    The Washington Post by Karen Heller | The Enlightening Legacy of the Rosenwald Schools

    Boston Globe by Peter Keough | Rosenwald offers timely lessons in wealth management; “Essential documentary.”

    Wall Street Journal by Joe Morgenstern | Rosenwald Review: Doing Well, Doing Good

    The Washington Post by Michael O'Sullivan | Review: Rosenwald a singular portrait of a mogul and philanthropist

    Jewish Forward by Alexandra Levine | Was Julius Rosenwald Our Greatest Philanthropist?

    Conversation with Aviva Kempner and American Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) | Watch on YouTube

    Center for Jewish History roundtable with Aviva Kempner and Julian Bond | Watch on YouTube

    Huffington Post by Nell Minow | Aviva Kempner on Her New Documentary About Julius Rosenwald

    SFGate by Ruthe Stein | Aviva Kempner brings to screen the legacy of Julius Rosenwald

    Movie City News by Andrea Gronvall | Aviva Kempner Talks Rosenwald

    Los Angeles Times by Susan King | Documentary looks at Jewish philanthropist who helped black schools

    The Movable Feast by Stephen Saito | Interview: Aviva Kempner On Uncovering A Hidden History In Rosenwald

    Cinema Without Borders by Bijan Tehrani | Aviva Kempner Interview

    Immersed in Movies by Bill Desowitz | Aviva Kempner Interview

    The Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rae | How a philanthropist aided black education in Jim Crow South

    News One Now with Roland Martin | Watch Aviva Kempner Interview

    MSNBC's Morning Joe with Roland Marti | Aviva Kempner and Rev. Al Sharpton discuss the late Julian Bond

    American University Radio's The Kojo Nnamdi Show | Aviva Kempner and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton discuss the late Julian Bond

    Jewish Telegraphic Ageny by Lisa Hostein | Rosenwald tells story of Jewish philanthropist who transformed black lives

    Jewish Exponent by Marissa Stern | Documentary Reveals the ‘Rosenwald’ Behind Rural Black Education

    TrustMovies by James van Maanen | Get an Oscar polished up: Aviva Kempner's new doc arrives in theaters

    TagHollywood by Andrea Lita Rademan | The incredible story of an unknown civil rights hero

    African American Film Critics Association by Kam Williams | Review by Arno Rosenfeld | Film fest panelists tackle social justice — and fundraising

    The New York Times by Cara Buckley | Why This Movie Now? Planning Release Dates, From ‘Straight Outta Compton’ to ‘Meru’

    Also Directed by Aviva Kempner

    Partisans of Vilna
    The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
    Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg

    Back to Top








    Join our mailing list!