To kick off this year’s Preservation Virginia Conference, VFH is proud to support a public screening of Aviva Kempner’s documentary Rosenwald: The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater. The film tells the story of Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald and his extraordinary partnership with African American Communities in the Jim Crow South.
Inspired by the writings of Booker T. Washington, his own concern over the growing racial inequality in America, and the Jewish principles of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), Rosenwald helped establish over 5,300 schools throughout the early 20th century. So called “Rosenwald Schools” became a household name to African American families of the era. Despite not attending school himself, Rosenwald rose to become the president of Sears and one of the most effective philanthropists of his time.
The screening will conclude with a panel discussion hosted by Rosenwald School experts and scholars, including Justin Reid, director of African American Programs at VFH. The panel will tackle such issues as Rosenwald’s biography, Booker T. Washington’s views on education and role in establishing the school building program, and the role of Rosenwald schools in the history of African American education in the South between Emancipation and the Civil Rights Movement.
Tickets for the screening and panel are available to the public for $12/person ($2 of which will go to directly support the Paramount’s historic preservation fund.), and can be purchased here.