The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County presents a Three-Film Screening Tribute to Aviva Kempner: Writer, Producer, Director, beginning with Rosenwald, on January 26, 2020 at 2 PM (inclement weather date: Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 2 PM); Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 2 PM (inclement weather date: Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2PM); and The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2 PM (inclement weather date: Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 2 PM). Admission is $10 members (per film), $12 non-members (per film).
Aviva Kempner has a mission in life: her films investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and celebrate the untold stories of Jewish heroes. A child of Holocaust survivor Helen Ciesla and Harold Kempner, a US Army officer, Kempner was born in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her family history inspired her to conceive and produce her first documentary, Partisans of Vilna (1986), a gripping documentary on Jewish resistance against the Nazis. Kempner went on to write, direct, and produce more films about little-known American Jewish heroes, including the three films in this series: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (2000), Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg (2009), and Rosenwald (2015).
Kempner lives in Washington, DC where she plays a prominent role in the artist and film community. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and recipient of the 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2000 DC Mayor’s Art Award, the 2001 Media Arts award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the 2009 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s Freedom of Expression Awardee. She writes film criticism and feature articles for numerous publications, including the Chicago Tribune, The Forward, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2 PM (inclement weather date: Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 2 PM): Written, produced, and directed by Aviva Kempner, Rosenwald is an American 96-minute documentary film that 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 Af-rican 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.
This film is sponsored in part by Gary Matoren, in memory of his daughter, Debbie Lynn Matoren, in honor of The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, and the Jewish Community in Monmouth County.
Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 2 PM (inclement weather date: Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2PM): Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg. This 2009 American, 92-minute film written, produced, and directed by Aviva Kempner, is a humorous and eye-opening story of Gertrude Berg. She was the creator and principle writer and star of The Goldbergs, a popular radio show for 17 years, which became television’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history and paved the way for women in the entertainment industry. The film includes interviews with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, actor Ed Asner, producer Normal Lear (All in the Family), and NPR correspondent Susan Stamberg.
Sunday, March 8, 2020, 2 PM (inclement weather date: Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 2 PM): Directed by Aviva Kemper, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is a 1999 American, 95-minute feature length documentary film about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended ethnic and religious prejudice to become a hero for all Americans. Hank Greenberg’s achievements during the “Golden Age of Baseball,” in the thirties and forties, rivaled those of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. As America’s first Jewish baseball star, he helped break down the barriers of discrimination in American sports and society. Greenberg was a beacon of hope to millions of American Jews who faced bigotry during the Depression and during World War II.
Funding has been made possible in part by a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Monmouth County Historical Commission.
For more information or to make a paid reservation (non-refundable), call the Museum at 732-252-6990, or visit www.jhmomc.org.