The Ciesla Foundation

The Ciesla Foundation The Ciesla Foundation is an organization founded by Aviva Kempner dedicated to producing films that make a difference.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Ciesla Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public, tax-exempt educational organization. Ciesla (pronounced CHESH-lä) produces documentaries that investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and celebrates the untold stories of Jewish heroes. Films include Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, which details the accomplishments of pioneer Gertrude Berg and her media empire, the Peabody award-winning The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, the story of a Jewish baseball slugger who faced anti-Semitism in the ’30s and ’40s, and Partisans of Vilna, a film about Jewish resistance against the Nazis. The foundation recently released Rosenwald, a documentary on Sears head and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who joined with Southern African American communities during the Jim Crow years to build 5,000 schools and supported major African American artists and intellectuals. Ciesla was founded in 1979 by filmmaker Aviva Kempner, who serves as the executive director. Ciesla's films have received numerous honors and awards including top honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the CINE Golden Eagle Award.

"If a racial or ethnic group of people are called stereotypical names, simple justice can never be realized by that grou...
04/27/2020
Why, as a Jew, do I care so much about the R-skin name and mascot?

"If a racial or ethnic group of people are called stereotypical names, simple justice can never be realized by that group. For Jews and Native Americans, the name calling dehumanized a people that contributed to genocide."

https://www.rebrandwf.org/rwf-blog/why-as-a-jew-do-i-care-so-much-about-the-r-skin-name-and-mascot

In 2015, I co-found Rebrand Washington Football (RWF) with Ian Washburn and Bill Mosley. Our grassroots group asks Mr. Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington R-skins, to change the name and mascot of...

‎Carol Lipton‎ to Aviva KempnerApril 19 at 9:42 PM · News that one of the last remaining partisans of Vilna, Benjamin Le...
04/24/2020
FILM: 'PARTISANS OF VILNA'

‎Carol Lipton‎ to Aviva Kempner
April 19 at 9:42 PM ·
News that one of the last remaining partisans of Vilna, Benjamin Levin, has died of the coronavirus, arrived on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. If you're looking for a film to watch, I recommend "The Partisans of Vilna", which my friend Aviva Kempner produced.

AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyFILM: 'PARTISANS OF VILNA'Partisans of VilnaDirected by Joshua WaletzkyDocumentary2h 10mBy Janet MaslinSept. 12, 1986Credit...The New York Times ArchivesSee the article in its original context from September 12, 1...

Tonight!!!
11/19/2019

Tonight!!!

JxJ's retrospective of Aviva Kempner's 40-year documentary filmmaking career continues tomorrow with Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!

This film details the life of television icon and pioneer for women in the entertainment industry Gertrude Berg. Creator, principal writer, and star of radio show The Goldbergs, which later became the first ever character-driven domestic sitcom, Berg was the first recipient of the Best Actress Award in the history of the Emmys.

Don't miss your chance to learn about this entertainment icon beyond her role as Molly Goldberg! The first showing, featuring an introduction by Aviva, is Saturday at 8:45. Then, Tuesday the 19th at 7:00, our second showing will feature an introduction by Aviva, a special presentation of her 2002 short film Today I Vote for My Joey, about a feisty group of older Jewish women and a Haitian nurse setting out to vote for first Jewish VP candidate Joe Lieberman, and to cap off the night, a post-show Q&A with Aviva!

Get your tickets here: https://www.jxjdc.org/events/yoo-hoo-mrs-goldberg/

Jewish Sports Collectibles
11/11/2019
Jewish Sports Collectibles

Jewish Sports Collectibles

The JxJ is honoring Jewish filmmaker Aviva Kempner. On Sunday, November 17, the festival will screen Kempner's The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and The Spy Behind Home Plate - A film about Moe Berg by Aviva Kempner. Both screenings include a Q&A with Aviva. On Thursday, November 21, The Spy Behind Home Plate will be shown again, and on Saturday, November 23, both films will again be shown. For tickets and more information, visit https://www.jxjdc.org/events/avivakempner-retrospective/.

Spy Behind Home Plate | JxJ
04/08/2019
Spy Behind Home Plate | JxJ

Spy Behind Home Plate | JxJ

Aviva Kempner delivers the first feature-length documentary on Moe Berg, the enigmatic and brilliant baseball player who turned spy for the OSS during WWII.

The Spy Behind Home Plate - A film about Moe Berg by Aviva Kempner
02/08/2019

The Spy Behind Home Plate - A film about Moe Berg by Aviva Kempner

Are you on Twitter? Don't forget to follow @moebergfilm

“Ford’s attacks on Jews were distributed around the world before and after World War II and, alarmingly, they influence ...
02/04/2019
A Mayor’s Effort to Play Down Henry Ford’s Anti-Semitism Backfires

“Ford’s attacks on Jews were distributed around the world before and after World War II and, alarmingly, they influence budding neo-Nazis today. It’s a subject worth talking about in Dearborn. Let the discussion begin.”

https://nyti.ms/2BjWgmx

The mayor of Dearborn, Mich., halted distribution of a city history magazine documenting Ford’s bigoted views, a move that riled residents and historians.

Rosenwald Film
01/16/2019

Rosenwald Film

We hope many of you will be able to join Aviva Kempner, Ethelbert Miller, and Michael Julian Bond at Morehouse College on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 5:30 pm, for a special screening of Rosenwald. For more information, visit morehouse.edu/events/event-kingcommemoration2019

12/03/2018
As we gather for our holiday meals, Ciesla would like to express gratitude to our supporters and friends. Thank you for ...
11/22/2018

As we gather for our holiday meals, Ciesla would like to express gratitude to our supporters and friends. Thank you for making it possible to share these important stories!
-From Aviva and the staff at Ciesla

The labor movement has done a great deal to strength American prosperity and improve the lives of workers. On this Labor...
09/03/2018

The labor movement has done a great deal to strength American prosperity and improve the lives of workers. On this Labor Day, The Ciesla Foundation would like to say thank you to all workers.
Enjoy the holiday!

Rosenwald Film
08/15/2018

Rosenwald Film

Today we honor the legacy of Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and American hero, who passed on this day 3 years ago.

Bond was the inspiration behind the making of Aviva Kempner’s film Rosenwald. Kempner first learned of Julius Rosenwald’s partnership with Booker T. Washington when she heard Bond give a talk 14 years ago at Martha's Vineyard. His father, Horace Mann, was the president of Lincoln University and had received a Rosenwald grant.

The Washington Jewish Film Festival begins this Wednesday! Get your tickets and see you all there!
04/30/2018
JxJ

The Washington Jewish Film Festival begins this Wednesday! Get your tickets and see you all there!

Tickets to the 28th WJFF are now available! Browse this year's lineup of international films and get your tickets today 🎫

Happy International Women's Day!http://rosenwaldfilm.org/blog/
03/08/2018
Rosenwald

Happy International Women's Day!

http://rosenwaldfilm.org/blog/

Happy International Women’s Day! Today we commemorate and celebrate all the notable women in history. However today, we’d like to particularly pay homage to the sculptor Augusta Savage, most known for her spectacular sculpture “The Harp” was wrongly demolished at the closing of the 1939’s ...

Rosenwald Film
01/23/2018

Rosenwald Film

1/19/2018
Thank you William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Stanford University

01/17/2018

Julian Bond's Birthday was January 14th. Happy Belated Julian. You were such an inspirational force for the community.

01/04/2018

Hoping everyone had a happy new year! Stay tuned for all the latest with the Moe Berg

:)
12/14/2017

:)

Thank you University of Pennsylvania for such a great screening and talk. Thank you Arthur Waskow and John W. Jordan for...
11/16/2017

Thank you University of Pennsylvania for such a great screening and talk. Thank you Arthur Waskow and John W. Jordan for coming to speak as well!

Thank you University of Pennsylvania for such a great screening of Rosenwald and talk. Thank you Arthur Waskow and John W. Jordan for coming to speak.

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Rosenwald Fund and the DVD Release of the film! Some pictures of the fabulous e...
11/01/2017

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Rosenwald Fund and the DVD Release of the film! Some pictures of the fabulous evening!

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Rosenwald Fund and the DVD Release of the film! Some pictures of the fabulous evening!

10/25/2017

DCHistory Did​ ​you​ ​know​ ​John Thompson, who went to play for the Boston Celtics and later coached for Georgetown, told us that he was discovered here at the 12th Street YMCA?​ ​This​ ​and​ ​more​ ​to​ ​be​ ​found​ ​at​ ​the​ ​44th ​Annual​ ​Conference on​ ​D.C.​ ​History.​ ​#DCHistCon​ ​

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Edlavitch DCJCC Tonight at 7:30pm to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Ro...
10/16/2017
Rosenwald DVD Premiere

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Edlavitch DCJCC Tonight at 7:30pm to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Rosenwald Fund and 39 Bonus Features created for the DVD! If you haven't already done so, please purchase your ticket https://www.wjff.org/film/rosenwald/?spektrix_bounce=true.

Special thank you to RedCross for their efforts in aiding Puerto Rico. In the philanthropic spirit of Rosenwald, we are spreading the word on how to help the Puerto Rican people.

The Rosenwald Fund 100th Anniversary Celebration Rosenwald DVD Premiere Dir. Aviva Kempner ( United States, 2015) English Documentary Sponsored by The Ciesla Foundation, the Helen and Milton Covensky Fund and the Chaim Kempner Fund Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the profoundly influential Rose...

In light of this past Rosh Hashana, reporter Noam Hassenfeld for NPR produced a special titled “Hank Greenberg Caught Be...
09/26/2017
Hank Greenberg: Caught Between Baseball And His Religion

In light of this past Rosh Hashana, reporter Noam Hassenfeld for NPR produced a special titled “Hank Greenberg Caught Between Baseball and His Religion” with commentary from Aviva Kempner. Listen to the NPR clip here! http://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2017/09/22/hank-greenberg-rosh-hashana-tigers

In September 1934, Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg had to make some tough decisions: sit out games during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur or suit up and play with the AL pennant on the line? Along the way, the Detroit Free Press played a critical role in shaping the conversation in Detroit.

Catch the Rosenwald film screening April 6 at Hampton University. Aviva Kempner will be in attendence.
04/04/2017
Rosenwald movie screening

Catch the Rosenwald film screening April 6 at Hampton University. Aviva Kempner will be in attendence.

Rosenwald Movie Screening.

New Rosenwald Blog. Siloam Rosenwald School seeks funding. http://rosenwaldfilm.org/rosenwald/blog/
03/27/2017
Rosenwald

New Rosenwald Blog. Siloam Rosenwald School seeks funding. http://rosenwaldfilm.org/rosenwald/blog/

The Charlotte Museum of History has taken the initiative to restore and relocate the Siloam School after the school had been uninhabited and in a state of disrepair for 50 years. Located in University City, the school will require approximately $600,000 to restore it for educational purposes and com...

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5005 Linnean Avenue NW
Washington D.C., DC
20008

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 362-5760

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