You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Aviva Kempner

Filmmaker

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner was born in Berlin after World War II to an American father and a Polish mother. Her childhood was marked by the experience of her parents during and after the war. Her desire to understand them led her to a career in filmmaking.

Although she herself did not experience the Holocaust, she used her first film, Partisans of Vilna, to highlight the heroism of those who resisted the Nazis.

Her subsequent films tell the stories of other Jewish heroes — baseball great Hank Greenberg, who inspired Jewish Americans by his success on the field and his loyalty to his religion, and Gertrude Berg, the Oprah of her time and pioneer television producer and star. Aviva’s mission is to tell the stories of figures she calls “under-known Jewish heroes,” and in the process to shatter ethnic stereotypes.

In her interview, she recounts how she came to be a filmmaker, her connection to Judaism, to Israel, and to the greater Washington D.C. Jewish community.

Full video interview

More on: Holocaust, Directors, Film
1 Comment

Aviva is an outstanding person, trailblazer, historian and artist.

Aviva Kempner
Full image
Filmmaker Aviva Kempner. Photo by Bruce Guthrie.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Aviva Kempner." (Viewed on February 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/exhibits/dc/kempner-aviva>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs