Speaker: Aviva Kempner, Director
Moe Berg captured national attention as a talented catcher with the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, and Boston Red Sox in the 1930s and 1940s. During World War II, his talents also captured the attention of the Office of Strategic Solutions (OSS) who recruited Berg to spy on the Nazi atomic bomb programs for the United States. This riveting documentary from the director of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and Rosenwald tells the story of the double life of one of the Golden Age of Baseball’s long-time players. Berg is also the subject of the National Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit "Moe Berg: Big League Spy." (Aviva Kempner, 2019, USA, 101 minutes)
Washington, DC based filmmaker Aviva Kempner makes highly successful and critically acclaimed documentaries about under known Jewish heroes for forty years. Kempner released her latest film, The Spy Behind Home Plate, in May. She produced, wrote and directed Rosenwald, a documentary about how Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington in establishing over 5,000 schools for African Americans in the Jim Crow South. (Glimmerglass Film Days screened Rosenwald in 2017.) She wrote, produced and directed the critically acclaimed Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, about Gertrude Berg who created the first television sitcom. Kempner wrote and directed the tragic short comedy, Today I Vote for My Joey. She directed, wrote and produced the Emmy nominated and Peabody awarded The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, about the Hall Famer who faced anti-Semitism during the 30s. She also produced and conceived the award-winning Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Kempner is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the DC Mayor’s Art Award, WIFV Women of Vision Award and Media Arts Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival in Washington, DC. She is a voting rights advocate for Washington, D.C.