Date: January 18, 2022Time: 7:30 pm
Location:  Show map Zoom
1035 Newfield Avenue
Stamford, CT 06905
United States
Contact: Connie Cirillo FreemanPhone: 203.940.3890Email:

Virtual Book & Author Conversation w/ Andrew Feiler

A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America

In one of the earliest collaborations between Jews and African Americans, Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington launched an ambitious program to build public schools for African American children in the segregated south. The 4,978 Rosenwald schools dramatically improved education and nurtured a generation of civil rights activists, the late Congressman John Lewis among them.

Award-winning photographer and author Andrew Feiler, born Jewish in Savannah, drove 25,000 miles, photographed 105 schools, and interviewed dozens of former students, teachers, and preservationists to tell the fascinating story of the Rosenwald schools.

The evening will be moderated by Jed Selkowitz, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of Americares, JCC Board Member.

Member FREE / Community $10
Click HERE to register.


Author Andrew Feiler is a fifth-gen­er­a­tion Geor­gian. Hav­ing grown up Jew­ish in Savan­nah, he has been shaped by the rich com­plex­i­ties of the Amer­i­can South. Andrew, long active in civic life, cre­at­ed com­mu­ni­ty ini­tia­tives, serves on mul­ti­ple not-for-prof­it boards, and is an active advi­sor to polit­i­cal lead­ers. His art is an exten­sion of his civic values.

Julius Rosen­wald, born to immigrant parents, rose to lead Sears, Roe­buck & Com­pa­ny and turned it into the world’s largest retail­er. Born into slav­ery, Book­er T. Wash­ing­ton became the found­ing prin­ci­pal of Tuskegee Insti­tute. In 1912, the two men launched an ambi­tious pro­gram to part­ner with Black com­mu­ni­ties across the seg­re­gat­ed South to build pub­lic schools for African Amer­i­can chil­dren.  One of the ear­li­est col­lab­o­ra­tions between Jews and African Amer­i­cans, this ini­tia­tive drove dra­mat­ic improve­ment in African Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment and fos­tered the gen­er­a­tion who became the foot sol­diers of the civ­il rights movement.

Of the orig­i­nal 4,978 Rosen­wald schools built between 1912 and 1937 across fif­teen states, only about 500 sur­vive. To tell this sto­ry visu­al­ly, Andrew Feil­er drove 25,000 miles, photographed 105 schools, and inter­viewed dozens of for­mer stu­dents, teach­ers, and preser­va­tion­ists. The book’s fore­word is by Con­gress­man John Lewis, a Rosen­wald school alum.

A Better Life for Their Children includes eighty-five duotone images that capture interiors and exteriors, schools restored and yet-to-be restored, and portraits of people with unique, compelling connections to these schools. Brief narratives written by Feiler accompany each photograph, telling the stories of Rosenwald schools’ connections to the Trail of Tears, the Great Migration, the Tuskegee Airmen, Brown v. Board of Education, embezzlement, murder, and more.


PURCHASE & GET 30% OFF A Better Life for Their Children!

Scan QR code with your smartphone or buy online at and enter promotional code 08BTRLIFE at checkout.

To order by phone, call 1.800.848.6224 or 1.919.966.7449 and give the customer service representative the promotional code.


Sponsored by JSAC.


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