“A Pocketful of Miracles: A Tale of Two Siblings” will have its world premiere at the JxJ Film Festival on May 21, 2023 in Washington, DC at 12PM. Berlin born director Aviva Kempner chronicles her mother Hanka and uncle Dudek Ciesla’s lives before and during World War II. From their idyllic Jewish upbringing in Poland through their survival of the Holocaust to their tearful reunion after the war, this moving documentary follows the incredible story of these loving siblings and the incredible lives they built in America as abstract expressionist painter Helen Ciesla Covensky and businessman and philanthropist David Chase.


Immediately after the screening, The Kosciuszko Foundation will host an art show featuring works by Helen Ciesla Covenky and her granddaughter, Piera Kempner. Helen and David found beauty and success in life despite the harrowing traumas they endured. The art show will provide an uplifting environment to reflect on a deeply moving film. In Helen’s words, “Just as nature and life cannot be frozen, my paintings affirm the vital energy, dynamism, magic, and mystery of my world… Painting for me is an absolute necessity, expressing personal needs, a constant struggle, and a never-ending search to portray the reaffirmation of life.” Helen was deeply proud of her Polish heritage. The Kosciuszko Foundation is proud to honor her legacy by bringing her vibrant spirit home again