We Made Matzah Balls for the Revolution

Directed By: Kellie Welborn (First Feature Film) / 74 Minutes
USA / 2020 / English
Documentary / Other
Territory Rights: WORLD-WIDE

Option for Live Appearance: Q&A
Name of guest: Kellie Welborn Ira Kerem David Shneyer
Role of guest: Director Producer Collective Member


This is the story of a group of idealistic young people who in 1975 create a kosher restaurant based on values from: the “revolution” and the counter-culture of the 60s and 70s; the concept of justice in Jewish tradition; the Israeli kibbutz; the Eastern European shtetl; and a yearning for community. This restaurant, the Kosher Kitchen, the first and only kosher restaurant in the Washington, D.C area for the previous eight years, won notoriety as history’s only anti-profit, collectively run, worker’s self managed, community based, kosher restaurant. The film tells the story of what motivated these college graduates and how the collective dealt with all the contradictions of being a business in America while opposing capitalism; working in the Jewish community, yet challenging the establishment; and living and working in an anti-capitalist, completely egalitarian collective with $100 weekly salaries for all. The film demonstrates how the collective created a sense of community including:meals-on-wheels; a senior citizen drop in center; free Saturday night entertainment; lecture series; ethnic nights, and a community table where everyone interacted with strangers sitting there. There is an attempt to understand why the KK folded and if anything could have been done to save it or even if it could have started in any other period besides that of the 60s/70s. Much of the filming takes place at a reunion of the collective where food is prepared, cooked, eaten and discussions and arguments are waged. The film includes interviews with customers, Washington Post and other newspaper articles, and filming on site of the old restaurant. The film celebrates idealism and how it continued to inspire the collective and many of their adult children. Besides the locale in nearby Silver Spring and the director from Baltimore, there are many customers and collective members living in Baltimore today.