ALLIANCE documentary film

As we are coming to the end of production on ALLIANCE, we are about to begin a new phase to do outreach and distribution of the film. Meeting our financial goal will help to fund screenings, festival entries, closed-captioning, festival & screening travel, outreach costs, and will show we have a ready audience to help get the attention of festivals, distributors, grantmakers and investors. Please help us in this last push to raise the needed funds to make ALLIANCE a success.

The Story:

Fleeing from the religious persecution of a tyrannical Russian czar to the desolate fields of a new world, forty-three refugee families traveled across the ocean in 1882 to found one of the first Jewish farming communities in America.

Over the next few decades, more than 100 other immigrant families would join them.

This is… ALLIANCE.

Produced and directed by Susan Donnelly and filmed by Ted Salins, ALLIANCE aims to capture the unique story of the first successful Jewish farming community in the United States, the Alliance Colony. Founded in 1882, the Alliance Colony was a first-time social experiment, bringing persecuted Russian Jews to the United States to form an agricultural-based community. 

Check out our new film teaser.

Message from Director/Producer Susan Donnelly

When my great-great grandfather, Solomon Salunsky, arrived to the shores of America in 1882 at the age of 49, he had no idea what life awaited him. He found his way to a dusty piece of land in a state he had never heard of before and was faced with becoming a farmer. Despite the struggles that lay ahead, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. Less than a year later, he brought his young wife and their nine-year-old son, my great-grandfather, to join him in this new life in the Alliance Colony.

Inspired by my ancestors, I have embarked on a journey of my own: to learn more about and share this amazing colony with others through the creation of a documentary film. ALLIANCE will cast a light on the brave souls that made this unique experiment thrive. This will be the only documentary bearing witness to the stories of Alliance descendants and their ancestors, as well as a currently relevant exploration of immigration and the changing definition of American Jewry over the last century.

What We Need and What You Get

Become a Founding Friend of ALLIANCE. Join the ALLIANCE support network as we work to tell the unique and inspiring true story of the Alliance Colony—a story of bravery, immigration, resilience, and family.

Your contribution, no matter the size, is a tremendous help to making this film come to fruition. 

The Whole Megillah        $1000+

Absolutely Kvelling        $500–$999

A Real Mensch             $200–$499

Like Mishpocheh           $50–$199

Mitzvah                     up to $49

What to include with your donation:

If you would like your donation to be in honor of an individual and/or if you are a descendant of an Alliance family, please send an email to [email redacted] with this information.

Other ways you can help

If you want to help but don't have the ability to donate right now, please help us spread the word about the ALLIANCE film and campaign on your social networks. Find us on Facebook @AllianceDoc.

**Susan Donnelly (Director/Producer) and Little Buttercup Films are deeply grateful for your support.**

Donations (63)

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  • Mimi Schultz
    • $36 
    • 3 mos
  • Susan Nathan
    • $18 
    • 5 mos
  • Jack Elias
    • $18 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 6 mos
  • Rose Lesser
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
See all


Susan Kehnemui Donnelly
North Kensington, MD

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