Ludins House is forming as a cooperative living environment in Berkeley, California for individuals and families actively involved in social change and social justice work. It will provide affordable living through the sharing of common living areas, kitchen and yard. We envision a community much like an extended family, with a balance between shared living – including some shared meals and social activities – and individual privacy. We are committed to respectful interaction and an ecologically conscious lifestyle. We are also extending mebership in the house to non-residents who wish to participate in our community.
History and Inspiration
Our vision is inspired in part by the former residents of the house: Dr. Elias Katz, Florence Ludins-Katz, and Pearl Rand. Florence was an artist, union organizer, and civil and disabilities rights activist; her tile mosaics still decorate several rooms in the house, including the entire kitchen floor. Pearl was active in the “Coops” residential cooperative movement in New York in the 1930’s (read more about the fascinating history of the Coops here and here), and in civil rights work. Elias Katz rose from poverty to become a clinical psychologist dedicated to public service and mental health system reform.
Ludins House is named in memory of Leo Ludins (1869 – 1946), a Russian immigrant, successful new York plumbing contractor, a lifelong socialist, and Jon Katz’s grandfather. He was converting his plumbing business into a worker cooperative when it went bankrupt in the Crash of 1929.