2010 has been a year to remember as Kulanu completed its seventeenth year of outreach to isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world. It continues to be a joy for me to serve as President of Kulanu, working with you and “all of us.” This year we continued to sustain long-time relationships and develop new ones. As I look back on 2010, here are some highlights of Kulanu’s work.
- Kulanu continued to support the Abayudaya primary and high schools, which together educate 733 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children learning together peacefully. (This costs Kulanu $74 per student per year).
- With support from the Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation, the Baltimore Teen Giving Initiative, the Good People Fund, and many other Kulanu donors, we expanded the school nutrition programs so that all students received a nutritious breakfast and lunch five days a week ($39 per student per year).
- We received $40,000 in response to our recent appeal for the Abayudaya schools, enough to increase average teachers’ salaries in the two schools from $51 per month to $100 per month for most of the coming year. (We need $14,000 more to complete the budget for 2011).
- With funds from Kulanu donors, the elementary school built a new security fence and the high school built a set of latrines to replace those destroyed in a landslide.
- In January, 2010, a group of 10 Kulanu board members and friends visited the Beit Avraham in the Kechene area to assess their needs and explore Kulanu’s future relationship with them.
In Cameroon. . .
- Kulanu board member Rabbi Bonita Sussman and her husband, Rabbi Gerald Sussman, responded to a request from Serge Etele of the Bnai Yeshourun community. The Sussmans visited for two weeks and came home with photos and videos of this extraordinary community of thirty families. They published an article about them in Kulanu’s fall newsletter and began to introduce them to resources for further education and outreach.
In Suriname. . .
- Rabbi Haim Beliak spent three months working with the Jewish community in Paramaribo.
- With help from Kulanu, 16 young people and one adult from the Jewish community in Suriname were able to travel to and from Miami to join an all-expenses paid Birthright Israel trip.
In India. . .
- A teen group gave Kulanu $5,000 for a poultry project for the Bnei Ephraim in Andhra Pradesh.
On the home front. . .
- Our new newsletter editor, Judy Manelis, and designer Enid Bloch expanded and redesigned our newsletter to rave reviews.
- Rabbi Bonita Sussman and Peter Persoff replaced Aron and Karen Primack as voting members of Kulanu’s board (see kulanu.org/about-kulanu/kulanubios.php). The Primacks became honorary board members and were honored in an online tribute journal.
- Kulanu’s web site, kulanu.org, had more than 42,000 visits in the past year, a 24% increase over the previous year. Visitors to our web site came from all over the world.
- Kulanu’s Facebook page increased from 460 to 805 fans from 19 countries and is steadily growing. The photos of our Facebook fans highlight the diversity of our supporters.
- Our first Kulanu Kaifeng speaking tour was a great success. Our presenter, Shi Lei, spoke in 16 cities as part of Kulanu’s first Kulanu-Kaifeng speaking tour. By popular demand, he will be returning for another tour in February, 2011. There are still a few dates available.
- Kulanu continues to expand our multimedia resources. Visit our new Youtube channel at youtube.com/user/kulanuvideo. See our new online photo albums on Kaifeng, China, Cameroon, and Ethiopia at kulanu.phanfare.com.
- We provided advice, referrals, and information to travelers, filmmakers, journalists and others seeking information on Jewish practice, genealogy, conversion, and many other topics.
Today, I’m asking you to join me in continuing our support of this organization that is so important to so many. We know that this year has been a challenging one economically for many, but even small amounts can do so much. Please help us maintain our programs by giving as generously as you can. My deepest thanks for your support.
Please donate online or mail your check to Harriet Bograd, Kulanu, 165 West End Ave. 3R, New York, NY 10023. If you mail your check, please include your address, email address and phone number.
With all best wishes,