It’s time again for “all of us” to look back on the memories and the accomplishments of the past 12 months. This has been a wonderful year for Kulanu! We have continued to build Jewish knowledge, leadership, and practice across the globe.
As we welcome new partner congregations from around the world to the global Jewish community, we hope that you will contribute to support our ongoing work. We couldn’t exist without you! Go to kulanu.org/donate to donate online or to find how to mail a donation. If you have already donated, thank you! Here are some of the ways that donations were put to use in the past year:
In Zimbabwe, Kulanu continued to support operations and holiday celebrations at the Harare Lemba Synagogue (HLS), along with Passover seders at the Great Zimbabwe Synagogue in Mapakomhere and in three other rural villages. HLS members and their choir recorded melodies composed by Lemba musician Hamlet Zhou with help from Kulanu volunteer Cantor Mike Stein. HLS members and local village leaders built a second water storage dam and completed a soil conservation project with funds raised by Kulanu and launched a promising chicken business. Kulanu donors paid airfare for two young Lemba leaders to study in Israel for three months; tuition and living expenses were paid by Ohr Torah Stone yeshiva.
In Uganda, we continued to support Hadassah Primary School, which feeds and educates 400+ Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children. We were able to increase funding for the school nutrition program and for teachers’ salaries. We also supported the school computer lab and extended the computer program to a school in the village of Namutumba. In addition, we funded a new kitchen, an incinerator, and renovation of administration rooms. Students we supported in a national music, dance, and drama competition ranked 6th out of 57 schools.
Namutumba Days for Girls workshop in Uganda
We continue to support education for six deaf children and a health and sex education program in Uganda. Our support of Namutumba Days for Girls workshops provided women and girls with reusable monthly sanitary kits. And we rejoiced along with 36 Abayudaya young adults who arrived in Israel on the first-ever Birthright trip.
In the past year, we added partner communities in Indonesia, Pakistan, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Ghana, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
We arranged an extended placement of volunteers in Papua, Indonesia and shorter visits to Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Myanmar, and Kenya. Past travelers report that visits often begin long-term personal relationships, with mutual learning and sharing.
We sent laptops, smartphones, and funds for internet access to leaders in Gabon, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. These devices and those sent in previous years allow communities to connect.
Kulanu supported several special projects in 2018, including new guest quarters in Abuja, Nigeria named for Rabbi Wayne Franklin of Providence, Rhode Island, a social hall and kitchen in Kenya, and a computer coding program at Hadassah Primary School in Uganda taught in part by a bar mitzvah student and supported by his family.
We helped repair old Jewish cemeteries in Suriname and provided emergency funds for families to leave Nicaragua temporarily when conditions were dangerous.
Our Crypto-Jewish artist/scholar in residence, Jonatas Chimen, spoke in six synagogues in three states and continues to be available.
We welcomed outstanding part-time professional staff members Jo Ann Friedman, Program and Development Manager, and Molly Levine, Communications Director.
Volunteers shipped books, Judaica, and technology equipment to partner communities or we found travelers to serve as couriers.
Please help us continue to serve our partner communities around the world with a generous donation today. Recurring gifts give us freedom to plan for the future. Donate online at kulanu.org/donate. Any amount will be greatly appreciated – and as you can see, it really does make a difference.