2017 Annual Report

December 14, 2017

Dear Friends,

Happy Hanukkah!

It’s that time again: time 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.

Nicaraguan brides 2017 by Ashira Slijá Mejía
Nicaraguan brides 2017 by Ashira Slijá Mejía

As we continue to welcome new partner communities from around the world to the global Jewish community, we ask that you consider making a donation to support our ongoing work. Please donate online at kulanu.org/donate, or use the form at the bottom of this letter. (If you are an early bird who has already donated, we thank you!) Here are some of the ways that donations were put to great use over the past 12 months:

  • Kulanu teams traveled to Nicaragua in July and Côte d’Ivoire in December to help people who had been preparing for years to convert to Judaism. In Nicaragua, there were 114 converts and 24 weddings, and in Côte d’Ivoire, there were 48 converts and 6 weddings!
  • We sent laptops, smartphones, and funds for internet access to leaders in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nicaragua, Uganda, Gabon, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda.
  • We continued to support the operations and holiday celebrations of the Harare Lemba Synagogue in Zimbabwe and supported their new mohel training program. Following the food crisis in Zimbabwe, we helped the Harare Lemba synagogue raise funds for drip irrigation, water reservoirs, and soil improvement programs in rural areas suffering from frequent droughts. For the amazingly successful water reservoir project, the community engaged volunteers from four religions in five villages to work together.


Lemba water reservoir
Water replaces drought in Zimbabwe!
  • Margo with Guatemala community
    Margo with Guatemala community

    Our five Global Teaching Fellows each spent a month in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Uganda, and Brazil. These Fellows are from different Jewish denominations and backgrounds, are preparing for Rabbinical ordination, and are committed to Kulanu’s vision of Jewish pluralism. We received glowing reports of their contributions from every community.

  • We arranged extended placements of volunteers in Rwanda, Ghana, and Uganda, and shorter visits to Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Madagascar, and Ghana.


HadassahSchool children in Uganda 2017 by David Kabala
Hadassah School children in Uganda 2017 by David Kabala
  • In Uganda, we continued to provide most of the funding for Hadassah Primary School, which feeds and educates 409 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children. This year we were able to increase funding both for food and for teachers’ salaries. We also support a wonderful school computer lab. We helped plan for a partnership between Hadassah Primary School and Tikkun Olam School in Namutumba, which will extend the computer program to an additional school.
  • In Uganda, we continue to support education for six deaf children, a health and sex education program, semiannual conferences of the Abayudaya Women’s Association, and we began a small agricultural training program in the village of Nasenyi.
  • We encouraged ten Abayudaya young adults in becoming camp counselors in the US this summer, successfully nominated Rachel Namudosi Keki for the Schusterman ROI program, and paid Shoshanna Nambi’s airfare to study at Pardes Institute in Israel. We also paid tuition for Moshéh Henriquez from Nicaragua to attend Pirchei Shoshanim, an online rabbinical school.
International Skype Conference
International Skype Conference
  • We held the first-ever international Skype conference among a dozen English-speaking leaders of communities with whom we work from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • In the US, we were well-represented at a number of film festivals. We enjoyed meeting our supporters at these events, as well as at meet-and-greets in Jerusalem and New York.
  • We launched our fabulous new website and continued to spread the word about our work on social media, email, and through collaboration with journalists, scholars, and filmmakers. We even got mentioned in the New York Times, in a full-page article about five weddings in Namutumba, Uganda!

. . . and so much more! Keep in touch by checking our website at Kulanu.org, or find us on Facebook and Youtube. Sign up for regular email updates by emailing database@kulanu.org.

Please help us continue to serve our partner communities around the world with a generous donation today. Multi-year gifts give us more freedom to plan ahead for the future. Use the form below to mail in a check, or donate online at kulanu.org/donate. Any amount will be greatly appreciated – and as you can see, it really does make a difference.

Thank you for being part of “all of us”!


Harriet Bograd, President

And “all of us” at Kulanu, Inc.

Current Annual Report

Previous Annual Reports

2018click here
2017 – click here
2016click here
2015click here
2014click here
2013click here
2012click here
2011click here
2010click here
2009click here