2019 Annual Report

December 10, 2019

Dear Friends,

It’s that time for “all of us” to look back on the memories and the accomplishments of the past twelve months. 2019, our 25th anniversary year, has been truly amazing! Just last month, over 50 communities worldwide celebrated Kulanu and learned more about far-flung Jewish communities during our “Kulanu Across the Globe” weekend.

More than ever, our partner communities are connecting and supporting each other. Notably, last summer was the first time that African rabbinic students served as Kulanu Global Teaching Fellows, working successfully in other communities in Africa. As you read this letter, plans are underway for a major Pan-African conference with representatives from Jewish communities across the African continent.

As we continue to help new partner communities from around the world join the global Jewish community, we ask that you consider making a donation to support our ongoing work. Please donate online.

Here are some of the ways that your donations were put to great use over the past twelve months:

● Continued to provide most of the funding for the Hadassah Primary School in Uganda, which feeds and educates over 400 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children, installed lightning rods on each building, and a solar water pump (pictured), additional computer lab security, and classroom desks. We supported computer labs and computer coding programs in two schools that continued to support education for six deaf children, a health and sex education program, and semiannual conferences of the Abayudaya Women’s group. We sent shechita knives and a laptop to Marom Uganda’s new Beit Ha’am in Kampala.

● Continued to support the operations of the Harare Lemba Synagogue (HLS) in Zimbabwe. We helped them publish 500 copies of a uniquely African Haggadah in Hebrew, English, and Shona, their native tongue, and musical recordings of traditional Jewish prayers set to Zimbabwean melodies. We funded solar power and a borehole (well) for the synagogue and have partially funded a drip irrigation agricultural program to grow potatoes and beans in a related rural community to avert starvation.

● Delivered laptops, smartphones, and funds for internet access to leaders in Cameroon, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Uganda. With Kulanu Canada, we arranged for 20 smartphones to go to Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana to be used for online Jewish learning.

● Funded four Global Teaching Fellows who spent a month in Brazil, Gabon, India, and Nigeria. These Fellows, from different Jewish denominations and backgrounds, are preparing for rabbinical ordination. Two of the teaching fellows are Africans preparing for the rabbinate who traveled and taught in other African communities.

● Arranged extended placements of volunteers in India and Uganda and facilitated shorter visits to Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, and Uganda. We helped Ohr Torah Stone yeshiva place two students from Indonesia for three months’ study in Israel (pictured). They have returned to their country to teach. We helped pay for airfare for a student from Colombia to study in Israel.

● Supported conversions at Adat Israel in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and in Calabria, Italy. Many of these new Jews are descendants of anousim, whose ancestors were forced to abandon Judaism during Inquisition times. Supported a film about the Guatemala community which you can view online.

● With a new system for handling mini-grants, we supported holiday celebrations in Pakistan, synagogue furniture in Nicaragua, an Ethiopian Sigd celebration in New York, seed money for farming in Uganda, and a bima and connection to the electrical grid in Kenya.

● Sent a donated Torah, prayer books, and Judaica to communities in Brazil, Ghana, India, Italy, Nigeria, Philippines, Italy, and Zimbabwe using travelers as couriers.

● Planned and implemented the first African Jewish Film Festival at the Jewish Africa Conference of the American Sephardic Foundation in New York City.

● Partnered with new communities in Recife, Brazil; Mindanao, Philippines; and Arusha, Tanzania.

Please help us continue to serve our partner communities around the world with a generous donation today. Recurring gifts give us more freedom to plan ahead for the future. Donate online now.  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.