Kulanu 2021 Annual Report

View our 2021 Annual Report presentation below or scroll down to read the 2021 Annual Report.
(Click here to watch the Year-End Celebration.) Thanks!

2022 Annual Report

Jewish Development: Building Local Knowledge and Practice

  • Helped with conversions of 94 adults and children in Nigeria who had been practicing Judaism with passion and skill for many years.
  • Celebrated Jewish weddings in Nigeria for ten newly converted couples.
  • Assisted in offering conversions in Italy to people who had studied all year – many of these converts were descendants of people forced to leave Judaism during the Inquisition.
  • Distributed a Torah scroll, Purim Megillah, prayer books, mezuzahs, and ritual objects in Honduras, Uganda, Italy, Nigeria, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
    Our program manager, Jo Ann Friedman, lovingly guides people who want to donate Jewish ritual items and books, often from deceased relatives or dying congregations, and it comforts the donors to know that these objects will go on “living.” Jo Ann also helps find travelers who take these books and Judaica to our partner communities. Their visits often are life-changing experiences for the couriers.
  • Gave small grants so that our partner communities in Suriname, Pakistan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Cameroon could celebrate holidays together or in their homes.
    Aided Jewish cemetery projects in Suriname and Ethiopia.
  • Paid for the printing of Haggadot in Hebrew, English, and Shona (the local language) in Zimbabwe for Passover. Though people couldn’t gather for big seders because of the pandemic, these materials allowed people to celebrate at home.
  • Held online courses in Spanish, French, and English for students from Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Senegal, and Congo on Jewish holidays, Hebrew, Kosher laws, and more.
    Fernando Flores Castañeda from Guatemala shared:
    “Kulanu and Genie Milgrom have been a great help and support for our community during the Covid. Through the shiurim and other classes, our community has fortified itself and been able to maintain unity during this trying time of social distancing.”
  • Funded a mobile printing shop run by Jewish young people in Madagascar to make Jewish texts available in Malagasy, the local language.
    Helped the community in Pakistan legally register as a religious community for greater recognition and acceptance.
  • Helped with the construction of synagogues, mikvahs, and community buildings in Nigeria, Uganda, Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, Philippines, and Tanzania to strengthen Jewish communities.

Community Development: Creating Sustainable Solutions to Aid Jewish Communities

  • Contributed funds to the village of Apac in Uganda for materials, so volunteers from the local community, with minimal help from paid workers, could build three log-cabin school classrooms, new latrine toilets, and a micro-credit office/community center.
  • Continued to fund the operations of the Harare Lemba Synagogue in Zimbabwe as a synagogue, community center, and a base for ground-breaking projects to improve water, power, and agriculture in rural Lemba communities.
  • Assisted Save the Rain in supporting a rainwater harvesting system in a newly forming kibbutz in Enugu, Nigeria, and helped Drink Water, and Drink Tap build latrines in Namonyonyi, Uganda.
    Helped with agriculture projects in Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe.
  • Secured a solar-powered water pump in Zimbabwe to reduce operating costs.
  • Worked with schools in Uganda during the lockdown period to continue limited operations when allowed and to plan for the future. (Schools are scheduled to reopen now in January.)
  • Sent food relief to communities in need in Uganda and Kenya during the lockdowns.

Networking: Connecting Communities to Each Other and to the Wider World

  • Continued our Online Speaker Series featuring partner communities in Indonesia, Cameroon, Majorca, Tanzania, India, and Suriname.
  • Welcomed new communities in Nigeria and Indonesia.
  • Awarded a mini-grant to Rebeca Orantes from Guatemala to help her enter Hebrew Union College Rabbinical School, and one to Guershon Nduwa from France to do an online pre-rabbinic program of Seminario Rabinico located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Continued to sell embroidered challah covers from Ghana, made famous by the film “Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana.” These challah covers serve as Kulanu ‘ambassadors,’ helping recipients feel connected to Jews in Africa.
  • Funded technology and internet costs in Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Uganda to connect community members to teachers and other resources.
  • Dedicated the guest house in Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana in memory of Dr. Michael Gershowitz.
  • Welcomed David Breakstone, Lili Kaufmann, and Ben Lefkowitz to Kulanu’s board – each of them adding years of experience, wisdom, and connections to our team.
  • Continued to inspire and engage people all over the world by sharing the stories of Kulanu partner communities through our website, videos, social networking, magazines, press coverage, TV and radio, speaking engagements, and conference participation.

DONATE NOW! Any donations made through January 10, 2022 (up to $60,000), will be matched by a generous donor.