Four Student Rabbis Travel the Distance to Support Isolated Jewish Communities Worldwide

PRESS RELEASE — It was “boots on the ground” for four rabbinical students who spent their summer serving remote Jewish communities around the globe.

Thanks to Kulanu, an international organization that supports isolated, emerging, and returning Jewish communities around the globe, four rabbinical students were selected as Kulanu Global Teaching Fellows. These dedicated “rabbis-to-be” traveled to Nigeria, Brazil, India, and Gabon at the request of these Jewish communities, devoted a month this summer to deepen each community’s understanding and practice of Judaism.

Launched in 2017, a total of nine rabbinical students have participated in Kulanu’s Global Teaching Fellows program and this year, for the first time, African rabbinical students served African Jews in African countries.

“My village community in Uganda has received some support from Kulanu and this summer I was able to give back to another African Jewish community in Nigeria. Thanks to Kulanu as an African Jew I have come full circle,” shared Shadrach Mugoya Levy, who taught in Nigeria.

Jewish communities in outposts from Brazil to India benefited from their relationship with these dedicated rabbinical students – from teaching Hebrew to reading Torah to organizing a Jewish youth program, these “rabbis-in-training” brought unparalleled enthusiasm and expertise to local Jewish populations.

And the feeling was mutual. Says Michal Kohane, a Kulanu Global Teaching Fellow from New York and Israel, who served in Andhra Pradesh, India this summer. “The students I was so very honored to teach, were incredibly bright, committed, studious and learned,” she shared.

Moshe Hezekiah Nwafor of Abuja, Nigeria, who serves as Jewish teacher in several Nigerian communities was thrilled with fellow African Rabbi Shadrach Mugoya’s visit; “It was awesome and we learned so much.”

Emphasizing Kulanu’s pluralistic approach to Jewish belief and practice, the rabbinical students hailed from a wide spectrum of rabbinical school programs and served in the following countries. Kulanu carefully matched rabbinical students from different backgrounds with compatible communities.

2019 Fellows

Fellow's Name Shadrach Mugoya Levy Natan Freller Michal Kohane Amir Etele  
Aleph Rabbinical Program (distance learning from Namutumba, Uganda) Ziegler Rabbinical School (Los Angeles, CA) Yeshivat Maharat (Riverdale, NY) Ohr Torah Stone Yeshiva (Israel)
Nigeria Brazil India Gabon

What makes this initiative newsworthy:

  • Focus on cultural diversity and Jews of Color
  • Focus on inclusion
  • Jewish outreach
  • Jewish communities in unusual places around the globe
  • First time African trained students sent to teach Torah in other African communities
  • Natan Freller, a Brazilian rabbinical student, taught laws of ritual slaughter to Brazilian Bnai Anousim communities

For more information:

To schedule an interview with Kulanu or with the rabbinical students and their international community leaders contact:

Molly Levine, Kulanu’s Communications Director, at 646.285.8815 or

Visit the Kulanu website: and

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