Kulanu Credits: The 2012 Volunteer Community

It’s always such a pleasure to see the support come in at this time of year, with many gifts accompanied by heart-warming notes that remind us why we do this work.  Of course, it’s not just the donors who make things happen here at Kulanu – in our grassroots organization, many of our projects are carried out by volunteers whose dedication to global Jewry is an inspiration to me. Kulanu board members Judy Manelis (L) and Harriet Bograd (R), with Serge Etele of Cameroon (M) in New York. Photo by Rabbi Sussman, February 2012.These board members, regional coordinators, project leaders, fundraisers, speakers, and other active volunteers are the core of Kulanu’s success. Not to mention all the folks who travel far and wide to spend time with isolated Jewish communities, either as visitors who build relationships across borders, or as volunteers who contribute their skills and energy in addition to helping strengthen our connections with each other.

And much credit is due to the individuals who help their own communities gain a connection with the worldwide Jewish community as well as a Jewish education. These community members also serve as “on-the-ground” liaisons to Kulanu, ensuring that projects are supervised and goals are met. The dedication of these leaders, educators, and organizers is incredible — we are constantly amazed at how many people are committed to living Jewishly despite the challenges of accessing resources, literature and information, Judaica items and other materials. There are too many of these community members to name, since every person contributes to their community’s success, but we are listing a select few to represent each of the groups we work with around the world.

Meet the Kulanu community members who made 2012 such a dynamic and rewarding year…

(Imagine the names below scrolling over a large movie screen – what a production!)

Kulanu Board Members and Officers:

Harriet Bograd, President

Judith Manelis, Vice President

Barbara Vinick, Secretary

Peter Persoff, Treasurer

Jack Zeller, President Emeritus

Sandy Leeder

Rabbi Stephen Leon

Andria Spindel

Marcy Stein

Rabbi Bonita Sussman

Aron and Karen Primack, Honorary Board Members


Regional Coordinators:

Brazil: Regina Igel, Dione Pereira, Robert Feron

Cameroon: Rabbis Bonita and Gerald Sussman

China: Jim Michaelson

Ecuador: Ed Samiljan

El Salvador: Rabbi Aaron Rehberg

Ethiopia: Lucy Steinitz, Sam Taddesse and Yohannes Zeleke

Ghana: Harriet Bograd, Michael Ramberg, and Allison Michael

Guatemala: Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

India: Romiel Daniel, Navras Jaat Aafreedi

Kenya: Ari Witkin

Latin America: Daneel Schaechter

Poland: Rabbi Haim Beliak

Puerto Rico: Rabbi Lawrence Goldstein

Suriname: Jacob Steinberg

Tutsi: Rabbi David Kuperman

Uganda: Laura Wetzler

Zimbabwe: Sandy Leeder

Liaison to Saudades: Rufina Mausenbaum



Individuals who make presentations about Kulanu and world Jewry in their home communities and elsewhere –

Rabbi Barbara Aiello

Joyce Alpiner

Jeanne Bodin

Jonina Duker

Serge Etele

Dolores Goldfinger

Modreck Maeresera

Judy Manelis

Aaron Kintu Moses

Rabbi Bonita Sussman

Rabbi Gerald Sussman

David Wise

Gil and Lil Zinn


Newsletter Editors:

Judy Manelis, Editor

Serge Etele, Layout and Photography Editor


Programming and Development Coordinator:

Katie Rosenthal (only paid staff, 4 days a week)


Office Administration Volunteers: 

Jerry Krasny

Wathira Nganga

Ronit Socoloff

Maya Sokolsky


Community Member-Leaders  –

There are many dedicated individuals in remote places who help encourage Judaism in their own communities, despite the challenges of being far from other Jewish communities and resources.

Here are just a few of the people we had the pleasure of working with this past year, who serve their respective communities as devoted members and leaders, and as liaisons to Kulanu and Jews everywhere:

Cameroon: Serge Etele

Ghana: Abigail Aidoo, Alex Armah, Joseph Armah, Patrick Armah, Akiva Kena, Joseph Mintah

Guatemala: Jeannette Orantes

India: Sadok Yacobi

Nigeria: Remy Ilona

Poland:  Joanne Auron-Gorska

Uganda: Seth Jonadav, Aaron Kintu Moses, Naume Sabano, Samson Shadrack, Samson Wamani

Zimbabwe: Modreck Maeresera, Rabson Wuriga

Local Volunteers:

All the volunteers who arrange for Kulanu-related speaking events or educational programs,

fundraise with family and friends, spread the word on Facebook or blogs —

there are so many that we cannot list them all, but here are a few from the past year:

Harriet Bograd and Kenneth Klein

Mickey and Mordy Feinberg

Dr Elizabeth Feldman

Lisa Kassow

Joanie Levine

Howard Metzenberg

Karen and Aron Primack

Patti Scheinman

Community Visitors and Volunteers:

All the adventurous people who have visited or volunteered in Kulanu communities – we may miss many guests and helpers, but these are some who came through Kulanu –

Jeanne Bodin and her daughter Gail

Harriet Bograd

Nathan Devir

Kimberly Dueñas

Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

Lisa Kassow

Sandy Leeder

Rabbi Devorah Lynn

Judy Manelis

Irene Orleansky

Tara Parks

Rabbi Aaron Rehberg

Daneel Schaechter

Patti Scheinman

Rabbis Bonita and Gerry Sussman

Laura Wetzler


Harriet Bograd

Kimberly Dueñas

Serge Etele


Sandy Leeder

Alan and Agnes Leshner

Tim Makins (www.gnomeplanet.com)

Lorne Mallin

Rabbi Aaron Rehberg

Andria Spindel

Rabbi Bonita Sussman

Vivianne Topp

Laura Wetzler

Roslyn Zelenka

Jack Zeller


~ Individuals who wrote articles in the 2012 issues of KulanuNews ~

Harriet Bograd

Kimberly Dueñas

Blu Greenberg

Sandy Leeder

Jeff L. Lieberman

Modreck Zvakavapano Maeresera

Judy Manelis

Andria Spindel


Rabbis, Cantors, Teachers, and Educators

All the leaders and influential people who include Kulanu materials in their programs, classes, and other outlets –

there are too many to name, but you know who you are.

Thank you!


Blog and Social Media Coordinators:

Sidney Davis

Matt Feldman

Ally Levy

Wathira Nganga

Marcia Weingarten

Email Group Moderators:

Harriet Bograd

Sidney Davis

Remy Ilona

Shep Wahnon

Jack Zeller

Multimedia Coordinators:

Enid Bloch

Serge Etele

Emma Patterson

Jocelyn Spencer



American Jewish University – Brandeis Collegiate Institute

Crypto Judaic Society

David Weingarten, Far West USY

Diva Communications (Debra and David Vinick)

Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland – Beit Polska

Hillel Council of New England

The Hillels of Wellesley College, Trinity College, and Babson College

Jemglo.org (Ellen Friedland and Curt Fissel)

Judy Gray, Masorti Olami

Michael Freund, Shavei Israel

Nick Schumner, martnet.com

Rabbi Barbara Aiello

Rabbis Arnie Belzer and Anson Laytner, Sino-Judaic Institute

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Ohr Torah Stone

Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, Tufts Hillel (Abayudaya Higher Education Program)

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

Relly Coleman, Books for Zim

Sonya A. Loya, Bat-Tzyion Hebrew Learning Center

Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Young Judea Year in Israel – Olami Program


Business Partners: Free Services

Google: Mail, Docs (GoogleDrive), Calendar, Maps, Analytics

Phanfare.com – online photo albums (free for nonprofits)

Youtube.com – video channel

Business Partners: Paid Services

Blackbaud/eTapestry (donor database)

Grover Cleveland Press, Buffalo, NY (newsletter printers)

Marketing Tech, Buffalo, NY (printing and mailing services)

OLM.net (web hosting)

Paypal.com (online store payment processing)

Popular Printing (print materials)

Prostores.com (online storefront)


Donors of $4,000 to $32,000:

Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Foundation

The Cherna Moskowitz Foundation

Estate of Roslyn Stone

Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation

The Good People Fund

The Irving I Moskowitz Foundation

Otto and Marianne Wolman Foundation

L Weider

Jack and Diane Zeller

 … And thanks to our many other donors, with gifts from $5 and up!


As you can see, everything that Kulanu accomplishes is achieved through the hard work of “all of us”.

Many thanks to everyone who collaborates to support isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world. We couldn’t do it without you!