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Kulanu Presentation 5 6 2009

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    • 1. Kulanu A 501(c)(3) organization helping dispersed and emerging Jewish communities
    • 2. Communities with a Kulanu Connection
    • 3.
        • India - Bnei Menashe, Bene Ephraim and Pashtuns
        • Uganda – Abayudaya
        • Ethiopia – Beta Israel
        • Southern Africa - Lemba
        • Ghana - Sefwi
        • Nigeria
        • Rwanda and Burundi
        • Many Countries - Anousim (“Marranos,” “Conversos”, “Crypto-Jews”)
        • Peru
        • Brazil
        • Ecuador
        • Suriname
        • Mexico
        • Italy
      Where Are These Communities?
    • 4. Jewish Communities in India
      • (1) Manipur and (2) Mizoram
      • Bnei Menashe
      • (3) Kolkata Baghdadi
      • (4) Andhra Pradesh Bene Ephraim ( Telugu)
      • (5) Mumbai
      • Bene Israel Baghdadi
      • (6) Cochin Cochini
      5 1 2 3 4 6
    • 5. Kulanu’s Journey Began in 1994 Among the Bnei Menashe in India
      • Descendants of the tribe of Menashe exiled in 722 B.C.E.
      • In the 1800’s, Christian missionaries found Jews on the Burmese border in northern India
      • Many now making aliyah to Israel
      At the ark
    • 6. Kulanu Sent a Rabbinic Couple to Teach and Study with the Bene Ephraim in India The Bene Ephraim community in Andhra Pradesh speak Telugu and maintain Jewish traditions
    • 7. African Communities with Kulanu Connection
      • (1) Ethiopia
      • Beta Israel
      • (2) Southern Africa Lemba
      • (3) Ghana Sefwi
      • (4) Nigeria
      • Igbo (Ibo)
      • (5) Uganda Abayudaya
      • (6) Burundi and Rwanda Tutsi
      1 2 3 4 6 5 2
    • 8. Abayudaya of Uganda
      • Embraced Judaism 1919
      • Persisted despite persecution
      • Educated by Jewish visitors
      • United States-trained rabbi returned in 2008
      Rabbi Gershom Sizomu with mother and brother at his installation Purim Service at Moses Synagogue
    • 9. Abayudaya (cont.)
      • Conversion 2002: 300+ individuals in Uganda
    • 10. How Kulanu Helps: Abayudaya Education
      • Support for elementary and secondary schools
      • Nutrition program
      • Health education
      • Women’s empowerment
      • Agricultural development
      Kulanu volunteer teaching at Abayudaya primary school Girls’ book project Child hunger project
    • 11. How Kulanu Helps: Abayudaya Economic Development
      • Micro-credit projects
      • Water and electricity
      • Fair trade interfaith coffee project
      • Agricultural development
      • Tourism program
      Package from interfaith fair trade coffee shop Abayudaya women welcoming mitzvah tourists
    • 12. Kulanu Helps Ethiopian Jews in Israel and Ethiopia
      • The Ethiopian Jewish community known as Beta Israel (House of Israel) can trace its lineage to biblical times
      • Western travelers to Ethiopia discovered the community in the 1800’s
      • 75,000 have gone to Israel (Operation Moses, 1984, and Operation Solomon, 1991)
      • Many more are waiting
      Men generally do the embroidery
    • 13. Ethiopia (cont.)
      • National Conference of Ethiopian Jews ( NACOEJ)
      • COMPOUND IN ADDIS ABABA (closed in 2007)
      Children’s feeding program Children waiting for the circus Ten Commandments in Amharic
    • 14. Kulanu Has Worked with the Lemba in South Africa and Zimbabwe
      • Oral history of Jewish origins
      • Genetic evidence of Jewish origins
      • Anthropologist Tudor Parfitt has written books about the Lemba
      Tudor Parfitt
    • 15. Kulanu Helped the Jewish Community in Ghana Develop a Business
      • Sefwi Wiawso in Ghana
      • Oral history: they were Jews from Ethiopia via Mali
      • Kulanu helps them sell beautiful African fabric challah covers and kente-cloth tallitot
      • Kulanu has helped send Jewish studies teachers to Ghana
      • Kulanu sent Ghana leader to study with Abayudaya in Uganda
    • 16. Igbos (Ibos) of Nigeria
      • Possible descendants of ancient Israelites
      • Kulanu helps community in many ways:
        • Arranged month-long consultation for American rabbi with Nigerian Jewish leader
        • Sent Jewish books and materials
        • Supported research, writing and outreach projects on Igbo/Israel connection
        • Assisted Igbo Jewish leader in application to American university to continue his studies
      Igbo-Ukwu Visit w Rabbi Brant Rosen
    • 17. Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi
      • Supported the work of Havila, organization led by Yochanan Bwejeri, a Tutsi exile living in Belgium
      • Havila researches history of Tutsi/Israelite connection
      • Supports Havila human rights work to prevent further genocide
      • Sponsored two Tutsi community seders in Brussels
      • Advocated with members of US Congress and State Department to avert impending genocide
    • 18. Latin American Communities with a Kulanu Connection
      • The Jewish communities in Latin America are primarily Anousim and descendants of Jewish traders
      • (1) Brazil
      • (2) Mexico
      • (3) Ecuador
      • (4) Peru
      • (5) Suriname
      • (6) Caribbean
      1 2 4 3 6 5
    • 19. Anousim (“Forced Ones”)
      • Expulsions:
      • Spain (1492)
      • and Portugal (1497)
      • Turkey
      • Europe
      • North Africa
      • Brazil, Ecuador
      • Mexico
      • Suriname
      • Caribbean
      • U.S.
      Bnei Anousim are descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism 500 years ago during the Spanish Inquisition Based on genetic studies, scholars suggest that 20% of Spain’s and one-third of Portugal’s population may have Jewish heritage
    • 20. Anousim (“Forced Ones”) (cont.)
      • Many Jewish communities in Latin America have Anousim Roots
      • Some have a heritage of Jewish traders intermarrying with local settlers and assimilating into the general population
      • Other communities have been out of touch with the mainstream Jewish community for decades. Kulanu helps some of these:
        • Turkey
        • Europe
        • North Africa
        • Brazil
        • Ecuador
        • Mexico
        • Suriname
        • Caribbean
        • U.S.
    • 21. Jewish Community of Peru
      • Tarapoto
      • Assimilated Moroccan Jews who arrived in 19th century
      • Huánuco (400 km NE of Lima)
      • Originally Ashkenazic Jews who came for business
      • Died out/chose Catholicism in early 20 th century when Peru only permitted the registry of civil status, marriage, and children via the Catholic Church
      • Later became Crypto-Jews or people no longer accepting Catholicism
    • 22. Anousim in Brazil
      • It is estimated that 10% of Brazil’s 170 million people are of Jewish heritage
      Synagogue in Recife
    • 23. Jewish Community of Suriname in Paramaribo The 2008 community Seder Torah reading in the Neve Shalom Synagogue (2008)
    • 24. Anousim in Mexico Havurah in Mexico City Women in Veracruz Synagogue Pesach in Puebla Tefillin
    • 25. Anousim in Mexico (cont.)
      • The Anousim of Mexico have a difficult time being accepted by the “mainstream” Jewish community
    • 26. Anousim are also Found in the United States
      • Secretive about background
      • Southwestern U.S.
    • 27. How Kulanu Helps
      • Linking Jewish Communities
      • Maintains contact with >20 communities in more than 13 countries on five continents
      • Encourages group and individual travel to isolated communities
      • Organizes community meetings with guest speakers
      • Supports Bar and Bat Mitzvah Projects
    • 28. How Kulanu Helps (cont.)
      • Jewish Education
      • Organizes Batei Din groups of Rabbis (Jewish courts)
      • Assists in Rabbinic training
      • Sends books, religious items, recordings
      • Recruits teachers and sponsors study/teaching trips to isolated communities
      • Sponsors interns to work in Kulanu communities
    • 29. How Kulanu Helps (cont.)
      • Financial Opportunities
      • Provides scholarships
      • Encourages cottage industries
      • Operates an online boutique of handicrafts
      • Raises money to build community institutions
    • 30. How Kulanu Helps (cont.)
      • Media
      • Quarterly newsletter
      • Recordings of music
      • Books
          • Jews in Places You Never Thought Of
          • Under One Canopy: Readings in Jewish Diversity
      • Email discussion groups in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
      • Website
      • Kulanu email updates
      • Kulanu blog and Facebook page
      • Operates online boutique of Jewish crafts, books and music
    • 31. Bar and Bat Mitzvah Projects
      • Kulanu helps young people develop activities for mitzvah projects that are linked to Kulanu’s communities. Projects include:
        • Sending letter about Kulanu along with Bar/Bat Mitzvah invitation
        • Selling merchandise from the Kulanu boutique
        • Placing an article about Kulanu in local media outlets
        • Giving a speech that mentions Kulanu
        • Obtaining kippot from Uganda and tallitot from Ghana for use during the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony
    • 32. Contact Information
      • www.kulanu.org
      • Kulanu
      • 165 West End Ave., 3R
      • New York, NY 10023
      • (212) 877-8082