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This is an introductory presentation about Kulanu, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world. For more information, visit ...

This is an introductory presentation about Kulanu, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world. For more information, visit http://www.kulanu.org and http://www.kulanuboutique.com.

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  • India should have 5 (Bnei Menashe, Telegu, Cochin, Bene Israel (Mumbai), Bagdadi (Mumbai)
  • 6 because the Bagdadis are in both Calcutta (Kolkata in present parlance) and Mumbai. Andhra Pradesh community is in Guntur (exact town is village of Kottareddipalem, near Chebrolu, Guntur District.
  • Might want to find some better pictures
  • When someone says he knows a Jew from India, it's probably a Bene Israel, one of the 5 groups, and he assumes all Indian Jews are like the one he knows.  Only 3 of the 5 groups are widely recognized -- Bene Israel, Baghdadi, and Cochini.  If you pick up a book on Jews of India, it will inevitably only mention these 3.  The 2 unrecognized groups (Bnei Menashe and Telugu) come more within our mission.  We were active with the Bnei Menashe in the beginning; in fact, Kulanu was formed primarily to advance their cause.  See this section of Jews in Places You Never Thought Of.  Now that they have been championed by Shavei Israel, which is much richer than Kulanu, we can concentrate on the Telugu, whom most would regard as being not yet officially Jewish. We do deal with the Bene Israel.  Romiel Daniel is our India Coordinator and we publicize his activities in NYC; also, the Bene Israel are interested in teaching the Telugu.  An article about the Cochin synagogue appeared in Under One Canopy, and I wrote about them in the newsletter after a trip. If you use the search engine on Kulanu's website home page, you will find many references to Baghdadis and Cochinis.  The Bene Ephraim community is in Andhra Pradesh near Guntur. Intouchables in India chose to convert to Judaism.
  • Kulanu runs newsletter articles on the plight of Ethiopians trying to get to Israel and critiques of the Israeli Government in not admitting those who qualify in a timely fashion.  We also support the work of Tebeka (legal rights for Ethiopians in Israel) and BINA (Ethiopian Jews in NYC who have cultural programs). 
  • FYI -- NACOEJ -- North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry
  • GENETIC STUDIES Spurdle AB, Jenkins T. The origins of the Lemba “Black Jews” of southern Africa: evidence from the p12F2 and other Y-chromosome markers. American Journal of Human Genetics 1996 Nov;59(5):1126-33 Thomas MG, Parfitt T, et. al. Y chromosomes traveling south: The Cohen Modal Haplotype. American Journal of Human Genetics 2000; 66:674-686
  • Lima was the Inquisition’s headquarters during Spanish rule in South America. Huanuco is a city
  • Need to update info about the newsletter. Need to search for it.
  • The fact sheet will explain these points
  • Need the right email contact for info. Right now it is called “info3@kulanu.org” but this changes regularly. Aron would like smaller presentations on Ghana, China and the Kaifeng connection, Ethiopia and its history, more about the Telegu-speaking Jews, etc. perhaps with video or sound.

Kulanu Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • 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.
      • It’s easy to design a mitzvah project with us!
      • Visit our web site, kulanu.org/mitzvahprojects for more ideas or to get started on designing a project!
  • 32.
      • Sign In
      • Donate
      • Facebook
      • Visit
    How You Can Help
      • Volunteer
      • Host speakers
      • Raise funds
      • kulanu.org/getinvolved
  • 33. Contact Information
    • www.kulanu.org
    • Kulanu
    • 165 West End Ave., 3R
    • New York, NY 10023
    • (212) 877-8082