Kulanu ("All of Us" in Hebrew), founded in 1994, is a non-profit organization which supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world, many of whom have long been disconnected from the worldwide Jewish community.
Kulanu connects with these dispersed groups and individuals through networking. We raise awareness and support for emerging communities through education, research, and publications about their histories and traditions. Our connections help all of us enrich our Jewish lives.
To watch a slideshow presentation about the work Kulanu does, click on the image below.
Who are we?
Kulanu includes "all of us." We are a network of people with a variety of backgrounds and religious practices. We do not proselytize: groups and individuals ask for our help; we do not seek them out.
Click here to meet our Board and other active volunteers.
Who are these dispersed and emerging Jewish groups?
During the course of Jewish history, large segments of the Jewish community were “lost” as a result of war, exile and forced conversions. A great part of the Jewish people was “lost” in the eighth century B.C.E., when the ten northern Israelite tribes were conquered by Assyria and the captives were forcibly resettled. Today the descendants of these Ten Lost Tribes can probably be found in India, Burma, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China.
Another large group of Jews was “lost” during the period of forced conversions to Christianity in Spain and Portugal starting in the 15th century. Many of these so-called “Marranos” continued to practice Judaism in secret. Today their descendants can be found in Brazil, Mexico, the southwestern United States, and Majorca, as well as mainland Spain and Portugal.
On occasion Kulanu assists communities without ancestral Jewish background who desire to embrace Judaism. One example is the Abayudaya, a group of Ugandans who have been practicing Judaism since 1919 when their leader, a local governor named Semei Kakungulu, studied and meditated on the Old Testament and adopted the observance of all Moses’ commandments. Over the next seven decades, the Abayudaya were visited by American, European and Israeli Jewish travelers who instructed them in post-Biblical Judaism. During the 1970s, they endured Idi Amin’s virulent anti-Semitism. Kulanu delegations first visited the Abayudaya in 1995. In 2002, we arranged for a rabbinical beit din that allowed hundreds of Abayudaya to affirm their Judaism so that they are now recognized by world Jewry. To this day we collaborate with them on twenty or more education and sustainable development projects.
Where are these groups located?
The red dots on the map below represent communities with whom Kulanu connects.
What else does Kulanu do?
We keep our website, blog, Kulanu, Inc page on Facebook, and email lists packed with resources and information; publish and distribute a fascinating newsletter; organize international speaking tours; reach out to youth and congregations; operate an online Kulanu Boutique; and encourage visits and volunteering in the communities with which we work. We also coordinate an annual Mitzvah Tour to the Abayudaya community. Kulanu does all of this with one part-time staff member, an active volunteer board of directors, regional coordinators, and a widespread community of supporters and volunteers.
What can I do?
If you would like to participate in Kulanu's work, check out our Getting Involved page to find out what YOU can do to support us and connect with Jews around the world! Kulanu appreciates the hard work of our volunteers and the financial support of individuals, congregations, foundations and other groups.
What is Kulanu's tax-exempt status?
Kulanu, Inc is a a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Click here to read Kulanu's IRS tax exemption letter. You can see our Form 990s by clicking the links below. Form 990 is the annual report that US nonprofit organizations must submit to the Internal Revenue Service.
View Kulanu's Form 990s (in pdf format):