Kulanu is an organization which reflects the community of interests of individuals of varied backgrounds and religious practices dedicated to finding and assisting lost and dispersed remnants of the Jewish people
During the course of Jewish history, large segments of the Jewish community were 'lost' as a result of war, exile and forced conversions. The greater part of the Jewish people were '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.
Kulanu's activities concern these dispersed groups, including research, contacts, education, donation of religious books and articles, facilitation of conversion when requested, and help with relocation to Israel if desired.
Why? If your forebears were forcibly abducted, would you not fervently welcome them with open arms if they wished to return? Or would you simply abandon them to their abductors?
On occasion Kulanu assists communities without Jewish background who desire to embrace Judaism. In one instance a group of Inca Indians in Trujillo, Peru, whose leader, a Catholic named Villanueva, decided in 1966 to become Jewish after pondering the Bible. Many followed him, and after study with a rabbi in the late 1980s, nearly 300 people were converted by a beit din from Israel and made aliyah. Kulanu has assisted members of the community who remained, as committed Jews, in Peru.
Another example are the Abayudaya, a group of native 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, including circumcision.
Over the next seven decades, the Abayudaya were visited by American, European and Israeli Jewish travelers who instructed them in post-Biblical Judaism. They endured Idi Amin's virulent anti-Semitism in the 1970s. In June 1995, a Kulanu delegation visited the Abayudaya.
How to Contact Kulanu
Mailing Address Kulanu, Inc.
165 West End Ave 3R
New York, NY 10023
Board of Directors and Officers
President Harriet Bograd
(212) 877 8082