Category Archives: News

Kulanu Canada Thanks You

On Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018, Kulanu Canada wired $1,960 to Ethiopia to support the inhabitants of Giso and Meteke synagogues, whom we met in the film, Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia.

Kulanu Canada THANKS YOU!

Thank you to those of you who joined us for a screening of the film on June 21st.

And many thanks to those of you who offered additional donations to support the hidden Ethiopian synagogues.

The money sent came entirely from your admission payments and donations and has been used to purchase emergency food supplies. Those of you who joined us at the film heard about the particularly dire situation of these isolated communities due to recent heavy rains and flooding.

YOU have made an immediate difference!

As the emergency food situation is now beginning to be addressed, we will continue to work with 3 hidden synagogues to assist them in the development of self-sustaining initiatives. For example, they are interested in purchasing chickens and sheep as a way of generating income. These are good investments in rural Ethiopia for generating income, while the raising of such livestock is not too demanding for the elderly. In the film, we saw them grinding grain with stones. Each synagogue would very much like to be able to purchase one mill, to alleviate the hardship of grinding by hand and to allow them to grind grain for others as a source of income.

Even small improvements in their financial resources will allow them to continue their Jewish practices with greater ease.

Please remember that it is never too late to donate.  Should you with to dedicate your donation to Ethiopia, please write ETHIOPIA in the CanadaHelps message box.

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/canadian-friends-of-kulanu-inc/

For more information about the film and our screening, click https://kulanucanada.org/ethiopia/

To learn more about Kulanu Canada, please visit our website: https://kulanucanada.org/

FROM TORTILLAS TO TORAH – The Jews of Guatemala

At an evening program hosted by City Shule on December 4, 2017, and co-sponsored by Kulanu Canada, representatives of Adat Israel of Guatemala City talked about their journey to Judaism, showed slides of their small community of recently Reform converted Jews, paid homage to Rabbi Elyse Goldstein who is their spiritual leader and rabbi of Toronto’s City Shule, and engulfed their audience in the love they expressed for Judaism.

Jeannette Orantes, whose husband Moshe Isaiah was the inspired founder of the community, and their daughter Rebecca, recounted the community’s history and shared personal accounts of their religious exploration and study of Judaism. The community had a chance encounter with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein when she was on a voluntour program in that country, about 6 years ago. Their relationship has enabled the community to experience more of Jewish life, to be connected with Kulanu, have rabbis and teachers visit, and to have their youth experience a summer at a Jewish camp in Ontario.

Kulanu Canada helped promote a community wide Pesach Seder for the members of Adat Israel and their guests in 2016, and shares their story here to encourage more support to this small but mighty congregation.

Film Night Celebrates Jewish Diversity: Doing Jewish, A Story from Ghana

On November 12, 2017, Kulanu Canada presented the film Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana. The movie is the creation of filmmaker Gabrielle Zilkha, who was in attendance and captivated the nearly 100 people in the audience with both her informational film and her warm and animated personality. The event was co-sponsored with Na’amat Canada and we are appreciative of their partnership.

We learned that the Sefwi Wiawso is a small (and at the same time large) group of committed people that has long identified as Jewish. Gabrielle interviewed everyone from the tribe, from the children to the elders. It was fascinating to hear them pray and sing in Hebrew, and learn how they followed many Jewish traditions before knowing the label “Jewish”. The person about whom the film focused was their community leader, Alex Armah, a dedicated young man whohas very passionately worked to educate his community about Judaism and though this to hold his community together as Jews.

Gabrielle Zilkah

A special feature of the film was Gabrielle’s focus on trying to answer many questions about the Sefwis, about their history, about the possibility of their being one of the lost tribes of Israel, about their potential future and about their inclusion (or exclusion) in the wider Jewish global community.

The search for these answers was poignant and thought-provoking for all who claim to be Jewish.

As Gabrielle so introspectively points out, it is not enough to “be” Jewish, as so many of us in North America claim; it is important to “do” Jewish and carry out, as well as carry forward, the traditions which have existed for thousands of years. Upon whose shoulders will this responsibility lie?

Challah covers from Ghana

Kulanu Canada is determined to help the Sefwi Wiawso to continue to exist on their Jewish terms. To that end, we have been selling their beautiful, colourful, hand made challah covers with funds going back to the community for their guest house.

Thank you to all who attended the evening and have helped us to continue to support this amazing community.

We look forward to seeing you at our next events. Please sign up for ongoing information about future programs and information about the communities we support.