Kulanu: Synagogues In Action Against Antisemitism, ADL’s Congregational Engagement Program

kilanu

Kulanu, Hebrew for “all of us,” is an eight-month program, kicking off annually after the High Holidays, dedicated to empowering congregations to address antisemitism and hate in their communities through education, community engagement, and advocacy.

During the program, participants join a network of congregations to build bridges of understanding across communities. ADL will prepare you with resources to develop and implement engaging and impactful programming through our exclusive Kulanu initiative inspiration library, interactive webinars with ADL experts, and guidance from our professionals. 

As a Kulanu synagogue, you will learn how to have critical conversations about antisemitism and other forms of bigotry and cultivate the tools to fight them. 

Kulanu synagogues commit to:

  • Forming a working group that oversees Kulanu programming in your community in partnership with a professional or clergy liaison.
  • Promoting reporting of antisemitic and bias incidents to ADL.
  • Implementing two programs or initiatives, one of which engages an external audience beyond your synagogue community.
  • Participating in Kulanu webinars.
  • Engaging in a community of practice for at least two meetings.
  • Sharing impact at the end of the program.

Apply now to join Cohort 2 of Kulanu, kicking off this Fall.

We welcome applications from synagogue professionals, clergy, or lay leaders with the support of their congregations. DEADLINE EXTENDED: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until October 2, 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact the Jewish Outreach & Partnerships team at kulanu@adl.org.

Participating Synagogues: Cohort 1

Alaska

Congregation Beth Sholom, Anchorage 

Alabama 

Temple Beth Or, Montgomery 

Arizona

Temple Chai, Phoenix

Arkansas 

Congregation B'nai Israel, Little Rock
Temple Shalom of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville 

California 

Adat Ari El, Valley Village
Ahavat Torah Congregation, Los Angeles
Beth Am, Los Altos
Beth David, Saratoga
Beth Israel, San Diego
Congregation Kol Ami, West Hollywood
Congregation B'nai Tikvah, Walnut Creek
First Hebrew Congregation Oakland-Temple Sinai, Oakland
Sephardic Temple, Los Angeles
Sinai Temple, Los Angeles
Temple Adat Elohim, Thousand Oaks
Temple Beth El of South Orange County, Aliso Viejo
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills
Temple Etz Chaim, Thousand Oaks
Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles
Temple Solel, Cardiff by the Sea
Valley Beth Shalom, Encino
Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles 

Colorado 

Har Mishpacha, Steamboat Springs
Temple Sinai, Denver 

Connecticut 

Beth Sholom B'nai Israel, Manchester
B'nai Israel of Southbury, Southbury
Congregation Adath Israel, Middletown
Congregation Beth El-Fairfield, Fairfield
Congregation B'nai Israel, Bridgeport
Temple Beth Tikvah, Madison
Temple Sholom, Greenwich
United Jewish Center, Danbury 

District of Columbia 

Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington 

Florida 

Beth David Congregation, Miami
Congregation Beth Adam, Boca Raton
Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton
Congregation B'nai Israel, Inc., Gainesville
Congregation Shaarei Kodesh, Boca Raton
Jacksonville Jewish Center, Jacksonville
Temple Beth Am, Miami
Temple Beth Emet, Cooper City
Temple Beth Israel, Sunrise
Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach
Temple Beth Torah, Wellington
Temple B'nai Israel, Clearwater
Temple Dor Dorim , Weston
Temple Judea, Coral Gables
Temple Judea, Palm Beach Gardens 

Georgia 

Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Atlanta
Congregation Shearith Israel, Atlanta
Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell
Temple Emanu-El of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta
Temple Kol Emeth, Marietta
The Temple, Atlanta 

Iowa 

Temple Emanuel, Davenport 

Indiana 

Temple Adath B'nai Israel, Evansville 

Louisiana 

B'nai Zion Congregation, Shreveport
Touro Synagogue, New Orleans 

Massachusetts 

Congregation Ahavas Achim, Newburyport
Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley, Sudbury
Congregation Beth Elohim, Acton
Congregation B'nai Shalom, Westborough
Congregation Or Atid, Wayland
Hevreh of Southern Berkshires, Great Barrington
Temple Beth Am, Framingham
Temple Beth David, Westwood
Temple Beth El, Springfield
Temple Beth Israel, Waltham
Temple Beth Shalom, Needham
Temple Beth Torah Holliston, Holliston
Temple Emanuel, Newton Centre
Temple Israel of Natick, Natick
Temple Reyim, Newton
Temple Shir Tikvah Winchester, Winchester
Temple Sinai, Sharon
Temple Sinai, Brookline
Temple Sinai of Swampscott and Marblehead, Marblehead 

Maryland 

B'nai Israel Congregation, Rockville
Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Baltimore
Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase
Shaare Torah, Gaithersburg 

Maine 

Beth Israel Congregation, Bath
Congregation Bet Ha'am, South Portland 

Michigan 

Temple B'nai Israel, Petoskey 

Missouri 

Congregation B'nai Amoona, St. Louis
United Hebrew Congregation, St. Louis 

Mississippi 

Beth Israel Congregation, Jackson 

North Carolina 

Beth El Synagogue, Durham
Congregation Emanuel, Statesville 

New Hampshire 

Temple B'nai Israel, Laconia 

New Jersey 

Beth El Synagogue, Margate
Congregation Beth El, Voorhees 

New York 

Beth Emeth, Albany
Congregation KTI, Port Chester
Congregation Shir Shalom, New City
Temple B'nai Torah, Wantagh 

Pennsylvania 

Beth Chaim Reform Congregation, Malvern
Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom, Reading 

Rhode Island  

Temple Beth-El, Providence 

South Carolina 

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE), Charleston 

Texas 

Beth El, Tyler
Beth Israel, Houston
Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands, The Woodlands
Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston
Congregation B’nai Zion, El Paso
Temple Beth Shalom, Austin
Temple Beth Torah, Humble
Temple Beth-El, San Antonio
Temple Mount Sinai, El Paso
Temple Shalom, Dallas
Temple Sinai, Houston 

Virginia 

Agudath Sholom Synagogue, Lynchburg
Temple Beth El of Williamsburg, Williamsburg 

Washington 

Herzl-Ner Tamid, Mercer Island

Kulanu: Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering if Kulanu: Synagogues in Action Against Antisemitism is right for your community? We’ve answered some of the most common questions congregations have asked us below. 

Kulanu (Hebrew for “all of us”) empowers synagogues to fight antisemitism and hate by designing and implementing initiatives for their communities. During the 8-month program, Kulanu congregations receive free resources, tools and support from ADL, exchange ideas and strategies with other Kulanu congregations and learn from ADL experts. 

Kulanu congregations form working groups (or use existing groups like a social action or advocacy committee) to create and implement two initiatives on fighting antisemitism and hate. One initiative engages internally with your synagogue community directly; the other initiative engages audiences beyond your congregation such as local non-profits, schools, faith communities or advocacy organizations. Both initiatives focus on at least two of the following three areas: advocacy, community engagement and/or education.

Kulanu congregations also participate in virtual kick off and closing programs and attend at least two additional Kulanu webinars. Additionally, congregations participate in a Community of Practice – a smaller group of similar congregations where Kulanu leaders share best practices.

Against the backdrop of rising hate, Kulanu is a way for your congregation to take a productive and effective stand against antisemitism and all forms of hate. Through participating in Kulanu, you will connect with members of your congregation and build effective and powerful bridges within your local community.

In addition to built-in support and resources from ADL experts, Kulanu provides ongoing opportunities to meet with other synagogues who care about fighting hate, called Communities of Practice. Communities of Practice meetings help Kulanu congregations exchange best practices and workshop potential issues, as well as develop a network of involved, passionate congregations. 

Each year ADL acknowledges synagogues that participate in the program with a special “Kulanu” designation, distinguishing them as communities activating their commitment to and leadership in fighting antisemitism and hate.

As a self-directed program that is customizable to the pace a congregation chooses, the time commitment will vary depending on the scope of the initiatives your congregation takes on. We recommend your working group holds monthly or bi-monthly meetings to ensure there is time to plan a clear pathway to success. There are exclusive Kulanu webinars and learning sessions with ADL experts throughout the program that at least one working group leader attends, as well as Community of Practice meetings.

There are no fees to participate in Kulanu, making it easy for communities of any size to participate and benefit from the program. Initiatives that satisfy Kulanu requirements can be tailored to all budgets.

Congregations of any denomination and movement, or of no affiliation, are welcome to apply. This includes synagogues, temples, chavurot and minyanim. Additionally, since the programs, meetings and content are digital, synagogues in any location have equal access to the Kulanu program’s resources, experts, networking and support. We are pleased to partner with USCJ and the URJ, who share invaluable insight and assistance with their participating congregations.

All Kulanu materials are available through a digital portal, an online platform that organizes all of the ADL resources including webinar recordings with discussion questions, reading materials and initiative ideas from other congregations. This portal also offers virtual discussion boards to communicate with other congregations in the program.

Kulanu also offers webinars and “Ask Me Anything” learning sessions with ADL experts throughout the program. Additionally, Kulanu congregations participate in Communities of Practice. These small groups of Kulanu congregations meet to exchange advice and best practices with guidance from ADL staff.

Over the program year, Kulanu offers: 

  • A virtual kick off session; 
  • At least three webinars;
  • At least three “Ask Me Anything” virtual sessions with ADL experts;
  • Four Community of Practice meetings; 
  • A virtual closing celebration. 

To receive full benefit of Kulanu, we encourage as many working group members as possible to attend the kickoff and closing celebrations.  We ask that at least one person from your working group attend two of the three webinars offered, and all of the Community of Practice meetings. Many of the Kulanu webinars are recorded. Attendance at Ask Me Anything sessions is optional. 

Additional virtual offerings may be added during the year, either for Kulanu leaders or for Kulanu congregations to invite their full membership to attend.

While the 8-month timeline helps working groups stay on track, we recognize that not every congregation will have the opportunity to implement their initiatives in that timeframe. Synagogues are welcome to continue working on their initiatives beyond the formal timing of the program.

The work to eradicate antisemitism and all other forms of hate doesn’t end with your congregation’s completion of the Kulanu program – rather, this is the beginning of your active, ongoing commitment to fighting hate with ADL. Each year, your congregation will have the opportunity to participate again in Kulanu, deepening your work in the fight against antisemitism and hate.

“Kulanu has been a catalyst for our congregation to do more than stand up against antisemitism. It has been a uniting force within our congregation that has brought together people of diverse views and backgrounds. We may each feel various kinds of antisemitism differently – whether antisemitism appears as white supremacy, one-sided depictions of Israel with antisemitic tropes, or even so-called ‘positive’ depictions of Jews as being rich and powerful – but we were able to come together to say that no form of antisemitism is acceptable. We stand together not only against hate but for a society in which we want to believe.”

— Rabbi Joseph Meszler, Temple Sinai of Sharon (Sharon, MA)

“Temple B’nai Israel’s Kulanu program was as much fun to plan as it was to deliver. Our committee of nine people, ranging in age from 15 to 77, grew from being acquaintances with a vague mission, into friends collaborating to execute a plan of action. The committee bonded during our discussions of our own experiences of antisemitism. We based both our programs – one for the Jewish community and one for the interfaith community – on our experiences of antisemitism, turning these experiences into interactive scenarios.”

— Audrey Evans, Temple B’nai Israel of Little Rock (Little Rock, AR)

Absolutely. Please fill out this Calendly link to schedule time to meet with a Kulanu team member:  https://calendly.com/kulanu-adl/30min.

The online application is live, and the submission deadline is June 30, 2023.