New York, NY, June 29, 2022 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) is launching a new program today called Kulanu: Synagogues in Action Against Antisemitism as part of an effort to support synagogues in the fight against antisemitism and hate with their congregations and in their broader communities.
Kulanu, meaning “all of us” in Hebrew, is an eight-month program that will offer selected synagogues exclusive access to expert insight and webinars, an opportunity to be part of a community of practice, and work to build meaningful connections between synagogues working together to address antisemitism.
Kulanu grew out of a six-month pilot co-developed by ADL and the Union for Reform Judaism that involved 18 congregations across the United States. Kulanu will welcome congregations from all denominations to further ADL’s goal of equipping Jewish and community-based institutions everywhere with the tools they need to address rising levels of antisemitism and hate.
“Through this pilot, Temple Sinai was exposed to research showing that educating our communities and building bridges is our number one tool to help fight antisemitism,” said Rabbi Richard S. Rheins, the senior rabbi at Temple Sinai in Denver, Colorado, which was one of the congregations involved in the pilot. “We learned that by educating those who are also hurting from bigotry and helping them to better understand Judaism, we welcome them into our universe as friends and allies.”
“With antisemitic incidents on the rise across the United States, we have to empower Jewish communities to mobilize and take action against antisemitism and hate,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “Kulanu will provide synagogues with the ability to work together to educate people about antisemitism and support work to build safer and more inclusive communities.”
Antisemitic incidents continue to rise in the United States. ADL’s recent Audit of Antisemitic Incidents recorded 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism in 2021. This represents the highest number of incidents on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979 – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34 percent increase year over year.
The Kulanu congregations program comes as ADL is ramping up community and legislative outreach around its just-announced comprehensive plan to fight antisemitism, the COMBAT Plan, which was unveiled earlier this week.
Applications to join the inaugural cohort of Kulanu congregations will be accepted on a rolling basis and close on August 1. The application can be found here. For more information on the application process, interested synagogues can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.