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August 02, 2002 - Image 98

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-08-02

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e e thost
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Jewish Diaspora

Kulanu Web site tracks Jews
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f you think its startling to see
Ethiopian Jews, whose physical
- appearance is obviously unlike that
()flews with Eastern European
roots, take a trip to wwwkulanu.org , a
Web site with a mission of "finding and
assisting lost and dispersed remnants of
the Jewish people."
Kulanu, meaning 'All of Us," is an
organization whose activities include
research, contacts, donations of religious
books and articles, facilitation of conver-
sions when requested, and help with
relocation to Israel for Jews living in iso-
lation of Jewish community and services.
Kulanu also admits to assisting ("on
occasion") communities who desire con-
version to Judaism. For example, it
helped a group of Inca Indians in
Trujillo, Peru, after their Catholic leader,
Villaneuva, decided to convert in 1966.
Nearly 300 of his followers who studied
with a rabbi in the late 1980s were con-
verted by a bet din (Jewish religious
court) from Israel and made aliyah.
Some of these converts remain in Peru as
committed Jews and are assisted by
Another group, the Abayudaya in
Uganda, have been practicing Judaism
since 1919 when their leader, a local gov-
ernor named Semei Kakungulu, studied
the Old Testament.
Basically, this Web site is an alphabeti-
cal index of many articles about Jews liv-
ing anywhere and everywhere in the
world, from those in Afghanistan to the
Jews of Timbuktu and Zimbabwe, and
yes, it has a number of interesting articles
to read about the Jews in the United
States. (Were Jews slavetraders and slave-
holders? Do Jews live in Appalachia?
Who are the Crypto Jews of the
In addition, there are many related
links on a wide variety of topics, and a
boutique featuring kippot and tallitot,
music and books. A percentage of the
proceeds with donations (check the
Mitzvah page) funds the work of
vvww.Kulanu.org isn't the glitziest or
most state-of-the-art of Web sites, but
the information it catalogues is fascinat-
ing. It proves convincingly that Am
Yisroel Chai, the people of Israel live,
even in the most exotic and remote loca-
tions. ❑

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