Beth El Synagogue, in Margate, and Congregation Beth El, in Voorhees, are the only New Jersey temples among the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) first cohort of 113 synagogues participating in its inaugural Kulanu: Synagogues in Action Against Antisemitism program.
Representing 27 states and all of the major strains of organized Judaism, the synagogues will have exclusive access to experts and webinars over the next eight months as they work to address antisemitism in their local communities and nationwide.
“Fighting antisemitism takes a whole-of-society approach, and we are committed to working with Jewish congregations from all denominations as we expand our work in response to the historically high level of antisemitic incidents we’ve witnessed in the past few years,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “Our Kulanu network brings together congregations across the nation to engage in critical conversations about antisemitism and hate, as well as implement initiatives engaging audiences beyond the Jewish community.”
Kulanu, meaning “all of us” in Hebrew, is a new congregational engagement program from ADL that is dedicated to empowering congregations to address antisemitism and hate in their communities through education, community engagement and advocacy.
Selected synagogues will have exclusive access to expert insight and webinars.
Some may also work to build meaningful connections between synagogues and the communities they are in to address antisemitism or pilot new programs or initiatives aimed at engaging an external audience beyond the synagogue community.
“We hope through our broad community network to recognize and demonstrate the underlying forces contributing to antisemitism and racism,” said Judy Kalman, president of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, Massachusetts. “We want to build our capacity to address antisemitism and racism, conspiracy theories and other forms of hate speech.”
“Antisemitism is an ever-evolving challenge, and its effects can be difficult to perceive or understand. It’s a responsibility of the Jewish people to be educated about the history and current state of antisemitism so we can educate the non-Jewish community when necessary,” said Rabbi Ari Kaiman of Congregation Shearith Israel in Atlanta, Georgia.
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.
Synagogue professionals, clergy, or lay leaders interested in learning more about the program or applying for next year’s cohort should visit the Kulanu web page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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