Jonathan Greenblatt
Jonathan Greenblatt Courtesy of the ADL

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) launched a new program to assist U.S. synagogues in addressing and combating antisemitism.

Kulanu: Synagogues in Action Against Antisemitism is part of “an effort to support synagogues in the fight against antisemitism and hate with their congregations and in their broader communities,” the ADL said in a statement.

Kulani is an eight-month program that will give participating synagogues access to expert insight and webinars, as well as the chance to work to build meaningful connections between synagogues to address antisemitism.

Kulanu started out as a six month pilot project that involved 18 congregations across the United States.

The goal of the program is to equip synagogues with the tools they need to address rising levels of antisemitism.

“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, 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,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “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.”

Noting that antisemitic incidents continue to increase in the United States, with ADL’s recent Audit of Antisemitic Incidents showing the highest number of incidents on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979, the ADL explained that the Kulanu congregations program is part of an overall strategy at the federal, state and local levels to fight domestic and global antisemitism.