March 2, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Kulanu Expands, Partners With Touro, NCSY

New Israel trip opportunity available for high school seniors.

Building on its local success, Kulanu, a MetroWest NJ-based afterschool program for Jewish teens who are not attending Jewish day schools, is announcing its expansion, as well as a partnership with NCSY and providing academic programs from Touro University.

Kulanu, a nonprofit organization, was launched in 2018 by West Orange residents Ira Bloom, Moshe Glick and Larry Rein, who have been involved in volunteer Jewish outreach and have run the Shabbat Project locally for many years. Kulanu offered a new model of after-school Hebrew classes and activities, with the goal of providing a safety net to Jewish teens at high risk of losing their connection to their Jewish heritage. Initially, Kulanu classes were held in person at the JCC MetroWest in West Orange, New Jersey, until COVID hit.

The live program was a success, with dozens of parents throughout the New York-New Jersey area inquiring how they could replicate the program locally. Kulanu, which reinvented the Hebrew school of yore, attributes its success to its dynamic and open-minded instructors, interactive style and fun format. Furthermore, it offered a unique social opportunity for Jewish kids, particularly those no longer in yeshiva, to connect.

Building on the live program’s success, Kulanu is relaunching in January 2023. Under the leadership of Executive Director Rabbi Avi Rosalimsky, from Teaneck, Kulanu will be offering an online component with two different tracks, as well as in-person classes and events.

The “Kulanu Track” will be offered to NCSY Jewish Student Union (JSU) Clubs and public school students throughout the country. Utilizing an online platform, students residing anywhere will be able to access an interactive classroom, one-on-one learning with a “Neshoma Coach,” and social meet-ups. Partnering with NCSY also provides Kulanu students access to the organization’s expansive programming

The “Touro Track” will be offered through Touro University and make college-level, credit-bearing courses available to students anywhere in the United States in a highly engaging remote education format. These exciting courses, developed exclusively for Kulanu members, will provide students with an understanding of Jewish language and culture against the backdrop of Jewish history. High school students who meet Touro University admissions criteria will be able to begin their post-high school collegiate journey as non-matriculated students and earn college credits.

“We are thrilled to work with Kulanu on this bold new initiative,” said Dr. Marian Stolz-Loike, Touro University’s vice president for online education. “We look forward to extending Touro University classes to a broad new cohort of students.”

According to Rabbi Moshe Benovitz, NCSY international HQ managing director, “NCSY is excited to partner with Kulanu and exchange valuable resources and expertise in greater service of our community.”

In addition, high school seniors interested in spending a gap year studying at a seminary in Israel will be eligible, after completing classes in the Kulanu Track, to participate in a subsidized five-day trip to Israel through Olami Launch.

To obtain more information and/or register for the January 2023 semester, visit https://kulanu613.org/registration/. Partial and complete scholarships are available.

Kulanu is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides Torah-based educational, spiritual, and social programming for Jewish students in grades 9 to 12 who are not attending Jewish day school, inspiring them and their families to feel more connected to their heritage. To learn more about Kulanu, please visit http://www.Kulanu613.org.

By Jewish Link Staff

 

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