Sample Letters for Mitzvah Projects

Below are examples of letters you can send to your guests, friends, and family to raise awareness about Kulanu's work and encourage donations to our organization and the communities we work with.

Sample Letter A

My Bar Mitzvah Haftarah is from the book of Amos.  The prophet Amos predicted that the Children of Israel will lose the Promised Land and be scattered throughout the world, due to their sinful behavior.  In the eighth century B.C.E., when the ten northern Israelite tribes were conquered by Assyria, the prediction of Amos came true, and the Israelites were driven out of the land and forced to resettle, many of them in Africa.  The ten tribes of Israel disappeared and became known as the “Lost Tribes.” 

I read recently in the Washington Jewish Week about Jews living in Abuja, Nigeria.  I was familiar with the Ethiopian Jews but had no idea there were Jews in Nigeria.  Like the Ethiopian Jews, the Jews in Nigeria are believed to be remnants of the “Lost Tribes.” 

Kulanu, כולנו, meaning “all of us”, is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding and assisting isolated and emerging Jewish communities.  They depend on volunteers for everything.

You may make a contribution in honor of my becoming a Bar Mitzvah to Kulanu.  Please donate online at www.kulanu.org, or mail a check, payable to “Kulanu” to:

Kulanu
c/o Harriet Bograd, President
165 West End Ave., Apt. 3R
New York, NY 10023

Please mention my name in the online comments field or in the memo field of your check.

Thank you, and I can’t wait to see you on May 1st when you can hear how this mitzvah project fits with my Torah portion too.

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Sample Letter B

In a world of difference I will make a difference in the world.

In preparation for my becoming a Bar Mitzvah, I have chosen a tzedakah (charity) project of assisting African Jewish communities in the diaspora. With the help of the Kulanu organization, my synagogue played a central role in enabling the Abayudaya to bring electricity to Nabugoye Hill in Uganda and I was fortunate enough to meet their spiritual leader, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu who came to speak at our synagogue. Four years later, we received an email from Uganda -- that the electricity had been turned on! This was a historic day for the Abayudaya community, as the electricity has now come to the main synagogue, high school and surrounding homes on Nabugoye Hill, benefiting the Abayudaya community, as well as their Christian and Muslim neighbors.

Kulanu כולנו , meaning “all of us”, is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding and assisting isolated and emerging Jewish communities. You can read more about it at kulanu.org. It would mean so much to me if you would make a contribution to Kulanu, in honor of my becoming a Bar Mitzvah.

In a world of difference, what a mitzvah that would be, to make a difference in the world.

Please donate online at www.kulanu.org, or mail a check, payable to “Kulanu” to:

Kulanu
c/o Harriet Bograd, President
165 West End Ave., Apt. 3R
New York, NY 10023

Please mention my name in the online comments field or in the memo field of your check.

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Sample Letter C

Shalom Y’all,

I have been studying very hard for my Bar Mitzvah, and I hope you will be able to celebrate it with me. My Bar Mitzvah isn’t just reading out of the Torah for the first time, it also means I am becoming a Jewish man in my community. I believe that means that I must begin to help the community as an adult. You can help me do that by donating money to an organization that is very important to me. That would be mean so much to me.

Kulanu, which means “All of Us,” helps find and help Jews in far-away places.  One of the ways that Kulanu helps is to help these people sell their beautiful handmade crafts worldwide at kulanuboutique.com. You will notice my very beautiful tallis, which was hand woven in Kente cloth by weavers near Kumasi, Ghana, and the atara (top collar) was made by the Jewish tailor in the Jewish community of Sefwi Wiawso, also in Ghana. The money my mom and dad paid for the tallis will go to the community to help them with their Jewish studies. This is a wonderful organization that helps the Jews who need help to practice their religion. I have a connection with them and so could you.
Please donate to this wonderful cause online at kulanu.org, or mail a check, payable to “Kulanu” to:

Kulanu
c/o Harriet Bograd, President
165 West End Ave., Apt. 3R
New York, NY 10023

Please mention my name in the online comments field or in the memo field of your check.

I would also like to make one point clear: this was my idea, my exact words, and my typing. My mom and her sister have only helped to revise this document and that is all.  Again, please donate to this organization.  It would be better than any gift you could give to me.

Thank you,

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Sample Letter D

Embracing the Jewish ideals of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and gemilut hasadim (acts of loving kindness) I am embarking on a social action project in collaboration with Kulanu (All of Us), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which counts the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda among those it helps in its mission to find and support isolated and emerging Jewish communities anywhere on the globe.

Please join me in making an important and lasting contribution to the Abayudaya schools; your donation to the Abayudaya Education Fund will help hire teachers, purchase textbooks and other materials vital to furthering their aspirations in attaining elementary and secondary education.

You can donate to this wonderful cause online at www.kulanu.org, or mail a check payable to “Kulanu” to:

Kulanu
c/o Harriet Bograd, President
165 West End Ave., Apt. 3R
New York, NY 10023

Please mention my name in the online comments field or in the memo field of your check.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at xxxxx@xxxxxx.xxx or ###-###-####. To learn more about Kulanu and the Abayudaya visit www.kulanu.org.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated,

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Sample Letter E – Joint Mitzvah Project by Brother and Sister

Dear Friends and Family,

Since we are both now in high school, we’ve decided to take on a community service project together. Not just any project, but a project that is meaningful to us, and that we can relate to ourselves. It is for this reason that we have teamed up with Kulanu ("all of us") (www.kulanu.org), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding and assisting lost and dispersed Jewish communities throughout the world. One group supported by Kulanu is the Ugandan Jews of the Abayudaya Community.  We have chosen the Abayudaya as our project because we feel a personal connection to this multicultural Jewish community.

Just like us, these people observe Judaism with proud hearts. They go to synagogue and pray like we do. They put the energy and time into building a Sukkah on Sukkot like we do. On Saturdays, they observe the Jewish Sabbath like we do. And on Hanukah, when we’re lighting the candles in our menorah, there’s a community in Uganda doing the exact same thing.

Unfortunately, the Abayudaya Jews don’t have as much as we do, and are constantly struggling to improve their Jewish life. We have many resources to better our lives that they can only dream of. For example, their tribe first got electricity last year.   Each day, these people risk their lives with disease borne in mosquitoes or bacteria in their water. The recent delivery of water tanks finally brought a fresh water supply. Prior to that time, the Abayudayans used unsanitary water to bathe and drink, from a nearby river. Health and sanitation are obviously main concerns in this community.

We have chosen to raise money for several ongoing projects at the Kulanu-sponsored high school, including the Child Hunger Project.  The high school serves impoverished African children of all faiths, many who come to school hungry.  This obviously makes learning difficult.  In addition, each school needs money to meet operating expenses.  In the long run, The Abayudaya are hoping to raise funds for capital improvements.  This money will go toward classrooms, decent sanitary facilities, food canteens, small libraries and dormitories for students who come from far away villages to attend this special school.

Please join us in making a tax-deductible contribution to the Abayudaya schools.  You can donate to this wonderful cause online at www.kulanu.org, or mail a check payable to “Kulanu” to:

Kulanu
c/o Harriet Bograd, President
165 West End Ave., Apt. 3R
New York, NY 10023

Also, please mention my name in the online Comments field or in the Memo field of your check. That way, we will be informed of how much money has been raised and what it is being used for.  We are so grateful for any donations that are made in our honor. 

Thank you in advance,

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