Kulanu is back again for the second year!  Kulanu is Temple Emanuel’s “small groups” program in which Temple Members join together, in small groups around a shared common interest.  And it’s time to sign up to be part of a Kulanu group. We’ve added new groups based on your feedback and requests. We expect that there will be a group for everyone – and if there isn’t, we’ll work to help you create it.  

We expect there are questions about Kulanu; We’ve provided answers to the ones we’ve anticipated. However if we missed your question, feel free to reach out to us – we’re always happy to talk, email or text!

[email protected]

Beth Schwartz 412-877-5996

Kate Louik 412-999-0188


Q: What is Kulanu all about?  What is the purpose?

A: Kulanu is about connecting Temple members with shared interests.  It’s a way to help Temple members get to know each other, either to meet new people who they haven’t met or to develop deeper ties with members they know a little bit. The groups are based on different interests so members all share something in common from the outset.  The focus groups and surveys that were done as part of the Sr. Rabbi Search process revealed that Temple members are looking for opportunities to develop deeper connections with each other. Kulanu is one of the initiatives we developed to respond to this need.

Q: I’m eager to join a Kulanu Group! How do I sign up?  

A: Joining a Kulanu group is easy – simply complete an interest form to let us know which group you (you and your partner, or your family) want to join. Simply click here to complete the sign up form!.  You can also sign up by completing the interest form that is in bulletin.  There will be links to the online form in our weekly Temple Happenings emails. And you can always link to it from the Temple Emanuel website.  Just go to the Community section.  

Q: What kind of a commitment am I making when I join a Kulanu group?

A: Kulanu groups generally meet every 4-6 weeks but the exact frequency is up to each group.  The success of the group depends on the commitment of the participants so we do ask that you be prepared to commit to being an active participant. Generally the groups are designed to stay together for a year.  Some groups may continue beyond a year if the participants so choose. 

Q: My wife and I have different interests.  Are Kulanu Groups designed for couples or individuals?  Or are we supposed to all join as a family?

A:  Kulanu groups are for all of the above.  There will be groups for families, groups that are all couples, and groups that are all adult members (individuals and/or couples or a combination of both).  When you sign up you will specify whether you are doing so as an individual, couple or family. We’ll group you accordingly. And you can join more than one group – so you can join a family Kulanu group and one that just you are interested in.

Q: What are examples of some of the Kulanu groups?

We have a wide variety of offerings.  The actual groups that form will depend on what people are interested in.  Many of the new groups added this year came at the recommendations of our members.  A SAMPLING of this variety includes: Dining, Shabbat/Holiday observance, cycling, walking, dog walking, social action projects, cooking/baking, running and jewish study (combined), family playdates, music jam sessions, clay shooting, theater . . . . . . . . . Check out the sign up forms to see the full listing (on the digital form, you need to start the sign up process to get the list of group offerings.

Q: I have an interest that isn’t listed on the sign up form.  How do I create a Kulanu group for it?

A: Let us know what you want to do – others might have expressed interest. (Fill out the “other” option on your sign up form).  Also, feel free to ask other Temple members if they are interested in your group. We like to say that it takes 3 to Kulanu! If you can find two other people who are interested, you can start your Kulanu group (we’ll help you find them too).  And we’ll include your idea on next year’s sign up sheet.

Q: How do I know I’ll be placed in the group that I want to be in?

A: When you sign up you will rank order your preferred groups 1, 2, and 3.  We will make every effort to place you in your first group, then 2nd, then 3rd.  If we have questions or are having difficulty accommodating your interests, we’ll be in touch!  And if only one group interests you, just sign up for one.

Q: I really like my Kulanu group from last year.  Can we stay together?

A: Your group can stay together.  Or some of the participants can continue and others can “drop out” and others can continue.  Your group can also bring in new participants if some or all of you want to continue but you could also benefit from some new participants.  (If that is the case, let Beth or Kate know that you want some new people).  

Q: I was in a Kulanu Group last year that never took off, how will I know that this year will be better?

A: Many of the Kulanu groups that we formed last year worked very well, but unfortunately some did not. While there is no guarantee that any group will click together perfectly, we learned a lot from how things went last year and have changed the way we are forming the groups this year.  We hope that this year will see greater success for all of the groups.