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Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

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Rabbi Peter S. Knobel has been Beth Emet's spiritual leader since 1980, encouraging stimulating interaction between clergy and congregants with the goal of infusing deeper Jewish meaning into the lives of individual members and the community as a whole. As of July, 2010 Rabbi Knobel assumed the position of Rabbi Emeritus. A graduate of Hamilton College, he was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of ReligionHebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1969, and earned a masters in philosophy and a Ph.D. from Yale University. He came to Beth Emet from Temple Emanu-El in Groton, Connecticut.

In addition to his congregational responsibilities, Rabbi Knobel serves in leadership roles in the Reform movement on a national level as well as being actively involved in the Chicago-area community. He is the immediate past president of the Central Conference of American RabbisCentral Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and served as the CCAR of Siddur Editorial Committee. He is a past Chair of the Liturgy and Reform Practice Committee and was a member of ad hoc committees on human sexuality, homosexuality and the rabbinate, and patrilineal descent. He also is a member of the ARZAARZA National Board, and chairs its Institute for Reform Zionism, and is a member of the board of trustees of both the Union for Reform Judaism and the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Knobel is past president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis and is active in the Evanston Downtown Clergy Association and a member of the Board of the Council for a Parliament of the World ReligionsCouncil for a Parliament of the World Religions. He is a member of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative on Peace in the Middle East.

Rabbi Knobel has taught extensively at a number of colleges including HUC-JIR, Yale University, Connecticut College and Spertus Institute, on subjects ranging from Biblical Aramaic to Jewish mysticism to Israel in Christian thought and Jewish Bioethics. He also has authored and edited numerous articles and publications in the areas of Jewish Bioethics, Liturgy and Zionist Thought and is the editor of Gates of the Seasons: A Guide for the Jewish New Year.

Send an email to Rabbi Knobel.

Writings

May 20, 2011: Haaretz Daily Newspaper, A Sacred CommitmentA Sacred Commitment

Letters to Grandchildren

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  • Kol Emet Shabbat & Honoring Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman

    Friday, May 4
    Hearty Oneg Shabbat at 6:45 p.m.
    Shabbat Service at 7:30 p.m. (Please note special time)
    During Kol Emet Shabbat, we will be honoring our musical leader, Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman to and wish her well...

  • BESSY Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Honoring Abby Backer


    Friday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m.
    (5:45 p.m. Shabbat Oneg)
    Beth Emet's Senior Synagoge Youth Group (BESSY), our peer-led school youth group, hosts a special service filled with music and reflections. During this annual ser...

  • Travel to Israel with Beth Emet & Second Baptist Church

    Members from both Second Baptist Church and Beth Emet Synagogue will travel together to Israel and the West Bank November 18-30, 2018. Palestinian and Jewish guides will introduce us to the complex narratives and ...

  • Sanctuary - 5778

    In Exodus 25:8, God says to Moses, “Create for me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them.” These words set the building of the Tabernacle into motion. But the verse’s ending has an interesting grammatical anomal...

 

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

  • A Project of the Religious Action Center (RAC)
    Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Chicago Sinai Congregation (15 W. Delaware Place, Chicago) featuring Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of RAC

    Reform IL, a project of the...

  • Stand with Beth Emet


    Friday, April 27 

    2:00-2:25 p.m.

    Participate with Beth Emet at the annual YWCA Stand Against Racism. We'll gather along Ridge Avenue from 2:00 to 2:25 pm to take our place as we stand along the corner of Dempster an...

  • Kol Emet Shabbat & Honoring Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman

    Friday, May 4
    Hearty Oneg Shabbat at 6:45 p.m.
    Shabbat Service at 7:30 p.m. (Please note special time)
    During Kol Emet Shabbat, we will be honoring our musical leader, Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman to and wish her well...

  • Explorations of Our Changing Selves

    Monday, May 7 at 3:00 p.m.

    Audrey Thompson, Ombudsman for the City of Evanston, will facilitate a discussion on the nuts and bolts of aging.  Audrey is approachable and knowledgeable about the services available ...

  • DATE CHANGE!
    Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Reception at 7:00 p.m. (please note the date has changed from Monday, March 26)

    Learn more about the state of the congregation from Rabbi London, President Ross Bricker, a...

  • BESSY Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Honoring Abby Backer


    Friday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m.
    (5:45 p.m. Shabbat Oneg)
    Beth Emet's Senior Synagoge Youth Group (BESSY), our peer-led school youth group, hosts a special service filled with music and reflections. During this annual ser...

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony & Kabbalat Shabbat Service

    Friday, May 18
    5:00 p.m. - Savory Hors d'oeuvres, Delicious Desserts and Festive Beverages
    6:00 p.m. - Groundbreaking Ceremony and Lighting of Shabbat Candles
    6:30 p.m. - Kabbalat Shabbat Service followed by Kiddush ...

  • Travel to Israel with Beth Emet & Second Baptist Church

    Members from both Second Baptist Church and Beth Emet Synagogue will travel together to Israel and the West Bank November 18-30, 2018. Palestinian and Jewish guides will introduce us to the complex narratives and ...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, October 20- June 8 (No class December 8, 22, & 29, January 12 & 26, March 30, April 6)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often o...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, March 10, May 12, June 9
    3:30–5:30 pm This class meets at Rabbi London's home.

    Once a month on Shabbat afternoon at Rabbi London's home, explore Jewish spiritual practices that combine praye...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesdays, April 18 and June 20 and Monday, May 14

    7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

    How would it feel to take a break from the regimen and “noise” of everyday life and instead focus on renewal of mind, body, and spir...

  • with Claire Sufrin
    Fridays, April 27, May 4 and 11, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The Holocaust left many Jews with serious theological questions: Where was God while the Nazis tortured and murdered millions of Jews? Should (or could...

  • The Chosen People (Film and Discussion)

    with Marci Dickman
    Monday, April 30, 7:00 p.m.
    This wonderfully provocative film illuminates the complexities of Jewish identitytoday and probes the question of the chosen people as seen through the eyes ofJews and Christians...

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