Rabbi Knobel was rabbi emeritus at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois where he served since 1980, following 11 years at Temple Emanu-El in Groton, Connecticut. He served as the Interim Senior Rabbi of Temple Sholom of Chicago and Temple Judea in Coral Gables. He also served as Interim Rabbi at North West Surrey Synagogue in Weybridge, England and Beth Shalom in Auckland, New Zealand. He received a BHL, MAHL and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He served on the board of many local and national institutions including Association of Reform Zionists of America, Union for Reform Judaism, American Jewish Committee, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He was a Past President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He co-chaired the CCAR Project, Lay Involvement in the Development of Liturgy, sponsored by the Lilly Endowment and the Nathan Cummings Foundation and he chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ Ad Hoc Siddur Editorial Committee which produced Mishkan T’filah, the Reform Movement’s new prayer book. He was Director of the Resource Center for Jewish Health Care Ethics and has participated as a member of the Illinois State Attorney’s Task Force “Foregoing of Life-Sustaining Treatment” while putting special emphasis on health, healing, death, and dying. He also chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Taskforce on the Relationship between Predecessors and Successors,
Rabbi Knobel was a member of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies faculty and taught courses at HUC-JIR, Yale University, University of New Haven and the University of Connecticut. He published papers and articles on such subjects as Assisted Suicide, Cloning, Reform Zionism, Reform Judaism, Dietary Laws, Spirituality, Rites of Passages, Judaism, and Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage. He also served as a member of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative on Peace in the Middle East and was Past Chair of the Institute for Reform Zionism. He was also the editor of Mishkan Moeid: A Guide to the Jewish Seasons and Navigating the Journey: The Essential Guide to the Jewish Lifecycle recently published by the CCAR Press.
He was married for 53 years to the former Elaine Goodman they have two sons and six grandchildren.
May 20, 2011: Haaretz Daily Newspaper, A Sacred Commitment
Letters to Grandchildren
- A letter to Alana
- A letter to Leah
- A letter to Lily
- A letter to Oliver
- A letter to Stephen
- A letter to Heather
Beth Emet was saddened to share that Rabbi Peter Knobel died on August 20, 2019. The funeral service was live-streamed on the Beth Emet Facebook page.