Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

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 Knobel is rabbi emeritus at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois where he has 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 has 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 is 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 currently chairs the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Taskforce on the Relationship between Predecessors and Successors,

Rabbi Knobel is a member of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies faculty and has taught courses at HUC-JIR, Yale University, University of New Haven and the University of Connecticut. He has 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 National Interreligious Leadership Initiative on Peace in the Middle East and is Past Chair of the Institute for Reform Zionism. He is 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 is married for 53 years to the former Elaine Goodman they have two sons and six grandchildren.  

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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  • Lunch, Learn, Love
    A Social Action Committee Program for Kids (kindergarten to grade five)

    Sunday, January 20 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Following Beit Sefer, join friends for an afternoon of lunch, learning, and volunteering together...

 

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.

  • Beth Emet Blood Drive

    Sunday, January 27 | 8:30-2:30 p.m. in the Crown Room.

    Do a mitzvah and save a life!

    Participating donors will receive a pair of Vitalant socks and a coupon for a cupcake and 10% off any order at North Shore Kos...

  • Toy and Book Collection for Rohingya Cultural Center

    Sunday, January 13 - Sunday, February 10

    The Beth Emet Social Action Committee together with Beit Sefer is planning a collection of gently used (or new) toys and books for the Rohingya children who live in Rogers...

  • Lunch, Learn, Love
    A Social Action Committee Program for Kids (kindergarten to grade five)

    Sunday, January 20 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Following Beit Sefer, join friends for an afternoon of lunch, learning, and volunteering together...

  • Young Family Chicken Soup Shabbat Dinner

    Friday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m.

    RSVP now or call 847-869-4230 ext 308.

  • Understanding Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community and Beyond

    with Anita Pildes, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator of Shalva
    Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m.

    One in four women will experience domestic ...

  • Sommelier Soiree

    Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (*please note new date!)
    at the home of Neal Moglin and Mark Tendam

    Spend a relaxing evening with Beth Emet friends tasting and learning more about wines with an ex...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays through June 7 (No class November 23, December 7, 21 and 28; January 4 and 25, April 19 and 26)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are...

  • Thursdays, Wednesday, December 5; Thursday, January 10; Wednesday, February 6; Thursdays, March 7, April 4, and May 2
    7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah togethe...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, December 15, January 19, February 9, March 9, April 6, May 11, and June 1
    3:30–5:30 pm This class meets at Rabbi London's home.

    Once a month on Shabbat afternoon at Rabbi London's home, expl...

  • Current Politics

    with David Zarefsky
    Tuesday, January 8; Monday, March 11; Tuesday, June 4 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sessions will focus on the place of the United States in the world, including relationships with Israel, the nature of the soci...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Monday, December 10; and Wednesday, February 13; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

    Percussion offers hands-on, non-verbal access to the spiritual and emotional while connecting with others. Treat your mind, body, and sp...

  • Hebrew 1

    with Nancy Fink

    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
    Master the Hebrew alphabet and learn how to sound out printed He...

  • Hebrew 2

    with Bluma Stoller
    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    10:30 a.m. -11:50 p.m.

    For learners already able to sound out Hebrew words. Improve y...

  • Hebrew 3

    with Dorit Flatt
    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
    For learners who have completed Hebrew 2 or an equivalent, includin...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, February 1 and 8, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Is there one Jewish path to spirituality or are there many pathways to God? What is the function of Jewish prayer? What are some of the pitfalls in trad...

  • Shabbat, February 2 at 9:30 a.m.

    Interested in the worship experience? Feel overwhelmed by the Hebrew or the choreography? Wish you understood more of what it is all about? On this Shabbat morning, we will explore the struct...

  • Mindful Torah: Engaging with Middot

    facilitated by Marci Dickman
    Monthly,  November 19, December 17, January 14, February 4, March 4, April 1, and May 13, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    This Torah study program will guide us to realize our best selves in everyday life. Par...

  • with David Shyovitz
    Fridays, February 22 and March 1, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Repentance (t’shuvah) is a central theme of biblical and rabbinic tradition—but its meaning has not remained static over the course of Jewish history...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays October 5 - June 28 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class, November 23, December 21 and December 28, January 4, April 19 and 26)

    Meeting in person in October, and through Zoom online thereafter, we wil...

  • with Rabbi David Rosenberg
    Friday, February 15, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The b’rachah (blessing) is one of the great literary achievements of the rabbinic tradition. HaMotzi, Shehecheyanu, and other blessings have a broad appeal...

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