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 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.  

Writings

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

Letters to Grandchildren

 

Eulogies

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

pdfRabbi David Horowitz
pdfRabbi Hara Person
pdfRabbi Lisa Greene
pdfRabbi William (Bill) Cutter
pdfRabbi Andrea London

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  • Virtual Beth Emet

    UPDATED MARCH 27

    Worship

    We encourage those who are able to watch or listen to a live stream of Kabbalat Shabbat and Kahal Morning Services on Zoom. If you do decide to join the Zoom call, please...

  • Service of prayer, music and reflection

    On March 14th, Rabbi Andrea London (Beth Emet), Reverend Michael Kirby (Northminster Presbyterian Church), Pastor Daniel Ruen (Grace Lutheran Church), Pastor Jessica Gregory (Northminster Presbyterian Church), L...

 

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 Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, through June 12 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. (No class April 10, and May 15)
    Friday, March 27 via Zoom (or call 312-626- 6799 Meeting ID: 657 819 679)

    There are many ways to interpret Torah and th...

  • Thursdays, January 16, February 27, March 19, April 23 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah together at Beth Emet. Requirements for Adult B’nei Mitzvah at Beth Emet...

  • with David Zarefsky
    On March 18, watch via Zoom (click link)

    Wednesdays, March 18 and May 20 | 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
    A continuing lecture-discussion class on contemporary public issues of interest to Jews as citizens. We will focus...

  • with Hyma Levin
    CANCELED Mondays, March 23 and 30 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
    Elisha was the student and disciple of the prophet Elijah; he miraculously brought the Shunammite woman’s child back from the dead. Samson was prone to love w...

  • CANCELED Sunday, March 29 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Join us at the Illinois Holocaust Museum for a customized tour that will complement the panel discussion at Beth Emet on March 11. (Attendance at the March 11 program is not r...

  • with Zach Selch and Mark Schoenfield
    Monday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom


    While we usually consider how borders will be drawn, negotiations for Israel's security provisions will be a critical aspect as well. 

    This Israel Com...

  • with Rabbi Michael Balinsky
    Friday, April 3 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m. via Zoom 
    (or call 312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 454 365 822)

    Although the Reform movement is steeped in ritual/mitzvah expressions, it does not define itself as a hal...

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