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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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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, 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,  February 3, 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 ...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, January 26 and February 2, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The major religious movements in American Judaism have produced new prayer books in recent years. We will explore how their theological stanc...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesdays, December 20, January 17, and February 21

    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 spiri...

  • Eat, Pray, Love a Good Movie: The Women's Balcony


    with Bekki Harris Kaplan
    Postponed until Sunday, April 7. Join us then to watch the film! (This was suppose to take place Saturday, January 20 at 5:30 p.m.)
    Enjoy a light supper, recite Havdalah, and watch the Israeli film The ...

  • with Hyma Levin
    Tuesdays, March 6 and 13; 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
    We'll begin with the MAN who invented the slow cooker in response to his grandmother taking her pot of cholent to the baker every Friday to remain warm in his oven fo...

  • Jewish Mindfulness Meditation

    with the Center for Jewish Mindfulness at Orot
    Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. at Beth Emet (please note this class will NOT meet: April 4, April 11, April 18, May 30, and July 4)

    Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, or o...

  • with Hyma Levin
    Sundays, January 14 and 21, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Our sages made clear that ethical behavior is not just good to do; it’s the law! Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) focuses on how we treat each other—the behavio...

  • with Joseph Ringel
    Fridays, February 9 and 16, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The creation of the State of Israel heralded the mass migration of Jews from all over the world, and especially from Middle Eastern countries like Persia (n...

  • with Cantor Alberto Mizrahi and Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman
    Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
    Join Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi as he leads through song, along with Cantor Friedman, in Ladino music sung in Sephardic cultures, and how...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays October 20 - April 13 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class, November 24, December 29, January 5, March 30, & April 6)

    This year we will continue reading Tractate Avodah Zarah, which deals with idolatr...

  • with Tamar Selch
    Thursday, January 25, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    The Mishnah describes the ancient city of Tzippori, (Sepphoris) as having eighteen synagogues during the time of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi in the late second century C.E. What...

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