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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  • Lox, Bagels, and Leaders

    Sunday, February 9 at 9:45 a.m. (Please note date change)
    This annual event features our Beth Emet member and neighbor, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Writer and Beth Emet member, Mark Caro; and Jon Marshall, a...

  • Beth Emet Community Retreat

    February 28-March 1, 2020
    After a five-year hiatus, Beth Emet’s Community Retreat is back and better than ever! Spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family in beautiful Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, celebrating Shabb...

 

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.

  • PJ Party!

    Saturday, February 8 at 4:30 p.m.
    Wear your PJ's for dinner, crafts, Havdalah, songs, and stories from PJ Library.
    Perfect for families with children ages 8 and under. 
    $5 per person or $20 per family by February 6...

  • Lox, Bagels, and Leaders

    Sunday, February 9 at 9:45 a.m. (Please note date change)
    This annual event features our Beth Emet member and neighbor, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Writer and Beth Emet member, Mark Caro; and Jon Marshall, a...

  • Sunday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton-Orrington Hotel


    Beth Emet’s Soup Kitchen is a well-oiled machine, weekly feeding 70 to 120 of the area’s working poor and homeless. The Soup Kitchen, under the leaders...

  • with Susan Nussbaum
    Sunday, February 23 at 3:00 p.m.
    Susan Nussbaum, the writer/producer of Code of the Freaks, a soon to be released documentary film, will discuss how Hollywood’s depictions of characters with disabi...

  • Beth Emet Community Retreat

    February 28-March 1, 2020
    After a five-year hiatus, Beth Emet’s Community Retreat is back and better than ever! Spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family in beautiful Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, celebrating Shabb...

  • with Mike Kuhn
    Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. 

    Parent, spend an evening in the kitchen with others learning new tips, tricks, and recipes to make your loved ones breakfast items for dinner. There will be time to enjoy...

  • Through March 11, 2020
    “Vote Reform” in the World Zionist Congress (WZC) Elections. When you go to the American Zionist Movement website, scroll down to watch an informative video about how to vote. You must be a Jew...

  • Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
    Cantor Kyle Cotler leads a spirit-ual evening and his passion for whiskey, rye, and kombucha by teaching tasting techniques and how best to describe their complex elements. There will ...

  • Wednesday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.
    Join the discussion at our monthly book club! The next book is Book of the Unknown Americans” by Christina Henriquez. Books are available for pick up at Beth Emet. No need to RSVP...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, February 14-June 12 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. (No class March 6, April 10, and May 15)
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will cont...

  • 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 Yvette Alt Miller
    Thursday, January 30 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Whether you’re an expert baker or a challah newbie, this evening is for you! Learn how to make and braid challah and explore the meaning and mysticism behind this i...

  • with David Gottlieb
    Fridays, February 14 and 21 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Sigmund Freud and Theodor Herzl lived on the same block in Vienna for two years in the early 1900s. Yet these men, so deeply influenced by
    European cultur...

  • Movie and discussion, led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, February 1 | 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Rebecca Abarnabel, a single daughter born into an Orthodox Jewish family, is tired of the lifestyle that her father, Reuven...

  • Jewish Vaudeville

    with Alan Teller
    Sunday, February 23, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Distinct from Yiddish theater, Jewish vaudeville had its own flavor. Alan Teller grew up with a larger-than-life grandfather in the business — a guy who pulled quarters ...

  • with Claire Suffrin
    Fridays, February 28 and March 6 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This course will explore different aspects of the relationship between religion and literature in contemporary novels and poetry. We’ll consider exa...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, January 24 and 31 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
    This small book of the Bible, written in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, expresses the anguish of the people at the calamity that ...

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