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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  • One Jewish Evanston Presents: Dr. Daniel Matt Teaches Zohar

    Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 p.m.
    Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation - 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston
    Most of us have heard of The Zohar, the foundational medieval work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known ...

  • The Kind Words — a Movie about Siblings and Secrets

    Movie and Discussion led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, March 30, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
    This quirky and wry dramedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings — Dorona and brothers Netanel and Shai — who, in the w...

  • Passover Food Drive

    Sunday, April 7 - Friday, May 3


    Pre-Passover Food Collection to benefit Connections for the Homeless
    The Tzedakah Fund Committee will be collecting all unopened, non-perishable food items that will be donated to C...

 

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 7 (No class 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 often overlooked. We will continue our learning from ...

  • with Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
    Friday, April 12, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This session will take a look at the bigger picture and deeper meanings connected to various texts of the Passover story.
    Please bring a Haggadah that inclu...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, 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, explore Jewish spiritual practices that combine pr...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Monday, April 1 and Wednesday, June 12; 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 spirit to a...

  • with Stacey Lyn Brown
    Tuesday, April 2 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Pairing the psychological views of C.G Jung with biblical stories, this class will reveal how the archetypal figures of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, and Moshe are amplificatio...

  • with Dara E. Goldman
    Sunday, April 14, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Professor Goldman will present a brief overview of the Jewish community in Havana and describe her scholarship on Cuban Jews and Cuban Jewish literature. The presentation...

  • Jewish Vaudeville

    with Alan Teller
    Sunday, March 24, 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 out...

  • Nadav and Avihu: A Pastoral Study in Bereavement

    with Rabbi Doctor Joseph S. Ozarowski
    Fridays, March 22 and 29, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    In one of the most dramatic narratives from the Torah, Aaron’s two sons lose their lives when they “come too close” during the joyous dedic...

  • One Jewish Evanston Presents: Dr. Daniel Matt Teaches Zohar

    Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 p.m.
    Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation - 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston
    Most of us have heard of The Zohar, the foundational medieval work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbala...

  • with Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
    Monday, April 8, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    You may be hosting a seder this Passover, or you may be a guest at someone else’s home. Learn new and traditional commentaries on some stories in the Haggadah, whi...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays through June 28 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class April 19 and 26)

    Meeting in person in October, and through Zoom online thereafter, we will continue reading Tractate Avodah Zarah, which deals with...

  • The Kind Words — a Movie about Siblings and Secrets

    Movie and Discussion led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, March 30, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
    This quirky and wry dramedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings — Dorona and brothers Netanel and Shai — who, in the wake of
    thei...

  • with Arthur Feldman
    Sunday, April 7, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    What stories do family seder plates, commemorative coins, and synagogue memorabilia tell? Judaica expert Arthur Feldman invites us to join him on a journey that explores sn...

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