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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 November 24, 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 tha...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat,  November 11, December 16, January 20, February 3, March 10, April 14, 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'...

  • with David Zarefsky
    Tuesday,  January 9 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sessions are expected to focus on the place of the United States in the world, including relationships with Israel, the nature of the social contract, and the prin...

  • with David Zarefsky
    Thursdays, November 30 and December 7, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    Would you like to enhance your worship experience through greater understanding of its content and form? This two-session class designed for
    beginners w...

  • with Esther Fox
    Friday, December 8, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
    Longtime congregants Ada Golbus and Esther Fox are familiar faces at Beth Emet programs, classes, and events. Join us as Esther shares the world of untold changes that occur...

  • 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...

  • One Jewish Evanston Rosh Chodesh Kislev


    Sunday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. at JRC (303 Dodge, Evanston)

    The program will feature both liberal and traditional Rosh Chodesh morning services, some great learning, and a delicious catered kosher brunch. Special guest ...

  • 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 Barry Scott Wimpfheimer
    Fridays, December 8 and 15, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The Talmud began as an oral text, the byproduct of ancient rabbinic learning practices. By choice it remained oral, long after writing technology ...

  • with Sam Polsky
    Tuesday, November 28, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    A flavorful and elegant terrine of (gefilte) fish, a succulent brisket preparation using the professional sous vide cooking method, and an
    oven baked chicken that tastes lik...

  • with Rabbi Herbert Bronstein
    Fridays, November 17 and December 1, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    For ages, stories about the prophets Elijah and Nathan have figured in Jewish observance and their deeds have inspired and formed Jewish ...

  • with Rabbi Daniel Azulay
    Tuesdays, October 24 through December 12, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
    We will engage in conversational Yiddish, the language that was spoken in the home. On occasion we will refer to written material as well. The...

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