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Peter Knobel

Peter Knobel

Peter Knobel is senior Rabbi of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois, where, since 1980, he has encouraged interaction between clergy and congregants with the goal of infusing Jewish meaning into the lives of individuals and the community.

In addition to his congregational responsibilities, Rabbi Knobel serves in leadership roles in the Reform movement on a national level as well as in the Chicago-area community. He is the immediate past president of the Central 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 ARZA National Board, and chairs its Institute for Reform Zionism. He 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, is active in the Evanston Downtown Clergy Association, and is a member of the Board of the Council of the Parliament of 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 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Yale University, New Haven College, the University of Connecticut, and Spertus — 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.

Jewish Professional Studies
Jewish Studies

PhD, Yale University
Rabbinic Ordination, Hebrew Union College

Research interests

Jewish Professional Studies


Major Jewish Value Concepts
Introduction to Jewish Studies
History and Development of the Siddur
What Does Judaism Say about Bioethics?
Judaism Confronts the Ethical Dimensions of Health Care
Contemporary Jewish Experiences