New interim rabbi at Temple Judea

A warm welcome to Rabbi Peter S. Knobel, who will serve as interim rabbi for a year at Temple Judea in Coral Gables, while the synagogue recruits for a permanent senior rabbi.

Knobel, an esteemed leader in the Jewish Reform movement. comes to Temple Judea just in time for the Jewish High Holy Days.

In a press release announcing Knobel's arrival, Barry Schwartz, president of the temple said, "We have the honor and privilege of bringing to our synagogue one of the most highly respected rabbis, religious leaders and teachers in the Reform rabbinate today. Beyond his outstanding national credentials, Rabbi Knobel brings an abundance of personal warmth, spirituality and wisdom to our congregation. We look forward to his leadership in the coming year along with Rabbi Judith Siegal."

Knobel has a doctorate and master’s degree in philosophy from Yale University. He was ordained and received a master’s in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hamilton College.

Prior to accepting the position at Temple Judea, Knobel served as interim senior rabbi at Temple Sholom in Chicago and previously served for 30 years as the rabbi at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston, Ill.

Knobel has been a teacher throughout his career and was an educator at his congregations as well as at the Spertus Institute, Connecticut College, Yale University, and the University of Connecticut and the University of New Haven.

In addition, he is a past president of both the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Chicago Board of Rabbis. He is a published author and chaired the editorial committee for Mishkan T'Filah, the new Reform Siddur (prayer book).

Knobel and his wife Elaine, are the parents of two grown children and six grandchildren.

Goodbye, Pastor Kopania

Pastor Frank Kopania, who came to Miami in 2008, through a program sponsored by the Evangelical Church of Germany, the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod and St. Marks Lutheran Church, is getting ready to return to Germany.

Kopania is a part of a program that begun in 2002, designed to serve the expatriates from Germany both with a religious experience as well as a social network. While here, Kopania developed with Pastor Arnold Perry, a bilingual congregation that is family centered with more than 100 German-speaking people with afternoon services at St. Marks. Kopania also performed baptisms and confirmations, weddings and funerals in German.

According to a press release from South Miami Lutheran, the Evangelical Church of Germany has over 140 congregations internationally using visiting ministers. While serving a congregation in Germany, Kopania also served as project manager in the Karagwe Diocese of North Africa and Tanzania.

He studied in the United Kingdom and served his internship in Germany, where he was ordained 15 years ago. Kopania's new assignment will be to the Worms Luthertown Congregation, where the membership is 3,500. He will also oversee 25 employees and will conduct his first service on Oct. 6.

On Sept. 1, South Miami Lutheran and St. Marks Lutheran churches will have a special service and luncheon honoring Kopania and his wife Caren. The service will be at 10 a.m. at South Miami Lutheran, 7190 Sunset Dr.

The community is invited to say goodbye to Kopania and his wife.

Jewish life in Peru

The community is invited to have lunch at noon at Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat and then hear a presentation from Benno Sandler, who will discuss Jewish life in Peru. The presentation is one in a series entitled, "Linking to Latin America."

There is no charge, but donations will be accepted. For more information and to make reservations, call 305-205-3846 or 305-261-9821.

20th Century Fox

The 18th annual New Year's Event, sponsored by the Miami Jewish Health Systems Auxiliary will be at noon on Sept. 10 at Rechtshaffer Synagogue, Hazel Cypen Tower at the facility, 5200 NE Second Ave.

The program will feature Susan Fox-Rosellini, vice president of foundation and marketing for the Miami Jewish Health Systems and author of William Fox: A Story of Early Hollywood 1915-1930 — How a Jewish Immigrant from Hungary Helped Create the Early Motion Picture Industry.

Tickets to the Book Review and Buffet Luncheon are $36 per person and reservations are required by Sept. 4. All guests will receive a signed copy of the book. For more information call Jenny Ray at 305-762-1382.

Courses at Jewish Museum

You may sign up now, for Florida International University classes to be offered this fall at the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach.

The semester will open with three courses — "Jews of Latin America," "The Holocaust," and "Religion: Analysis and Interpretation," all to be offered at the museum, 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

Classes can be taken for college credit or on an auditing basis. Registration is available onsite during the first week of classes to begin Aug. 26. For more information, contact FIU's Department of Religious Studies at 305-348-2186.

Blood drive

A "Banned4Life" blood drive will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami, 7701 SW 76th Ave. in South Miami .

According to a press release from the church, one purpose of the blood drive is to highlight the FDA's anti-gay donation policy. The congregation is partnering with Banned4Life, a national advocacy group based in Orlando in working to raise awareness about the FDA policy and promote the importance of donating blood by encouraging eligible donors to donate blood in place of those who are Banned4Life.

Blake Lynch, a co-founder of Banned4Life said, "Only 38 per cent of the population is eligible to donate blood." Of that number he said, "Less than 10 per cent donate. Our program is designed to include everyone, eligible or not, to participate in the lifesaving process."

Sunday School registration and more

Christ the King Lutheran Church at 11295 SW 57th Ave. in Pinecrest will have its rally day on Sunday. The day, said the Rev. Kathryn Carroll, kicks off with Sunday school registration and sign-up opportunities for everything from choirs to youth groups to a new youth dance program.

In addition, the first Sunday of each month is known as Family Sunday at the church, a time when young and old gather for a family-friendly worship service, followed by a chance to kayak in the Snapper Creek Canal alongside the church grounds.

Call the church at 305-665-5063, for more information.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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