Rabbi Michael Rose Knopf is the spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El in Richmond, Virginia. Named one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Forward, Rabbi Knopf is dedicated to helping contemporary Jews meaningfully engage with their tradition, each other, and the world.
Rabbi Knopf is passionate about building an inclusive, supportive, and deeply intertwined community where the enduring power and truths of the Jewish tradition come alive for people of all backgrounds, ages, and stages. Rabbi Knopf’s campaign for the inclusion of interfaith families has newly enabled people from non-Jewish backgrounds to participate fully in synagogue life. He is proud that, under his leadership, Temple Beth-El is listed as an inclusive congregation by both Interfaith Family and Keshet.
Committed to a thriving, just, and inclusive Richmond region, Rabbi Knopf is recognized as a leader within and outside the Jewish community. Named one of Richmond’s “40 Under 40” in 2017, he was invited by Governor Ralph Northam to offer the benediction at his inauguration and to preside over the first-ever interfaith Passover Seder at Virginia’s Executive Mansion. Rabbi Knopf is a Rabbi Samuel T. Lachs Fellow of Clal’s LEAP Fellowship, an American Jewish World Service Global Justice Fellow and an alumnus of both Rabbis Without Borders and the Clergy Leadership Incubator. He is the co-editor of No Time for Neutrality: American Rabbinic Voices from an Era of Upheaval and the author of Thirty Days of Liberation: Pathways for Personal and Social Liberation Inspired by the Book of Exodus, has been published in several anthologies of contemporary Jewish thought, and is a regular contributor to Haaretz, Times of Israel, The Forward, Jewish Values Online, and other regional, national, and international publications.
Rabbi Knopf previously served as Assistant Rabbi of Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, PA. Rabbi Knopf lives in Richmond’s Museum District with his wife, Adira, and three children. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he holds degrees from Columbia University (History, Cum Laude), the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (Talmud and Rabbinics, Magna Cum Laude), and the American Jewish University (Master of Arts in Rabbinic Studies, Rabbinic Ordination), where he received the Eliezer Slomovic Award in Talmud. He’s a pop culture buff, a political junkie, and enjoys movies, traveling, and pizza.