Jacob Neusner is Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson. He also is a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He has published more than 1000 books and unnumbered articles, both scholarly and academic and popular and journalistic, and is the most published humanities scholar in the world.
He grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1953, his Ph.D. from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in 1961, and Rabbinical Ordination and the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1960. During his graduate studies he also was Henry Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University, 1953-1954, and Fulbright Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1957-1958.
In his professional career he was founding chairman of the Department of Hebrew Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1961-2), held a post-doctoral fellowship at Brandeis University (1962-4), and taught at Dartmouth College and at Brown University (1964-1989). He spent a research year at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (1989-1990) and served as Distinguished Research Professor of Religious Studies at University of South Florida (1990 to 2000). He began teaching at Bard College on a part-time basis in 1994 and moved to New York to assume full-time duties in 2000. He has held two fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and two fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation as well as an NEH Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study and many other research awards.
He was President of the American Academy of Religion (1968-1969), the only scholar of Judaism to hold that position, and a member of the founding committee of the Association for Jewish Studies (1967-1970). He single-handedly founded the European Association of Jewish Studies (1980-1981). He also served, by appointment of President Carter, as Member of the National Council on the Humanities and, by appointment of President Reagan, as Member of the National Council on the Arts (1978-1984 and 1984-1990, respectively). He is editor of the Encyclopaedia of Judaism (Brill, 1999. I-III) and its Supplements; chairman of the Editorial Board of The Review of Rabbinic Judaism, and Editor-in-Chief of the Brill Reference Library of Judaism, both of them published by E. J. Brill in Leiden, Netherlands. He is editor of Studies in Judaism (University Press of America). He was editor for Judaism of the Dictionary of Religion (Harper/AAR), and of the Encyclopaedia of Religion (Britannica/Merriam Webster).
He resides with his wife in Rhinebeck, New York. They have a daughter, three sons and three daughters-in-law, seven granddaughters and two grandsons.