Steven Jacobs

Steven L. Jacobs

Professor |
Emeritus Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies

Office Hours

Tuesday & Thursday, 12:45-1:45 & By Appointment


  • DD, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
  • DHL, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
  • MAHL, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
  • BHL, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
  • BA, Pennsylvania State University


Steven Leonard Jacobs joined the Department of Religious Studies as Associate Professor and Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies on January 1, 2001 — a position he held for almost 20 years — and received tenure as of August 2004 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2017. He received his BA from Penn State University; and his BHL, MAHL, DHL, DD,  ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A resident of Alabama for more than three decades, he has taught at Spring Hill College, Mobile; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham-Southern College, Samford University, Birmingham; the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Calhoun Community College, Huntsville; as well as serving congregations in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville.

Dr. Jacobs’ primary research foci are in Biblical Studies, translation and interpretation, including the Dead Sea Scrolls; as well as Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

His books include Shirot Bialik: A New and Annotated Translation of Chaim Nachman Bialik’s Epic Poems (1987); Raphael Lemkin’s Thoughts on Nazi Genocide: Not Guilty? (1992); Contemporary Christian and Contemporary Jewish Religious Responses to the Shoah (2 volumes, 1993); Rethinking Jewish Faith: The Child of a Survivor Responds (1994); The Meaning of Persons and Things Jewish: Contemporary Explorations and Interpretations (1996); The Holocaust Now: Contemporary Christian and Jewish Thought (1997); The Encyclopedia of Genocide (2 volumes, 1999, Associate Editor); Pioneers of Genocide Studies (2002, Co-editor); and The Biblical Masorah and the Temple Scroll: An Orthographical Inquiry (2002); Dismantling the Big Lie: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (2003); Post-Shoah Dialogues: Re-Thinking Our Texts Together (2004).

His professional and civic involvements include the Alabama Holocaust Commission; Board of Advisors, The Center for American & Jewish Studies, Baylor University, Waco, TX; International Editor, The Papers of Raphael Lemkin; International Advisory Board of the Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies, Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia; Editorial Board, “Studies in the Shoah,” University Press of America, Lanham, MD; Editorial Board of Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History and Science, Monkton, MD; Educational Consultant to the Center on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Philadelphia, PA; Board of Advisors of The Aegis Trust for the Prevention of Genocide, England; and Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

In October 2019, the University of Alabama’s Board of Trustees appointed Prof. Jacobs as REL’s Emeritus Aaron Aronov Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies.

He is also the REL assessment coordinator.

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Courses Taught

  • REL 100 Intro to the Study of Religion
  • REL 101 Violence and the Sacred
  • REL 110 Intro to the Old Testament
  • REL 223 Holocaust In Historical Perspective
  • REL 224 Judaism
  • REL 238 Philosophies of Judaism
  • REL 371 Antisemitism and the Crises of Modernity
  • REL 332 Figures In Contemporary Jewish Thought
  • REL 347 Jewish-Christian Relations
  • REL 410 Religion and Genocide
  • REL 419 Myth, Ritual, and Magic
  • REL 490 Capstone Seminar

Selected Publications