Steven Jacobs

Steven L. Jacobs

REL Assessment Coordinator|
Chair of the Nominations Committee|
Emeritus Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies

Office Hours

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


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 on Full Professor in 2017. He received his B.A. from Penn State University; and his B.H.L., M.A.H.L., D.H.L., D.D., and rabbinic 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.

Learn more about Prof. Jacobs

See his A Good Book episode…

What’s the Backstory on Prof. Jacobs…?

Read up on the Department of Religious Studies’s minor in Judaic Studies.

Read Prof. Jacobs’ report from his week at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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

Post-Shoah Dialogues: Re-Thinking Our Texts Together

Pioneers of Genocide Studies

Dismantling the Big Lie: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

The Biblical Masorah and the Temple Scroll

Teaching About the Holocaust

Judaism: A Brief History

Confronting Genocide

Modern Genocide: The Definitive Resource and Document Collection