Walter Jacob

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Walter Jacob (born 1930) is a leading Reform rabbi and an expert in the Reform movement's approach to Jewish law (halakhah). A protégé of Solomon Freehof, Jacob served at Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh as an assistant rabbi (1955) and as successor to Freehof as congregational rabbi (1967–1996). Jacob has degrees from Drury College and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Jacob promotes Reform Judaism in Germany, which awarded Jacob a knighthood medal. He is the President of the Abraham Geiger College, a post-Holocaust rabbinic seminary in Germany.[1][2]

He previously served as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

In addition to writing numerous Reform responsa, Jacob co-authored a series of works on progressive halakhah with Moshe Zemer.

Selected works[edit]

  • Walter Jacob. "The Changing world of Reform Judaism: the Pittsburgh Platform in retrospect": papers presented on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Platform, February, 1985 and The proceedings of 1885. Pittsburgh: Rodef Shalom Congregation, 1985. ISBN 0-915138-79-4.
  • ______. “The Law of the Lord Is Perfect” Halakhah and Antinomism in Reform Judaism in CCAR Journal Summer 2004, pp. 72–84
  • Walter Jacob and Moshe Zemer. "The environment in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. New York: Berghahn Books, 2003. ISBN 1-57181-431-0.
  • ______."Re-examining progressive Halakhah." Studies in progressive halakhah. New York: Berghahn Books, 2002. ISBN 1-57181-404-3.
  • ______."Gender issues in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001. ISBN 1-57181-239-3.
  • ______."Crime and punishment in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. [v. 6], New York: Berghahn Books, 1999. ISBN 1-57181-197-4.
  • Walter Jacob, Moshe Zemer and Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah. "Marriage and its obstacles in Jewish law : essays and responsa."
  • ______.Studies in progressive halakhah. 8, Pittsburgh ; Tel Aviv; Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah; Rodef Shalom Press, 1999. ISBN 092969910.
  • ______."Aging and the aged in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. 7, Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah ; Rodef Shalom Press, 1998. ISBN 0-929699-08-4.
  • ______."Israel and the Diaspora in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. 6, Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah, Rodef Shalom Press, 1997. ISBN 0-929699-09-2.
  • ______."Death and euthanasia in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah v. 4. Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah : Rodef Shalom Press, 1995. ISBN 0-929699-06-8 (pbk.).
  • ______."The fetus and fertility : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. 5, Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah : Rodef Shalom Press, 1995. ISBN 0-929699-07-6.
  • ______. "Conversion to Judaism in Jewish law : essays and responsa." Studies in progressive halakhah. 3, Tel Aviv; Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah; Rodef Shalom Press, 1994. ISBN 0-929699-05-X.
  • ______. "Progressive halakhah : essence and application." Studies in progressive halakhah. 1, Tel Aviv; Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah; Rodef Shalom Press, 1991. ISBN 0-929699-03-3.
  • Walter Jacob, Moshe Zemer, Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah and Central Conference of American Rabbis. "Rabbinic-lay relations in Jewish law."
  • ______.Studies in progressive halakhah. 2, Tel Aviv; Pittsburgh: Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah; Rodef Shalom Press, 1993. ISBN 0-929699-04-1.

References[edit]