Jacob Neusner RHINEBECK- Jacob Neusner, 84, of Rhinebeck, died Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, at his home, surrounded by his family. Born in Hartford, Conn., he was a son of the late Samuel and Lee Green Neusner. Professor, rabbi, author and public servant, Neusner led a prolific and energetic professional life. His scholarly work created the modern field of Judaic Studies so that anyone, regardless of faith, could study and do research in the field. He expanded our understanding of ancient Jewish history, classical rabbinic texts, as well as the period in which early Christianity took shape. He was a regular voice on a range of contemporary issues, especially Jewish life and learning, and was granted honorary degrees for his research and teaching at universities throughout the world. Since 2000, he was a professor at Bard College, and retired as professor emeritus in 2013. He previously held professorships at University of South Florida, Brown University and Dartmouth College. Dozens of his students at both the undergraduate and graduate level entered religious studies, and made their own contributions, of which he was most proud. He was also nominated to serve on both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts by President Carter and President Reagan. Jacob is survived by his wife of 52 years, Suzanne Richter Neusner of Rhinebeck, whom he married on March 15, 1964; four children, Samuel Neusner and his wife Jill of Chicago, Ill., Eli Neusner and his wife Poly of Brookline, Mass., Noam Neusner and his wife Andrea of Chevy Chase, Md., and Margalit Neusner of New York, N.Y.; and nine grandchildren, Emma, Ilana, Lila, Daniela, Lev, Leora, Michael, Miranda and Natalie. Several nieces and nephews also join the family in mourning. In addition to his parents, Jacob was predeceased by a brother, Frederick Neusner and a sister, Sandra Friedman A Funeral Service will take place on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Blithewood Mansion at Bard College at 10:30 a.m., with Rabbi Joel Zaiman, officiating. Interment will follow in Mount Eden Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y. The family requests that memorial donations be made to the library at the Jewish Theological Seminary or to The Chaplaincy of Bard College, for the purpose of promoting Jewish life and Jewish educational opportunities on campus. Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home, 411 Albany Ave., is honored to assist the family with the arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family of Jacob Neusner by visiting www.SimpsonGaus.com
Published by the Daily Freeman from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, 2016.