Jacob Neusner, 84, of Rhinebeck

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES -

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

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