About Rabbi Jill Jacobs

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is the Rabbi-in-Residence for the Jewish Funds for
Justice and the author of There Shall be no Needy: Pursuing Social
Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition, to be published by Jewish
Lights in February 2009. She has written extensively on issues
including housing, labor, and health care from a Jewish perspective;
her work has appeared in more than two dozen magazines, journals, and
anthologies. Rabbi Jacobs has twice been named to the Forward 50, the
Forward newspaper's annual list of "movers and shakers" in the Jewish
world, and has also been named to the New York Jewish Week's
"Thirty-six under thirty-six." She received rabbinic ordination and an
MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a
Wexner Fellow. Rabbi Jacobs also holds an MS in Urban Affairs from
Hunter College and a BA from Columbia University. She lives in
Manhattan with her husband, Guy Austrian.

A Not-So-Sweet Cookie Story

By June 17, 2009

In my childhood, Shabbat never felt complete without Stella D’Oro cookies. For the uninitiated, these are dry cookies whose chief (or only) advantage is that they are parve (dairy free) and therefore can be eaten for dessert after a meat … Read More

You Shall Not Steal: Not As Easy As It Looks

By May 1, 2009

Liberal Jews, myself included, love to quote biblical verses about the care of the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the strangers. We feel good knowing that our tradition demands ethical behavior, and point to these verses as evidence that … Read More

Swine Flu Xenophobia: Not Kosher

By April 30, 2009

In the course of just a few days, incidents of swine flu have been reported from as far away as New Zealand, and as close as a few blocks from my Manhattan apartment.  The WHO is warning of an international … Read More

Social Change, Every Which Way

By April 29, 2009

I recently returned from a whirlwind, thirty-two hour tour of LA, during which I spoke with students and faculty of Hebrew Union College and of the American Jewish University, with alumni of the Progressive Jewish Alliance’s Jeremiah Fellows program, and … Read More

See-Thru Credit Cards

By April 28, 2009

Several years ago, an acquaintance stole my identity and opened several credit cards in my name. I learned of the theft only when she ceased to be able to pay even the minimum amount due, and I became the unhappy … Read More

Tzedakah, Philanthropy, and Tax Breaks

By April 27, 2009

The always-provocative Peter Singer has a fascinating column in this week’s Forward in which he argues that charitable giving that benefits the poor should be eligible for tax breaks, but that giving to philanthropies that do not work on poverty … Read More