Dr. Benjamin M. Jacobs
Dr. Benjamin M. Jacobs
Associate Research Professor, Experiential Jewish Education
Ben Jacobs directs the graduate programs in Israel Education and Experiential Jewish Education and serves as Special Assistant to the Dean for Jewish Studies Programs. He has spent most of his professional career preparing social studies teachers and Jewish educators for school and non-school settings, and consulting with various Jewish education agencies (including The iCenter for Israel Education, Taglit-Birthright Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education) on curriculum, teaching, and research.
His publications, which have appeared in journals such as Teachers College Record, Theory and Research in Social Education, and Journal of Jewish Education, as well as collections such as the International Handbook of Jewish Education, the Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies, and the Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, include several studies of the history and theory of social education, Jewish education, and teacher education on the American scene. Along with colleagues Barry Chazan (educational philosopher) and Robert Chazan (Jewish historian), he published a book, Cultures and Contexts of Jewish Education (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017), which addresses the historical and contemporary centrality of education in Jewish life, as well as its future prospects. He also is co-author of the 18x18 Framework: 18 Jewish Things a Young Jew Should Know, Care About, and Be Able to Do by Age 18.
Jacobs earned his Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University, as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Prior to arriving at GW in 2015, he served on the social studies faculty at the University of Minnesota and at New York University, where he was co-founder and assistant director of the graduate programs in Education and Jewish Studies. Earlier in his career, Jacobs taught history at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD.
Jacobs is a past chair of the Teaching History SIG of the American Educational Research Association and of the Network for Research in Jewish Education. He currently serves as co-chair of the advisory board for the Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) and of the education committee for RootOne.