TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 855
Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Sidney Jerome Jacobs was born in Chicago, Illinois on 25 May 1917 to Emanuel and Sarah Minnie (Barnett) Jacobs. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Hebrew Letters from the College of Jewish Studies. Jacobs first worked as a newspaper editor and was director of the Sunday school and Friday evening services at Temple Judea in Chicago, Illinois. Ordained by the Jewish Institute of Religion in 1946, he served the Baisley Park Jewish Centre-Congregation Beth Moses and West End Temple-Sinai Congregation in New York. In 1952, he was the founding rabbi of the reconstructionist Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie, Illinois, where he stayed until 1970. He was also vice president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and executive director of the Chicago Council of the American Jewish Congress. Jacobs hosted “Of Cabbages and Kings,” a religious talk show in Chicago that aired on WLS-TV.
In California, Jacobs was rabbi of Temple Sinai of the Desert in Palm Springs beginning in 1976. He then served at Temple Ner Tamid in Downey (1982-1983) while continuing to teach religious school classes in local synagogues. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1984. From his post as the chairman of the Social Action Committee of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, Jacobs worked with César Chávez in the fight for workers’ rights and was also an advocate for animal rights.
He was the president of Jacobs Ladder Publications and is the author of The Jewish Word Book; Clues about Jews for People who Aren’t; 122 Clues for Jews Whose Children Intermarry; and Jewish Clues to Your Health and Happiness.
Jacobs and his wife Helen had four children, Nehama, Aviva, Michael, and Jonathan. He married Betty Jane Lazaroff in 1971.
Sidney J. Jacobs died in 2001.
Correspondence, articles, and notes spanning Sidney Jacobs’ career as a rabbi, journalist, and educator from his school days to retirement. Series A, Rabbinical Career, includes documents collected by Jacobs from the congregations he served. A majority of this series is from the Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie, Illinois. Series B, Writings, contains drafts, correspondence, and notes pertaining to published articles in various newspapers and magazines. Series C, General, is an alphabetical arrangement of Jacobs’ files on animal rights, coursework, Reconstructionism, and individuals such as César Chávez and Mordecai Kaplan.
This collection is arranged in three (3) series:
Terms of Access and Use
This collection is open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.
Property and Literary Rights
Betty Jacobs, by the act of donating the Sidney J. Jacobs Papers to the American Jewish Archives, assigned all property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights are retained by the heirs of Sidney J. Jacobs. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of materials.
Jacobs, Sidney J. Nearprint Biographies.
Jacobs, Sidney J. Photographs. PC-4967.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Sidney J. Jacobs Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-855. Sidney J. Jacobs Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Sidney J. Jacobs Papers were received from HUC-JIR Los Angeles in 2004 and Betty Jacobs, Culver City, California in 2011.
Processed by Elisa Ho, February 2012.
This collection was arranged and described according to minimal-processing standards. Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA Online Catalog.
Persons and Families
Chavez, Cesar, 1927-1993
Jacobs, Sidney J.
Niles Township Jewish Congregation (Skokie, Ill.)
Temple Judea (Chicago, Ill.)
Temple Ner Tamid (Downey, Calif.)
United States. National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Genres and Forms