Jacob earned a BA from Oberlin College in Latin, and then taught middle and high school Latin at the Greenwich Country Day School for two years in Greenwich, CT. Before coming to Penn. He obtained an MA in ancient Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. His research interests include Roman imperialism in the Near East, the history of the Jews and Judea in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and Jewish writers who wrote in Greek, like Josephus and Philo. His dissertation, which is titled, "Josephus as Political Philosopher: his Theory of Ideal Monarchy," argues that Josephus had an original conception of ideal kingship that drew on biblical and Greco-Roman kingship models. He has presented parts of his dissertation at several academic conferences: the annual meetings of the Society for Classical Studies, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Association for Jewish Studies. For 2016-17, He is a graduate teaching fellow in Penn's Critical Writing Program where he is teaching an undergraduate seminar that examines the value of Classics as a discipline in higher education.
Josephus as a Political Philosopher: His Concept of Kingship