Educator and author; born at Emmendingen, Baden, Nov. 14, 1810; died Oct. 31, 1887. He received his early education in Carlsruhe, where, in the autumn of 1827, he met his cousin and, later, brother-in-law, Berthold Auerbach, the famous novelist, with whom he formed ties of close and lasting friendship. When, on account of straitened circumstances, Jacob was compelled to abandon his studies at the University of Heidelberg, Berthold came to his assistance. In Wiesbaden, where the young scholar was called to occupy the position of a religious teacher after his graduation from the university, he became one of the most intimate friends and enthusiastic followers of Abraham Geiger. Called to Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1842, his time was occupied for nearly forty years with his duties as religious teacher in the Jewish community and (after 1848) at the gymnasium, and with occasional sermons at the "Andachtssaal." He was pensioned by the government in 1879; and, in recognition of his services at the Frankfort Gymnasium, he was decorated with the Order of the Red Eagle.
Among Auerbach's contributions to Jewish history and literature are his essay on "Lessing and Mendelssohn," 1867, and a "History of the Jewish Community of Vienna from 1784." His most valuable work, however, was the publication of the letters received by him from Berthold Auerbach, covering the period from the time of the separation of the two friends at Carlsruhe in April, 1830, to the death of the novelist, Feb. 8, 1883. These letters, which appeared in two volumes under the title "Berthold Auerbach: Briefe an Seinen Freund Jacob Auerbach," Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1884, and in which the whole character and individuality of Berthold Auerbach were unconsciously revealed, form an excellent autobiography of the writer.
Jacob was also the author of several educational works and of the "Schulund Hausbibel," 1858, which had a wide circulation in Jewish communities in Germany.