Rabbi Dr. Jacob Immanuel Schochet, of blessed memory, was a rabbi, academic, author and renowned authority on Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism.
Born in Switzerland, he received his early education there and in the Netherlands. After moving to North America, he attended the Chabad Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim in New York, from which he graduated in 1958. He developed a relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe even as a young student in the yeshiva, and thereafter, the Rebbe urged and encouraged his academic pursuits and literary efforts.
He received his academic education in Canada, attending the University of Toronto, University of Windsor, McMaster University, and University of Waterloo, he holds degrees of BA (Phil), MA (Religious Studies), MPhil (Phil) and PhD (Phil). His specialties in philosophy were Logic, Epistemology, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion. His Master's thesis at McMaster University was titled: The Treatment of Anthropomorphism in Targum Onkelos (1966). His PhD thesis at the University of Waterloo was titled: The Psychological System of Maimonides (1974).
He was the Rabbi of the Kielcer Congregation in Toronto for 36 years before becoming the Rabbi at Beth Joseph Lubavitch in 1996. He also served as Professor of Philosophy at Humber College in Toronto, Canada for 25 years, and simultaneously taught medical ethics at the School of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
With the onslaught of cults in the 70s and 80s, especially Christian missionary organizations, Rabbi Schochet pioneered a successful network of anti-missionary campaigns that succeeded in reconnecting numerous Jews to their religious roots, literally saving their souls.
While Rabbi Schochet was an instructor of the Ivy League Program in the Catskills each summer for 25 years, he embraced the opportunity to influence and challenge our finest, brightest Jewish minds.
Rabbi Schochet wrote and lectured extensively on the history and philosophy of Chassidism and topical themes of Jewish thought and ethics, and was a world-renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism. He authored 35 books and numerous articles, opinions, and treatises concerning all Jewish subject matter. As an extraordinarily dynamic speaker, he inspired thousands worldwide and traveled to countless Chabad Houses and Lubavitch institutions offering communities the privilege to experience his abundant insights.