Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Neusner was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (where he received rabbinic ordination), the University of Oxford, and Columbia University.
Neusner is often celebrated as one of the most published authors in history (he has written or edited more than 950 books.)Since 1994, he has taught at Bard College. He has also taught at Columbia University, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Brandeis University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida.
Neusner is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He is the only scholar to have served on both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. He also has received scores of academic awards, honorific and otherwise.