Little is known about Jacob's life prior to or as the outbreak began, except that he was a rabbi at Temple B'nai Israel and lived in Texas. He also enjoyed gardening.
During the initial days of the outbreak, Jacob took refuge in the synagogue along with his congregation. As time passed by, he lost faith in God and the world so he chose to leave under the guise of getting supplies. Sometime later, Jacob decided to return only to find all of his congregants dead and turned. Unable to put them down, he sealed them inside a building, where he also would attend every day to pray.
Jacob prepares for a solo service in his synagogue when a walker starts banging on the door outside. He talks to it sarcastically and uses the knife on his rifle to kill it. He then closes a fence with a chain and kills more walkers before one gets on top of him. Suddenly, Charlie opens the car door and knocks it to the ground, allowing him to kill it. He introduces himself and welcomes her to his temple, saying God must have led her here.
The next day, Charlie reveals to Jacob she got separated from her group and he vows to help her reunite with them. Jacob then notices the bulb in his chandelier dimming and begins to panic, telling Charlie he has to leave to find batteries. Charlie says she knows where he can find some and radios her group. While they wait, Jacob attends to the building full of his reanimated congregants and says a prayer.
A while later, John and June arrive with the battery and Jacob thanks them for keeping the eternal flame lit. Charlie asks them to help Jacob repair his fence and they agree. John offers Jacob a caramel candy and Jacob gifts him a yarmulke.
Charlie then suggests to Jacob her group could live there with him, but he politely turns her down as June and John tell her it's time to go. Suddenly, Sarah radios them about Logan's crew and June says they're on their way. They head outside to find all the walkers from the locked-up building surrounding them. Jacob takes them to the roof and explains he and his congregants were holed up in the temple at the onset of the apocalypse. He explains that he left to gather supplies and when he came back, everyone was dead.
John and June climb down and use a ladder to create a bridge in between cars to avoid the walkers. As they make their final ladder bridge the gate gives way and they get trapped on top of a car. June tells Charlie there's only one way out of this but Charlie refuses to give the place up. She reminds Jacob that he told her God led her there but he reveals he doesn't believe in God anymore and he began losing faith when the world turned, but had to pretend to keep his people alive. "I'm alive because I didn't believe in God," Jacob says, claiming he kept tradition because it's all he had left. Charlie finally relents and Jacob uses a horn to lure the walkers into the temple, where they extinguish the light, as they escape out the back.
Jacob then accompanies the group reunites with Dwight and Sarah. Later, Charlie apologizes for running away but June says the perfect place is still out there. Jacob says that's called faith and that he'll start looking around for what he wants. He then introduces himself to Dwight and Sarah, who reveals she's also Jewish and is excited to hear he makes wine.
Jacob arrives, along with Tess and Annie, to help John and June kill the walkers at Tank Town and control the fire. The next morning, Jacob and the rest of the group reunite with Logan until Doris and the others hold them up at gunpoint. He tells everyone to put their guns down and explains how he wants to continue Clayton's message after all. Suddenly, Logan and his crew are viciously shot and killed from afar by Virginia and her group.
Jacob then listens as Virginia reveals she's been watching them and suggests they could all help each other. She can offer them things they want in exchange for keeping the oil fields running. They refuse so she orders her people to prepare to kill them. Luciana offers to stay to help them make gas if she lets the rest go and Virginia agrees. Jacob and the group are then forced to abandon the place.
Jacob and the rest of the caravan keep traveling in search of a permanent home. At night, a walker from a Humbug's Gulch theme park 15 miles away wanders into camp. Dwight kills it and John suggests to head to Humbug's Gulch in search of a home. The next day, the caravan come across a bridge in danger of collapsing.
After several tense moments with Virginia and an oncoming herd, Jacob and the others are forced to abandon the rest of their vehicles and flee across the bridge. He and the others watch in horror as Tom is killed when the bridge finally does collapse. Sometime later, the group arrives at the gulch but see that it is completely overrun with walkers. The group debates their next move. Jacob and the others then hear as Morgan radios Virginia for help.
Jacob and the rest of the caravan survivors rest along the outskirts of Humbug's Gulch as Morgan contacts with Virginia for help. After the theme park is cleared of walkers, Jacob and Charlie discover a church in the town. He then officiates John and June's wedding in the chapel.
That night, Jacob and the caravan survivors are split up by Virginia into different groups as they are taken for re-settlement among her communities.
Jacob will appear in this season.
This list shows the victims Jacob has killed:
- At least 6 unnamed members of the Temple B'nai Israel congregation (Zombified)
- Numerous counts of zombies
- Jacob is one of four known Jewish characters in The Walking Dead universe.