Sarah Bunin Benor

Sarah Bunin Benor
Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and Linguistics
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

Sarah Bunin Benor is Vice Provost and Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California Linguistics Department. She received her B.A. from Columbia University in Comparative Literature in 1997 and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Linguistics in 2004. She is the author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers University Press, 2012) and Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps (Rutgers University Press, 2020), as well as many articles about Jewish languages, Yiddish, and American Jews. Dr. Benor has received several fellowships and prizes, including the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, the Sami Rohr Choice Award for Jewish Literature, and the National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity. She is founding co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Languages and co-editor of Languages in Jewish Communities, Past and Present (De Gruyter Mouton, 2018) and We the Resilient: Wisdom for America from Women Born Before Suffrage (Luminare Press, 2017). She founded the HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project, which produces the Jewish Language Website and the Jewish English Lexicon.


Selected Publications

Benor, Sarah Bunin, Netta Avineri, and Nicki Greninger. 2024. “Hebrew in Part-Time Jewish Education: Misalignment of Rationales and Goals.” Journal of Jewish Education.

Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2022. “Pastrami, Verklempt, and Tshootspa: Non-Jews’ Use of Jewish Language in the United States.” American Jewish Year Book 2020. Arnold Dashefsky and Ira M. Sheskin, eds. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 3-69.

Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2011. “Mensch, Bentsh, and Balagan: Variation in the American Jewish Linguistic Repertoire.” Language and Communication 31/2. 141-154.

Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2010. “Ethnolinguistic Repertoire: Shifting the Analytic Focus in Language and Ethnicity.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 14/2. 159-183.

Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2009. “Do American Jews Speak a ‘Jewish Language’? A Model of Jewish Linguistic Distinctiveness.” Jewish Quarterly Review 99/2. 230-269.

Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2008. “Towards a New Understanding of Jewish Language in the 21st Century.” Religion Compass 2/6. 1062-1080.