Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor Promoted to Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at HUC-JIR

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), has announced the promotion of Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor to the position of Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish as of July 1, 2010.  Dr. Benor also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Benor teaches about the social science of American Jews, as well as about language and culture, and mentors students in the School of Jewish Communal Services.  Her research interests include Jewish languages, American Jewish identity and culture, sociolinguistic variation, the linguistic construction of identity, language contact, ethnography, and Orthodox Jews. She is the founder, producer, and editor of the Jewish Language Research Website, and she is the founder and moderator of the Jewish Languages Mailing List.

Dr. Benor earned her doctorate in Linguistics in 2004 and her M.A. in Linguistics in 2001, both from Stanford University.  She earned her B.A., magna cum laude, at Columbia College of Columbia University in 1997 with degrees in Comparative Literature and Linguistics.  Dr. Benor’s dissertation, “Second Style Acquisition: The Linguistic Socialization of Newly Orthodox Jews,” was based on one year of participant-observation and interviews, over 90 hours of recorded speech, qualitative and quantitative sociolinguistic analysis, and matched guise test.

Dr. Benor has edited volumes; published articles in peer reviewed journals, proceedings, encyclopedias, and edited volumes; and written manuscripts and reviews.  She is currently working on four publications:  "Hebrew Component in Jewish English" in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics; "Echoes of Yiddish in the Speech of 21st-Century Jews" in Choosing Yiddush: Studies on Yiddush Literature, Culture, and History; "Talking Jewish: The 'Ethnic English' of American Jews" in Studies of Contemporary Jewry with Steven M. Cohen; and "The HUC Masters Thesis: An Important Contribution to the Field of Jewish Communal Service" in the Journal of Jewish Communal Service with Bruce A. Phillips.

Dr. Benor has presented at academic conferences and colloquims and coordinated conference panels.  She currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Contemporary Jewry and AJS Perspectives.  She is a member of the Association for Jewish Studies, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, and the American Dialect Society.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu