Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, Awarded Tenure at HUC-JIR/Jack H. Skirball Campus/Los Angeles

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at HUC-JIR/Jack H. Skirball Campus/Los Angeles, has been awarded tenure, effective July 1, 2012.

Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated “As part of our commitment to bringing cutting-edge scholars to HUC-JIR who research and teach about the contemporary Jewish community, Professor Benor’s expertise in the area of language and identity adds a significant dimension.  We are proud and privileged to have her on our faculty.” 

Dr. Benor joined the HUC-JIR faculty in 2004 and holds the courtesy title of Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. (2004) and M.A. (2001) in Linguistics at Stanford University, and her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Linguistics, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Columbia College of Columbia University (1997).

She is the author of the forthcoming Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, October 2012) and is the co-editor of several publications, including the Journal of Jewish Languages (with Ofra Tirosh-Becker, to be published by Brill starting in 2013; the special issue of Language and Communication: “Jewish Languages in the Age of the Internet” 31/2, 2011 (with Tsvi Sadan); and Gendered Practices in Language, Stanford: CSLI Press, 2002 (with Mary Rose, Devyani Sharma, Julie Sweetland, and Qing Zhang). She is a prolific author of numerous articles in academic journals, including the Journal of Sociolinguistics, Jewish Quarterly Review, Religion Compass, Language, and Jewish Social Studies as well as in edited volumes, proceedings, and encyclopedias, including Oxford Bibliographies in Jewish Studies, Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Choosing Yiddish: Studies on Yiddish Literature, Culture, and History, Contemporary Jewry,  The New Jewish Leaders: Reshaping the American Jewish Landscape, in Dynamic Belonging: Contemporary Jewish Collective Identities, Association for Jewish Studies Perspectives, Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Languages and Literatures of Sephardic and Oriental Jews: Proceedings of the 6th Int’l Congress, Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Jewish Language Research Website,  Penn Working Papers in Linguistics: Selected Papers from NWAV 29, Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistic Society’s 25th Annual Meeting, 1999, and ’Iggrot ha’Ari: Columbia University Student Journal of Jewish Scholarship. She has presented scholarly papers at conferences and university colloquia throughout North America and Israel, including the Association for Jewish Studies, American Dialect Socity, American Anthropological Association, New Ways of Analyzing Variation, Linguistic Society of America, Israel Association for the Study of Language and Society, Misgav Yerushalayim, and Berkeley Linguistic Society, Columbia University, Hebrew University, UCLA, Georgetown, University of Maryland, and Emory University, among others.

At HUC-JIR, she has taught courses on Jewish Social Research: Trends and Analysis, Introduction to Yiddish Language and Culture, American Jewish Language and Identity in Historical Context, Research Methods in American Jewish Life, Contemporary American Jewish Issues,          History of Jewish Languages,andThe Jewish Family in America.  At USC, she has taught courses on Identity, Community, Service: Jews and Other Americans (service learning course), The Jew in American Society, Language and Identity Among ‘Hyphenated’ Americans, andIntroduction to Judaism. She has served as a Ph.D. advisor on dissertation committees at UCLA, Indiana University, and Georgetown University.

Benor has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, and honors, including the American Academy for Jewish Research Special Initiatives Fund grant and Dorot Foundation grant for expansion of Jewish Language Research, Hartman Institute North American Scholars Circle, Repair the World Jewish Studies Service Learning Initiative, Avi Chai Foundation research project, National Foundation for Jewish Culture Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Doctoral Scholarship, AJS Student Travel Grant: Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, and Wexner Graduate Fellowship, among others.

She is the Founder, Producer, and Editor, www.jewish-languages.org, awebsite devoted to academic research on Jewish languages, including authored pages: Jewish English, Introduction, Jewish English Lexicon; Moderator of the Jewish Languages Mailing List, on the Editorial boards of Contemporary Jewry and Association for Jewish Studies Perspectives, and on the Editorial committee for the Journal of Jewish Communal Service’s special issue on HUC-JIR School of Jewish Communal Service at 40.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first 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 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