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College of Arts & Sciences
Jewish Studies Program

Sarah Bunin Benor Lecture I

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 3:30pm


"Mamish keeping it real: Language socialization among newly Orthodox Jews"

Sarah Bunin Benor
Contemporary Jewish Studies, Hebrew Union College

Jews who choose to become Orthodox as adults (known as BTs) are positioned in a cultural borderlands between the non-Orthodox communities they have left and the lifelong Orthodox Jews they can never become. Based on ethnographic and sociolinguistic fieldwork in a strictly Orthodox community in Philadelphia, this paper examines cultural strategies BTs use to negotiate their liminal state as they progress through stages of socialization into Orthodox communities. Language plays a major role in their integration process, as they selectively deploy elements of the ethno-religious linguistic repertoire available to Orthodox Jews: English with influences from Yiddish and Hebrew.


Place: Gambrell Hall 250

[Sponsored by College of Arts & Sciences, Anthropology, Jewish Studies, and Linguistics] 

PDF icon 2010.03.18.benor_.pdf