Hebrew Infu­sion

Sarah Bunin Benor, Jonathan Kras­ner, Sharon Avni

  • From the Publisher
August 6, 2013

Each sum­mer, tens of thou­sands of Amer­i­can Jews attend res­i­den­tial camps, where they may see Hebrew signs, sing and dance to Hebrew songs, and hear a camp-spe­cif­ic hybrid lan­guage reg­is­ter called Camp Hebraized Eng­lish, as in: Let’s hear some ruach (spir­it) in this chadar ochel (din­ing hall)!” Using his­tor­i­cal and soci­olin­guis­tic meth­ods, this book explains how camp direc­tors and staff came to infuse Hebrew in cre­ative ways and how their ratio­nales and prac­tices have evolved from the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry to today. Some Jew­ish lead­ers wor­ry that Camp Hebraized Eng­lish impedes Hebrew acqui­si­tion, while oth­ers rec­og­nize its pow­er to strength­en campers’ bonds with Israel, Judaism, and the Jew­ish peo­ple. Hebrew Infu­sion explores these con­flict­ing ide­olo­gies, show­ing how hybrid lan­guage can serve a for­ma­tive role in fos­ter­ing reli­gious, dias­poric com­mu­ni­ties. The insight­ful analy­sis and engag­ing descrip­tions of camp life will appeal to any­one inter­est­ed in lan­guage, edu­ca­tion, or Amer­i­can Jew­ish culture.

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