Current Research Projects


Mapping Hebrew education in public schools: A resource for Jewish educators

Sharon Avni & Avital Karpman (University of Maryland-College Park)

Funded by: The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) Research Award 2018 ($29,941)

Diversity in the Expansion of Dual Language Bilingual Education: The Case of Hebrew-English Programs in New York City Public Schools

Funded by: The Spencer Foundation

In collaboration with Kate Menken (Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center)

In search of the knowledge base of Hebrew teaching in Jewish day school education

Funded by: The Sylvia and Moshe Ettenberg Research Grant in Jewish Education, Network for Research in Jewish Education, 2017-2018 ($14,476)

Hebrew in Jewish overnight camping

Sarah Benor
Jonathan Krasner
Sharon Avni
Co-principal Investigators

The primary focus of this project is to analyze the various ways in which Hebrew is utilized in a wide range of Jewish overnight camping. Many camps explicitly teach Hebrew and/or use Hebrew as a component of their educational program. However, to this point there has been no research on the role of Hebrew language practices in this thriving educational setting. The research’s three major components include an ethnographic, linguistic, and historical approach to examining the ways in which campers and staff think about and use Hebrew. Book under contract with Rutgers University Press.

Funded by:

Wexner Foundation

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for studies in Jewish education at Brandeis University

CASJE (The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education)


Hebrew language learning ideologies and the debate over Hebrew language charter schools

Funded by the BMCC Faculty Development Grant, this study examines the Hebrew language learning ideologies that imbue the Hebrew language charter schools debates using a unique dataset of public texts from online newspapers and key social media posts between 2010 and 2011. Drawing from theoretical frameworks in linguistic anthropology, it identifies the dominant language ideologies of participating stakeholders (i.e., community members, parents, educators, policy makers, and academics) in these debates. This study builds a theoretical framework of how Hebrew-English bilingualism is construed and contested in contemporary American society and creates a model for examining how public texts construct and define dominant themes in schooling. 

Meanings of Hebrew: Interviewing Hebrew charter school parents about school choice

The purpose of this interview-based study is to better understand the reasons Jewish and non-
Jewish parents choose to send their children to Hebrew charter schools in New York City and New Jersey. 


Past Research Projects

The Academic Socialization of ESL Postsecondary Students: A Language Socialization Perspective

Funded by PSC-CUNY Academic Grant. 

The purpose of this study was to examine the academic socialization of post-secondary immigrant students attending ESL remedial writing courses in order to shed light on the process by which these students acquire the norms, values, behavior, and social skills that enable them to participate effectively and appropriately in a post-secondary academic context. The focus of the study was on: how classroom interactions during literacy activities socialize and construct identity and how students perceive their trajectory of learning and their own academic socialization over the duration of a semester.