A Whole Latke Love

Ep. 254: Linguist Sarah Bunim Benor on the different ways to say ‘latke,’ plus holiday music from Kosha Dillz, Shira Kobren, and Peter Curtis

December 10, 2020

This week on Unorthodox: Hallmark Hanukkah movies, puppies for Hanukkah, and so much more.

First we talk with linguist Sarah Bunin Benor, who made her first Unorthodox appearance all the way back on Ep. 102. She returns to the show to explain why some people say “lat-key” instead of “latke,” and settle other holiday pronunciation debates.

Then it’s time for some music to get us in the holiday spirit!

Jazz guitarist Peter Curtis tells us about being so inspired by the fact that Jewish songwriters created some of the most famous Christmas songs that he recorded his own album of covers, called “Christmas With Your Jewish Boyfriend.”

Shira Kobren is the band leader of Shira & Friends, a New York City-based “kindie” rock band, whose new album, “B’yachad,” features a special Hanukkah song for kids.

Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz shares his new Hanukkah song, Schmoozin’, on which he raps about “farbrengen the party,” much to Liel’s delight. He also gives us Jewish rap names and helps kick-start our freestyle careers.

We’ve got virtual events! See our full schedule at

Thursday, Dec. 10: Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with Stephanie, Mayim Bialik, and GLOW star Jackie Tohn at NuRoots’ “First Night” event, at 7 p.m. PST. Register here.

Saturday, Dec. 12: All three hosts will be speaking at the JCC Ann Arbor Jewish Book Festival. 8 p.m. EST; Register here.

Monday, Dec. 14: Stephanie joins Liberation75, 3GNY, and Shai DeLuca for a Hanukkah fireside chat. 12 p.m. EST; Register here.

Tuesday, Dec. 15: Liel and Stephanie will be speaking at Sarasota, Florida’s “People of the Book” author series. 7 p.m. EST; Register here.

Wednesday, Dec. 16: All three hosts will be speaking at Richmond, Virginia’s Weinstein JCC Front Row at the J: Sip and Learn Series. 7:30 p.m. EST; Register here.

Let us know what you think of the show! Send us comments and questions at [email protected], or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.

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Soom Foods’ tahini, chocolate sweet tahini, and silan date syrup are the perfect gift to give this holiday season. Head to and use code UNORTHODOX to get 15% off your first order.

American Jewish World Service is fighting poverty and pursuing justice in the developing world. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, AJWS is currently twice-matching all donations; find out more about the organization and make your donation at

Institute for Jewish Spirituality offers Jewish tools to help respond to the anxiety and stress of our times. Join them for “Rededication, Resilience and Renewal,” a half-day online retreat Sunday, Dec. 13. Learn more and register at

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