Birthright for WASPs?
Episode 102: Linguist Sarah Bunin Benor on the intricacies of Jewish language and architect Duo Dickinson on his Vermont summer sojourns
If you love listening to Unorthodox every week, please consider donating to keep us going for another hundred episodes. We put together a bunch of fun gifts for donors, from tote bags to a tour of Yale with Mark and a study session with Liel.
Our Jewish guest is linguist Sarah Bunin Benor, an expert in Jewish languages and the author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism, an in-depth study of American Jewish language. She breaks down the linguistic “tells” of Orthodox Jews, explains how religious Jews often code switch depending on their audience, and describes her experience as a non-Orthodox Jew immersing herself in Orthodox homes and communities for research.
Our gentile of the week is architect and card-carrying WASP Duo Dickinson, who returns to the show to tell us about his forthcoming book, A Home Called New England. He also tells us what it’s like being a white Christian male in America today, especially one who loves football, and poses an interesting question: Are weeklong summer trips to Vermont essentially Birthright for WASPS?
We love hearing from you! Email us at [email protected]—we’ll share our favorite notes on-air.
This episode is brought to you by Jewish Lives, biographies that illuminate the Jewish experience. Visit JewishLives.org to get 25 percent off all books and curated collections with the code JLBOOKS.
Unorthodox is a smart, fresh, fun weekly take on Jewish news and culture hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.
- UnorthodoxUnorthodox Comes Alive!Ep. 318: Congresswoman Elaine Luria and NFL hall-of-famer Bruce Smith, live from Virginia BeachMay 19, 2022
- UnorthodoxBig Bang SliceEp. 317: ‘Jeopardy!’ host Mayim Bialik on her ‘very, very Jewish’ new film, plus Eddie Chang on Buy Nothing groups, and a ‘Licorice Pizza’ reviewMay 12, 2022
- UnorthodoxThe MothershipEp. 316: Jewish Fertility Foundation; Ester Steinberg’s postpartum comedy special; a Fragile X diagnosis; a complicated college graduationMay 5, 2022
- UnorthodoxPuzzling ThroughEp. 315: A.J. Jacobs on crosswords, riddles, and Wordle, plus director Barry Levinson’s new film, ‘The Survivor’April 28, 2022
- UnorthodoxRootless CosmopolitansEp. 314: Barry Manilow on his new musical ‘Harmony,’ Andy Markovits on the power of a passport, and Tablet’s Maggie Phillips on religious literacyApril 21, 2022
- UnorthodoxBonus: Passover MelodiesMusician Josh Warshawsky sings us through the SederApril 14, 2022
- UnorthodoxA Passover to RememberEp. 313: Our hosts make this ancient holiday feel personal, relevant, and meaningfulApril 7, 2022
- UnorthodoxWhat’s Cookin’?Ep. 312: Massachusetts State Sen. Eric Lesser on inaugurating the Obama White House Seders, and Unorthodox producer Quinn Waller on learning to make chicken soup for PassoverMarch 31, 2022
- UnorthodoxWe Are FamilyEp. 311: Julie Platt on Jewish Federations (and her talented Jewish family), and Father Thomas Soroka on Orthodox ChristianityMarch 24, 2022
- UnorthodoxParty OnEp. 310: Reveling on Purim, celebrating 100 years of the bat mitzvah, and revisiting a ‘Preppy Handbook’ parodyMarch 17, 2022
- UnorthodoxPosted NotesEp. 309: A deep dive into our mailbox, plus TikTok sax star Evan Jacobson and journalist Shawn SetaroMarch 10, 2022
- UnorthodoxRocking and RollingEp. 308: Shlock Rock’s Lenny Solomon and Jane Austen scholar Devoney LooserMarch 3, 2022
- UnorthodoxGoing PlacesEp. 307: Tablet’s Armin Rosen and Vladislav Davidzon offer a window into UkraineFebruary 24, 2022
- UnorthodoxChasing MemoriesEp. 306: Tablet’s Wayne Hoffman on solving a family murder mysteryFebruary 17, 2022
- UnorthodoxOld SchoolEp. 305: Chuck Klosterman on his new book about the ’90sFebruary 10, 2022
- UnorthodoxComing in HotEp. 304: Jürgen Krauss of ‘The Great British Baking Show,’ and investigative journalist Carl BernsteinFebruary 3, 2022
- UnorthodoxHeroes and VillainsEp. 303: A conversation with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Temple Beth Israel in Colleyville, TexasJanuary 27, 2022
- UnorthodoxSafe and SoundEp. 302: Reflections on the Texas synagogue hostage situation, plus an interview with artist Mark PodwalJanuary 20, 2022