Cornelia Hediger

Sharon Avni headshot 2022

Continuing Education and Workforce Development



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Sharon Avni is Professor of Academic Literacy and Linguistics at BMCC at the City University of New York (CUNY). Her current book project Speaking of Hebrew: Language and the American Jewish community explores the discursive, ideological, historical, and policy perspectives of contemporary Hebrew learning and usage in the United States. She is also co-PI of a study exploring religious learning in cultural arts settings, supported by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center at Brandeis University, where she is also a research affiliate. Her first co-authored book Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps was the winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity. Her scholarship has been funded by the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Spencer Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and PSC CUNY. Professor Avni won the Distinguished Teaching Award at BMCC/CUNY (2018-2019). Her publications appear in a wide range of academic journals and edited volumes..


Language and religion, Ethnography, Applied Linguistics, Linguistic anthropology, English language learners at community colleges


  • Ph.D. New York University

Courses Taught

LIN 250 (Forensic Linguistics)

Research and Projects




  • Menken, K., Espinet, I., & Avni, S. (2023). “There Was Nothing Here”: School Leaders Using Dual Language Bilingual Education Programs as a Formula to Re-Engineer Student Populations for School Turnaround. Educational Policy0(0).
  • Avni, S. American Jewish summer camps as translanguaging thirdspaces. 2021. In Octu-Grillman, B. & Borjian, M. Remaking Multilingualism: A Translanguaging Approach. Multilingual Matters (pp. 212-228). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Finn, H. B., & Avni, S. (2021). Linguistically Responsive Instruction in Corequisite Courses at Community Colleges. TESOL Quarterly55(4), 1221-1246.
  • Yares, L., Avni, S. “Saturday Night Seder” and the Affordances of Cultural Arts during COVID-19. Cont Jewry (2021).
  • Avni, S. & Menken, K. (2021). Hebrew dual language bilingual education: The intersection of race, language and religion. In N. Flores, A. Tseng & N. Subtirelu (eds),  Bilingualism for All? Raciolinguistic Perspectives on Dual Language Education in the United States (pp. 156-176) Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • NEH Summer Stipend. 2022
  • Jewish Book Council, National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity, 2020 
  • Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, 2021-2022, 2023-2024
  • Mellon/ACLS Fellowship for Community College Faculty, 2020-2021,
  •  PSC CUNY Grant, (2019; 2023)
  • BMCC Faculty Development Grant, (2018)
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, BMCC, 2018-2019 (student nominated)

Additional Information