Joseph Benatov, PhD

Hebrew at Penn

Lecturer in Foreign Languages

Director, Modern Hebrew Language Program

Associate Program Director of Jewish Studies

Phone: 215.898.7040
Office: 712 Williams Hall

Joseph Benatov holds a doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is titled “Looking in the Iron Mirror: Eastern Europe in the American Imaginary, 1958-2001.” He has also written on Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth’s early fiction; the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain; and competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II. Dr. Benatov is the English translator of the contemporary Bulgarian novel Zift (Paul Dry Books). He has also translated Israeli fiction, poetry, prose, and drama. His translations of plays by Hanoch Levin, Martin McDonagh, and Ethan Coen have all been staged to wide acclaim in Bulgaria. Dr. Benatov lectures regularly on the history of Jewish life in Bulgaria and on the fate of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. His article on the topic appears in the anthology Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe (University of Nebraska Press). Dr. Benatov recently completed a translation of Etgar Keret’s  latest short-story collection. His current research focuses on the Sephardic communities of the Balkans.


HEBR 051: Elementary Modern Hebrew I
HEBR 052: Elementary Modern Hebrew II
HEBR 053: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
HEBR 054: Intermediate Modern Hebrew II