Sarah is an experienced freelance copyeditor with over ten years of experience in editing academic writing. She is skilled in evaluating texts for content, flow, accuracy, and style in order to create clear, convincing writing. She is highly organized and attentive to detail and can work collaboratively to foster successful relationships with authors, taking initiative to manage complex projects. She is experienced in working with authors who are nonnative English speakers and writers. Sarah has a Ph.D. in Bible and Ancient Near East from Brandeis University (2007). She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.
Working with Sarah Shectman is like working with a good colleague whom you can count on to get the job done and to manage all of its parts. She shoulders responsibility and knows proper academic writing (both the nature of making an argument and the minutiae of the stylesheets required by a publisher) from the inside. Consider her an invaluable asset and great to work with. — Bernard M. Levinson, Berman Family Chair of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible and Professor of Classical & Near Eastern Studies and of Law, University of Minnesota
Efficient, intelligent, organized, and honest, Sarah is a superb editor and manager, capable of easing any stage of the writing, editing, or production process. Her extensive editorial experience, companionable manner, and sharp intellect will be an asset to any writer or editor. Sarah is never late, always flexible, and professional in predicting costs and timelines. She is always a pleasure to work with! — Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; editor, Jewish Social Studies
Sarah Shectman is an absolutely professional academic editor who works according to the highest standards of scholarship. Being a scholar herself, she’s fully acquainted with the business of academic publishing. I have worked with her on two large volumes, and the result was perfect and on time. I warmly recommend her services. — Konrad Schmid, University of Zurich
Sarah did a fantastic job as indexer and proofreader. She carefully guided the book manuscript through its final production stage. I am very thankful for her keen attention to detail and meticulous review of the manuscript. It was especially helpful to have an editor who was knowledgeable on the subject matter. This helped make the indexes especially useful for readers. I highly recommend Sarah for all editing projects! — Alex P. Jassen, New York University
I can say from experience that you can rely fully on Sarah’s editing skills. If she works on your manuscript, you will be pleased with the result. Working with her is also a pleasure. — Samuel Arnet, University of Zurich
- Managing Editor, Jewish Social Studies: History, Society, Culture (Indiana University Press), 2012–
- Freelance Editor, 2009–
- Mastery of academic standards for writing and citation, particularly Chicago Manual of Style and SBL Handbook of Style
- Reading knowledge of French, German, and Modern Israeli Hebrew
- Experience with MS Office applications
- Proficiency in both Windows and Macintosh operating systems
- Basic HTML and Markdown knowledge
Selected Manuscripts Edited
Hutzli, Jürg. The Origins of “P”: Profiles and Strata of the Priestly Texts in Genesis 1–Exodus 15. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming.
Crisostomo, C. Jay. Translation as Scholarship: Language, Writing, and Bilingual Education in Ancient Babylonia. Boston: de Gruyter, 2019.
Asscher, Omri. Reading across Borders: Israel, America, and the Politics of Translation between Jews. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2019.
Gertz, Jan C., Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Konrad Schmid, eds. The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.
Frevel, Christian, and Christophe Nihan, eds. Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient Judaism. Leiden: Brill, 2013.
Schniedewind, William S. A Social History of Hebrew: From Its Origins through the Rabbinic Period. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.
Lanfer, Peter. Remembering Eden: The Reception History of Genesis 3:22–24 in Early Jewish Interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Lipton, Diana, ed. Know Your Neighbor: Universalism and Particularism at Sodom and Gomorrah. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.
Person, Raymond F., Jr., and Konrad Schmid, eds. Deuteronomy in the Pentateuch, Hexateuch, and the Deuteronomistic History. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.
Dozeman, Thomas B., Konrad Schmid, and Baruch J. Schwartz, eds. The Pentateuch: International Perspectives on Current Research. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.
Fried, Lisbeth S., ed. Was 1 Esdras First? An Investigation into the Priority and Nature of 1 Esdras. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
Hornsby, Teresa J., and Ken Stone, eds. Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
Miller, Geoffrey. The Ways of a King: Legal and Political Ideas in the Bible. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011.
- Ph.D., Brandeis University, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (Bible and Ancient Near East), 2007
- M.A., Brandeis University, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (Bible and Ancient Near East), 2000
- A.B., magna cum laude, Wellesley College, 1995
- Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 2012
- Lecturer, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles, 2011
- Adjunct Professor, San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California, 2010
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Judaic Studies, Binghamton University (SUNY), Binghamton, New York, 2008–9
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minnesota, 2007
- Visiting Scholar, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, 2013–14
- Visiting Student Researcher, University of California, Berkeley, 2004–5
- Visiting Graduate Student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rothberg School for Overseas Students, 1995–96
“Sarah (Wife of Abraham), Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (forthcoming).
“Midwife.” Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (forthcoming).
“Priestly Marriage Restrictions.” In Sexuality and Law in the Torah. Edited by Hilary Lipka and Bruce Wells. London: T&T Clark, forthcoming.
“Gendered Historiography: Theoretical Considerations and Case Studies.” Coedited with Shawna Dolansky. Special issue, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (forthcoming).
“Introduction: What Is Gendered Historiography and How Do You Do It?” Coauthored with Shawna Dolansky. Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (forthcoming).
“The Priestly Language of Gender.” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (forthcoming).
“Contingency and the Future of Women in the Society of Biblical Literature.” In Women and the Society of Biblical Literature. Edited by Nicole Tilford. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2019.
“Patriarchy Is Alive and Well in Pentateuch.” AJS Perspectives, Spring 2019.
“Israel’s Matriarchs: Political Pawns or Powerbrokers?” In The Politics of the Ancestors: Exegetical and Historical Perspectives on Genesis 12–36. Edited by Mark Brett and Jakob Wöhrle. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 124. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018.
“Back to the Past: An Overview of Feminist Historical Criticism.” In volume 3 of Feminist Interpretation of the Bible in Retrospect. Edited by Susanne Scholz. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2016.
“Marriage and Divorce: Ancient Near East.” In The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies. Edited by Julia M. O’Brien. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
“Themes and Perspectives in Torah: Creation, Kinship, and Covenant.” In Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Edited by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page Jr., and Matthew J. M. Coomber. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.
“What Do We Know about Marriage in Ancient Israel?” In Reading a Tendentious Bible: Essays in Honor of Robert B. Coote. Edited by Marvin L. Chaney, Uriah Y. Kim, and Annette Schellenberg. Hebrew Bible Monographs 66. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014.
“Abraham’s Family,” “Women of Moab,” “Moabite Men,” “How Do Biblical Scholars Read the Hebrew Bible?,” and “Who Wrote the Bible?” Bible Odyssey. http://bibleodyssey.org. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014.
“Joshua: Reception History.” In The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible. Edited by Marc Brettler and Michael Coogan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
“The Social Status of Priestly and Levite Women.” In Priests and Levites in Biblical History and Tradition. Edited by Mark Leuchter and Jeremy Hutton. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
“Rachel, Leah, and the Composition of Genesis.” In The Pentateuch: International Perspectives on Current Research. Edited by Thomas B. Dozeman, Konrad Schmid, and Baruch J. Schwartz. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.
“Bearing Guilt in Numbers 5:12-31.” In Gazing on the Deep: Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Jewish Studies in Honor of Tzvi Abusch. Edited by Jeffrey Stackert, Barbara Nevling Porter, and David P. Wright. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 2010.
“Women in the Priestly Narrative.” In The Strata of the Priestly Writings: Contemporary Debate and Future Directions. Edited by Sarah Shectman and Joel S. Baden. Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 2009.
Women in the Pentateuch: A Feminist and Source-Critical Analysis. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009.
Editor, with Joel S. Baden, The Strata of the Priestly Writings: Contemporary Debate and Future Directions. Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 2009.
Michael Hundley, Keeping Heaven on Earth. Journal of the American Oriental Society, forthcoming.
Johanna Stiebert, Fathers and Daughters in the Hebrew Bible. Hebrew Studies 57 (2016): 449–51.
Isaac Sassoon, The Status of Women in Jewish Tradition. Review of Biblical Literature, July 2016.
Assnat Bartor. Reading Law as Narrative: A Study in the Casuistic Laws of the Pentateuch. Biblical Theology Bulletin 43, no. 2 (2013): 105–6.
Roland Boer, ed. Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 71 (2012): 83–84.
Calum Carmichael. Sex and Religion in the Bible. Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73 (2011): 343–45.
Baruch J. Schwartz, David P. Wright, Jeffrey Stackert, and Naphtali S. Meshel, eds. Perspectives on Purity and Purification in the Bible. Catholic Biblical Quarterly 72 (2010): 856–58.
“The Role of Professional Societies in Preventing Harassment,” copresenter. Faculty and Staff Sexual Misconduct Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, July–August 2019.
“The Priestly Language of Gender.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, November 2018.
“Rocking the Cradle: Mothers as Transmitters of Authority in Genesis and Beyond,” with Jacqueline Vayntrub. Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Helsinki, Finland, August 2018.
“What Is Gendered Historiography and How Do You Do It?,” with Shawna Dolanksy. Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 2016.
“Priestly Marriage Restrictions.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2013.
“The Social Status of Levite Women.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2010.
“Rachel, Leah, and the Composition of Genesis.” Universität Zürich Theologisches Seminar Symposium on The Pentateuch: International Perspectives on Current Research. Zürich, Switzerland, January 2010.
“Why Are Jacob’s Sons Allowed to Marry Canaanite Women?” Society of Biblical Literature/Mid-Atlantic Region Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, March 2009.
“Feminist Source Criticism: A New—and Necessary—Methodological Approach.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2008.
“Women in the Priestly Laws: A Reassessment.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2008.
“Bearing Her Guilt in Numbers 5:11-31.” Society of Biblical Literature/Pacific Coast Region Annual Meeting, Pasadena, California, March 2008.
“Women in the Priestly Narrative.” European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting, mini-conference on “The Strata of the Priestly Writings: Contemporary Debate and Future Directions,” Vienna, Austria, July 2007.
“Who’s Laughing Now? The Changing Role of the Matriarchs in the Patriarchal Narrative.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 2004.
Public Lectures and Invited Talks
“‘Get Me This Girl as a Wife’: Marriage in the Hebrew Bible.” Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California. November 15, 2013.
“Marriage and Divorce in the Second Temple Period.” Congregation Beth David, Saratoga, California. April 21, 2013.
“Sexuality and the Bible: What the Texts Really Say.” Swissnex San Francisco. November 17, 2011.
“Women’s Status in Biblical Israel.” University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. April 7, 2011.
“Women’s Social Status in the Hebrew Bible.” The Bible and Its Interpreters Lecture Series. University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. February 24, 2011.
“Women’s Childbirth Traditions in the Bible.” Progressive Havurah, Brookline, Massachusetts, February 2004.
Awards and Fellowships
- Provost’s Dissertation Expense Award, Brandeis University, 2006
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Alumni Scholar, Brandeis University, 2006
- GTR Grant, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University, 2004
- Outstanding Teaching Assistant Prize, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University, 2000
- Graduate Study Fellowship, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University, 1996–2000
Editorial Boards and Professional Committees
- Associate Editor, Harper Collins Study Bible, third edition, 2019–
- Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting Program Committee, 2014–
- Bible Odyssey Website Editorial Board, 2012–
- Society of Biblical Literature Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World (formerly Levites and Priests in History and Tradition) Section Committee Co-Chair, 2015–
- Society of Biblical Literature Cultic Personnel in the Biblical World Section Steering Committee, 2010–
- Society of Biblical Literature Pentateuch Section Committee Co-Chair, 2011–2016
- Society of Biblical Literature Pentateuch Section Steering Committee, 2009–2016
- Society of Biblical Literature
- Catholic Biblical Association
- Association for Jewish Studies
- SBAllies, Cofounder
- Ancient: Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Phoenician and other Canaanite dialects, Ugaritic
- Modern: proficiency in French, German, and Modern Hebrew