US/World News

4 Jews among 24 MacArthur ‘genius’ grant winners

(JNS.org) Four Jews have been selected among this year’s 24 MacArthur fellows. The grants of $625,000 per fellow are colloquially referred to as the “genius” grants.

Author Ben Lerner, a writer and professor at the Department of English at the City University of New York, won the grant for “seamless shifts between fiction and nonfiction, prose and lyric verse, memoir and cultural criticism, conveying the way in which politics, art, and economics intertwine with everyday experience,” according to the MacArthur Foundation’s website. Environmental health advocate Gary Cohen, co-founder and president of Health Care Without Harm, won for bringing “attention to the fact that American hospitals had been major contributors to environmental pollution and had been largely ignoring the damage to local communities and environments caused by extensive use of harmful chemicals in medical devices, toxic cleaning agents, reliance on fossil fuels, and disposal of waste via incineration.” Artist Nicole Eisenman won for her nearly four-decade-long career as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, while Princeton University professor and Jewish studies educator Marina Rustow won for using her expertise on the Cairo Geniza texts “to shed new light on Jewish life and on the broader society of the medieval Middle East.”

CAP: Marina Rustow

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