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July 7, 2020 4:26 pm
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Judea Pearl Among Recipients of Carnegie Corporation’s 2020 Great Immigrants Awards

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Judea Pearl.

Israeli-American scientist Judea Pearl and acclaimed Jewish-American graphic novelist Art Spiegelman were among those recently named as 2020 Great Immigrants by the Carnegie Corporation.

Pearl was born in Bnei Brak in 1936 and studied at the Technion in Haifa before moving to the US in 1960. He eventually received degrees from Rutgers University and the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

Specializing in computer science and particularly artificial intelligence, he became a professor at UCLA and the director of its Cognitive Systems Laboratory. He is now considered one of the world’s foremost experts in his field.

Pearl has also been an outspoken activist for justice and tolerance through his Daniel Pearl Foundation, which honors his journalist son who was murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan in 2002.

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Also honored was Spiegelman, the acclaimed author of the graphic novel Maus, which chronicled his parents’ horrific experiences during the Holocaust and the aftereffects of trauma on their children, including himself.

Spiegelman was born in Sweden in 1948 to parents who had lost almost their entire families in the Nazi death camps. He became a major force in the underground comics scene before embarking on the Maus project in the 1980s, based on interviews with his father.

Maus, which used and subverted comics cliches by using anthropomorphic images of Jews as mice and Nazis as cats alongside a brutally explicit depiction of the horrors of the camps, eventually won a Pulitzer Prize and is widely considered a touchstone of modern Holocaust literature.

The Great Immigrants awards are given every Fourth of July to naturalized Americans who, says the Carnegie Corporation, “have enriched and strengthened our nation and our democracy through their contributions and actions.”

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