Princeton Geniza Lab

A Princeton University Research Center


Shelomo Dov Goitein – The seminal Jewish and Arabist historian and ethnographer whose intellectual labor made the Princeton Geniza Lab a reality.


Mark R. Cohen (PhD, Jewish Theological Seminary, 1976) is the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor Emeritus of Jewish Civilization in the Near East at Princeton and directed the Princeton Geniza Lab from 1985 until his retirement in 2013. He is the author of five books and dozens of articles.

Eve Krakowski (PhD, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, 2012) is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies at Princeton University and a principal collaborator at the Geniza Lab. She is author of Coming of Age in Medieval Egypt: Female Adolescence, Jewish Law and Ordinary Culture (2017).

Marina Rustow (PhD, History, Columbia University, 2004) is Director of the Geniza Lab. She is also the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East, Professor of History and Director of the Program in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (2008) and The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue (2020), and is currently completing a book on Fatimid petitions, starting a book for non-specialists on the documentary geniza, and researching Fatimid taxation and fiscality. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015.



Amir Ashur (PhD, Tel Aviv University, 2006) is a former senior research fellow in the Center of Conversion and Inter-Religious Enconters, Ben Gurion University. He worked with Prof. M.A. Friedman on projects including the ‘India Book’ and the related Judeo-Arabic dictionary. His MA thesis was “Engagement Documents from the Cairo Geniza” (Tel Aviv University, 2000) and his PhD thesis was “Engagement and Betrothal documents from the Cairo Geniza” (Tel Aviv University, 2006).

Lorenzo Bondioli is a PhD candidate in History at Princeton writing a dissertation on taxation, trade and political economy in Fatimid Egypt.

Jessica Goldberg (PhD, History, Columbia University, 2005) is Associate Professor of History at the University of California at Los Angeles and author of Trade and Institutions in the Medieval Mediterranean: The Geniza Merchants and Their Business World (2012).

Brendan Goldman (PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2018) is a postdoctoral fellow in the Ronald O. Perelman Institute for Judaic Studies at Princeton. He has completed a book manuscript on how ordinary Syrian Jews experienced conquest and regime change during the Crusades and how they helped shape the institutions of the Latin Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem. He is writing a new book on incarceration in the Fatimid and Ayyubid realms.

Stephanie Luescher is a first-year PhD student in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.

Rachel Richman is a second-year PhD student in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.

Oded Zinger (PhD, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2014) is assistant professor of Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation, “Women, Gender and Law: Marital Disputes According to Documents from the Cairo Geniza,” studies the history and use of rabbinical courts and documents, especially by women.



Tamer el-Leithy (PhD, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2005) is a Mamluk historian, an expert in the use of legal documents for social and inter-confessional history, and was a postdoctoral fellow on the DIMME project in 2015. He is now Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.

Craig Perry (PhD, History, Emory University, 2014) is an expert in the Cairo geniza and the global history of slavery. He is assistant professor at Emory University with a joint appointment in Middle East and South Asian Studies and Jewish studies, and served as a postdoctoral fellow and principal collaborator on the DIMME project. His dissertation, “The Daily Life of Slaves and the Global Reach of Slavery in Medieval Egypt, 969-1250 CE,” is based on documentary sources from the Geniza.

Naim Vanthieghem (PhD, Classics, Université libre de Bruxelles 2014) is a papyrologist who specializes in Greek and Arabic documents and a faculty member in the Arabic department of the Institut pour la Recherche Historique des Textes at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. He was a postdoctoral fellow on the DIMME project in 2015–16. His doctoral thesis is entitled « Contributions à la reconstruction, à l’édition et à l’étude des archives dites d’Hèrôninos. »



Deena Abdel-Latif is the Geniza Lab Coordinator.

Ben Johnston has been the IT brain behind the Princeton Geniza Project since 2005.