web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth

On The Passing Of Victor D. Sanua

   Victor D. Sanua, Ph.D., z”l, a pioneer in cross-cultural studies of mental illness, was also known for his studies on American Jewish communities and the Jews of Egypt, passed away July 12, at the age of 88 in Brooklyn, New York.

 

   At the time of his death Dr. Sanua was research professor in psychology at St. John’s University in Queens, from which he had officially retired in 1990. However, he continued publishing papers in psychology and conducting research on the history of the Jewish community of Egypt until recently.

 

   During his career, he published hundreds of articles, often focusing on familial and cultural factors in mental illness, particularly in depression, schizophrenia, and autism, and in the measurement of intelligence. He led and was active in many professional organizations.

 

   However, a significant portion of his papers dealt with topics related to Jews. Most prominently, as director of research at the Associated YM-YWHA’s of Greater New York from 1960-1965, he conducted studies that led him to predict correctly that the Jewish intermarriage rate, then no more than six percent, would skyrocket in succeeding generations.

 

   Dr. Sanua was born to a prominent Sephardic Jewish family of Turkish origin in Cairo, Egypt. One cousin, Jacob Sanua (Ya’qub Sanu’) was a prominent literary man and Egyptian nationalist; another, Moise, served as secretary to the chief rabbi of Egypt, Rabbi Nahum Effendi; and Edmund, Moise’s brother, was active in the Lehi (Stern Group) and fought in Israel’s War of Independence.

 

   As did most such families in Cairo, the family spoke French, the language of commerce, and the Judeo-Spanish dialect known as Ladino. Dr. Sanua also spoke Italian, the language of his citizenship. He learned English as a teenager and obtained two undergraduate degrees from the American University of Cairo in 1945 and 1949, where he developed his interest in psychology.

 

   Dr. Sanua immigrated to the United States in 1950, and received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1956, where he wrote his dissertation on differences of personality adjustment among different generations of American Jews and non-Jews.

 

   His first faculty appointment, in 1960, was at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, followed by stints at CCNY, Adelphi University and finally St. John’s. He spent his sabbatical year from 1973-1974 in Israel at Tel Aviv University and Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he treated initial psychiatric casualties during and after the Yom Kippur War, and produced studies on war, bereavement, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

   In retirement, Dr. Sanua focused on retrieving the heritage of the Jewish community of Egypt, which reached 80,000 in the early years of the past century and then was dispersed in the wake of the Arab-Israeli wars in the 1940s and 1950s. In publishing a series of newsletters devoted to the historical legacy of this community, he established a worldwide network of correspondents who contributed to this publication.

 

   The newsletters, along with other publications by Dr. Sanua on the history of Sephardic Jewry, were collected in his book, Egyptian Jewry: A Guide to Egyptian Jewry in the Mid-Twentieth Century. The newsletter was greatly enriched by Dr. Sanua’s unique trove of photographs of the Egyptian Jewish community he had smuggled out upon leaving Egypt in 1950.

 

   He was married for over 50 years to Stella Sardell Sanua, who passed away in 2006. He is survived by his sister Odette Benjamin, his children David and Marianne, and two grandchildren. The shloshim in honor of his memory will be held at his house at 2416 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m.

 

   May his memory be for a blessing.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “On The Passing Of Victor D. Sanua”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
rocket in a field near Kibbutz Mefalsim
Heaven on Earth (With Rockets)
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from David Sanua

Victor D. Sanua, Ph.D., z”l, a pioneer in cross-cultural studies of mental illness, was also known for his studies on American Jewish communities and the Jews of Egypt, passed away July 12, at the age of 88 in Brooklyn, New York.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/on-the-passing-of-victor-d-sanua/2009/07/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: