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Finds Egyptian Jews Who Settled Here After 1956 Well-adjusted to U.S. Life

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Ninety percent of the small community of Egyptian Jews in the United States have adjusted well to life in this country “and, despite their recent arrival, have made useful contributions to the economy of the country by their professional and business skills.” This was the evaluation of Dr. Victor D. Sanua, associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, in a study he conducted here on the adjustment of Sephardi (oriental) Jews in the New York area. The study was undertaken on behalf of the World Jewish Congress and was published in the Jewish Journal of Sociology in London.

Dr. Sanua said that there are approximately 450 Egyptian Jewish families in the New York area, virtually all of who came to the United States following the 1956 Suez campaign when quota restrictions were relaxed owing to the ill-treatment of Jews in Egypt. He said that 90 percent of them belonged to the middle and upper classes in Egypt and that their economic success “can be attributed to their high level of formal education and their knowledge of several languages.” Many have opened businesses while others have been employed by large companies and quickly became prosperous and self-sufficient, the survey said.

The survey found that 85 percent of the Egyptian Jews continued to socialize with friends they had known in their native country. It also found that the French culture in Egypt had, to a certain extent, replaced the traditional Sephardic practices still found among Spanish and Syrian Jews living in America.

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