At the age of 88, psychologist Jay Y. Gonen died on December 19, 2022, in Sarasota, Florida of cardiac arrest after a 16-month struggle with ill health. This talented psychohistorian was born in Haifa in British Palestine and educated at Hebrew University. Reflecting on the dead bodies he saw as a soldier during the Suez Crisis of 1956 led him, while earning advanced degrees in Cincinnati, to decide to not return to defend Israel in the Six Days War and instead apply for American citizenship. He served as professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Rochester Medical Center; he devoted most of his professional career to treating former soldiers in a Chicago veteran’s hospital.

As a psychohistorian, Gonen’s publications included the articles “The Israeli Illusion of Omnipotence” in The Journal of Psychohistory (Fall, 1978) and his “The Impossible Palestinians and Israelis” (Clio’s Psyche, December 2002, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 125-127); his books included A Psychohistory of Zionism (1975); The Roots of Nazi Psychology: Hitler’s Utopian Barbarism (2000); Yahweh versus Yahweh (2005); and Faustian Bargains (2021). He served as president of the International Psychohistorical Association but eventually left this group in frustration over the issue of academic standards. After the death of his first wife, he married a fellow psychohistorian which you can read about

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in my “An intellectual Partnership: Jay Gonen and Mary Coleman” (Clio’s Psyche, March 2001, Vol. 7, No. 31, pp. 167, 189-198). This psychohistorical couple spent 32 happy years together listening to Viennese music, going to the opera, entertaining friends, writing books, and studying the ancient languages of Akkadian and Sumerian (Jay already knew English, French, German, Hebrew, and Arabic).

Jay is survived by his wife Mary, brother Yariv Gonen, and children Julie and David Gonen.

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Paul H Elovitz

Dr. Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, began organizing scholarly meetings when he started as a faculty member at Ramapo College and then as convener of the Institute for Psychohistory Saturday Workshops (1975-1982). In 1982 he founded the Psychohistory Forum to nurture psychohistorical research and continues to lead its Executive Council. In 1994 he created Clio’s Psyche ( to publish its scholarship, of which he is Editor-in-Chief. Prof. Elovitz is a historian, psychoanalytic researcher, and author of about 400 publications, covering presidential psychobiography, teaching, documenting the field of psychohistory, and much more. After taking his doctoral degree in history, he trained and practiced as a psychoanalyst, and in 2019 was made the first Research Psychoanalyst by the New Jersey Institute for Psychoanalysis. Elovitz is the author of The Making of Psychohistory, editor of The Many Roads of the Builders of Psychohistory, and edited or wrote eight other books. He is a founding member and past president of the International Psychohistorical Association (1978-) who serves on its leadership council and presents at all meetings. Prof. Elovitz is a founding faculty member at Ramapo College who previously taught at Temple, Rutgers, and Fairleigh Dickinson universities. He may be contacted at .

How to Cite This:

Elovitz, P. H. (2023). Remembering Jay Y. Gonen (1934-2022). Clio’s Psyche, 29(3), 374-375.

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