Mar

20 2023

Too Long, Too Foreign...Too Jewish? The Politics of Jewish Name Changing

6:45PM - 8:00PM  

VIRTUAL Program Jewish Federation of the Berkshires 196 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
4134424360

Contact Rabbi Daveen Litwin
4134424360
dlitwin@jewishberkshires.org

Virtual program.  Please register HERE.

Our images of name changing are frequently clichés: movie stars who adopted new names or Ellis Island officials who changed immigrants’ names. Kirsten Fermaglich upends these cliches by examining previously unexplored name change petitions.  In twentieth-century New York City, thousands of ordinary Jews legally changed their names to respond to institutionalized antisemitism. While name changing allowed Jewish families to achieve middle-class status, the practice also became a source of family pain and community stigma.

Dr. Fermaglich is associate professor of history and Jewish studies at Michigan State University. Her most recent book, A Rosenberg By Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America, was awarded the Saul Viener Book Prize by the American Jewish Historical Society in June 2019.

Purchase the book here and a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the local Bookstore in Great Barrington.