A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America
Generously sponsored by Judy Rosenberg
Our thinking about Jewish name changing tends to focus on clichés: ambitious movie stars who adopted glamorous new names or insensitive Ellis Island officials who changed immigrants' names for them. As Fermaglich reveals, the story is often much more profound. This first history of name changing in the United States demonstrates how historical debates about immigration, antisemitism, race, class, mobility, gender, family, the boundaries of the Jewish community, and the power of government are reshaped when name changing becomes part of the conversation. Mining court documents, oral histories, archival records, and contemporary literature, Fermaglich argues that name changing had a lasting impact on American Jewish culture.