My internship with the Jewish united Federation and InterfaithFamily has actually put me in religious Jewish setups that i wouldn’t have normally found myself in. During one of these times, working an InterfaithFamily booth at an event, an worry was brought to my fist that I’d never thought existed: prejudice based on names. In this day and age it appears so strange to assume something around a human being based exclusively on your name, particularly so in the U.S. Wherein the culture is a founded on many different ethnicities and geographical backgrounds. However there ns was, do the efforts to safeguard my Judaism come a pair of larger Jewish males who assumed I to be Catholic based off my name.

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River Shannon

The origin of the name Shannon is Irish. Relying on whom girlfriend ask the means: little and wise, or river. My name was offered to me by my birth mother, and also my parents decided to store it as soon as they adopted me. In some ways I have the right to understand why these males assumed ns was Catholic. The southern country of Ireland has actually been and remained Catholic because that centuries, and the name “Shannon” derives indigenous Ireland’s longest river, flow Shannon. The being said, i was upset the they couldn’t snapshot a Jew having my name, and also it was just after I explained to them my family members background, that they recognized me together Jewish.

I recognize that in Judaism a name carries weight. Historically, there were three groupings of Jews: the Levites, Kohens and Israelites. Descendants of the Levites and Kohens were tasked with special religious duties (e.g. Kohens to be priests and also Levites served directly under the Kohens), when the Israelites (i.e. Anyone else) held the shortest standing. At some synagogues, Kohens and also Levites space still treated in different ways from everyone else. Because that example, Kohens deserve to be referred to as up to review from the Torah first, adhered to by Levites. Also outside the biblical context, a family’s name identifies a person. The Jewish ar has always been tight knit, and also last names currently serve together a tool to aid place a human being in the community.

In the instance of an initial names, I notice the repetition of details names within the Jewish community. Daniel, Jeremy, Rachel, Joseph, Sarah, Ari, Noah, Adam, Elizabeth, Rebecca, David, Jonathan, Dana, Shana, Michael, Sam. Chances are you’ll come across these name in a Jewish community, however that doesn’t strictly typical all Jews take your names indigenous the very same set. There are Jews everywhere the world in plenty of different countries. Girlfriend can’t suppose that they all share the same couple of names.

While i am proud to call myself Jewish, I recognize its drawbacks. Judaism is very good at gift exclusive, even toward those who identify with it. Speak to it a architecture flaw, or a result of social conditioning from centuries of persecution, either way an separation, personal, instance shouldn’t have to be questioned on what belief they are because their surname is different.

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Growing increase in an interfaith family, I always felt together if ns was secretly having actually an identity crisis, never understanding where ns really right it. Yet I’ve grown right into myself, and I understand who ns am. My surname is Shannon. I recognize as a secular Jew. I come native an interfaith family. I’m adopted. Component of my family is indigenous Israel, and the other fifty percent is indigenous Europe. I know and understand every one of this. The problem is everyone who doesn’t understand.