During the 50s and 60s, my grandparents chose to alter our family’s surname from one that was distinctly Jewish to a more generic name. There were two reasons for this change: (1) the industry in which my grandfather was employed dealt with anti-Semitism (2) my grandmother didn’t have a great relationship with her in-laws and never cared for the name. My other family members, who still have the surname, never truly understood why they changed it.
It has been around 60 to 70 years since the name change, and I find myself somewhat distanced from the Jewish community. You would be surprise by how many people react with surprise when they learn that I’m Jewish…the new surname is REALLY GENERIC. I have considered going back to the original name, but I am always on the fence about it since everyone knows me by my current name. Would be interested if anyone else has considered this in the past.