Post # 17
@Monkeygirl: my first response would be that, regardless of what ethnicity or religion the names indicate — your name is your name. If you want to change it, you should. If you don’t, you shouldn’t. A name is a very intimate part of self-identity. I would worry that you’d resent him someday for getting you to take his.
@KLP2010: I’m a “ski.” If I had $1.00 for every time someone heard my last name and asked me if it was Polish, I’d be retired to the Caribbean by now. And then in response I say, “Yes, it is,” and then the conversation changes. It’s identifiably Polish, for sure, but it doesn’t change the way anyone thinks about me. (So if you take on your FI’s last name, get ready for fun. Polish names rock.)
Post # 18
As you obviously already know, your name is a big frickin’ deal. Whatever you’re most comfortable with is what will have to work for you. Hopefully your FH will understand this – definitely talk to him and gauge his feelings, as a few PPs have also suggested. In My Humble Opinion, last names do not identify cultural or religious significance in this millenium as they have in the past – I’m mostly Italian and German but my last name doesn’t convey either of those things, and no one’s ever asked about it! Ultimately, the decision should be what YOU are most comfortable with. I know plenty of couples who have different last names, and they simply collectively become, for example, the “Miller-Smith family” or what-have-you. If you do take his name and want to carry on the tradition of you own, give it to your kids as a middle name. Good luck with this tough decision 🙂
Post # 19
I have a very Irish first and last name and I will be marrying Fiance who has a very Jewish sounding name (first and last) – lets just say there is no mistaking that he is Jewish!! I dont really care about being identified by other people as Jewish (Im not converting because neither of us are religious) because it really doesnt matter. I am taking FIs last name because it is what will unite us and make me feel like we are a family. I prefer my maiden name and think it sounds much better, but then I would not feel as unified.
Post # 20
It’s your name, not your future husband’s. Do what you want with it. If you don’t like his, or just don’t want to change it for whatever reason, keep yours. If he wants to have the same last name so bad, he can take yours. Or you can hyphenate, or you both can hyphenate. Seriously? It’s 2010.
Post # 21
If your Fiance doesn’t think it is such a big deal, I’d suggest asking him why he doesn’t just change to your name. I suspect that after thinking about that for a while, he’ll “get it.”
Post # 22
I agree with other posters who said they don’t think about a person’s heritage when they hear the last name. Just because a person has a culturally-identifiable name doesn’t mean they are in any way connected to that culture.
Most so-called “Jewish” last names are not in fact Jewish, but Polish, German, Ukrainian, or even Israeli. The following article (particularly the first section) explains my point very well:
I think that changing your name still depends on your own comfort, so I’m not trying to suggest that you do something you feel you shouldn’t. My comment is merely on the perception that people are still identifiable by their names, and I feel this is a fallacy.
Post # 23
In all honestly, I don’t see why you care so much. You are getting married and part of being a married couple is to fully accept, appreciate, and enjoy eachothers differences as if they were your own. My Fiance is Jewish and I am Baptist. I would never convert to Judaism but I do celebrate the Jewish holidays with him because as I see is, Jesus was a Jew and did all this stuff and I have yet to find anywhere in the Bible where it says that I can’t or shouldn’t. So I am going to me Mrs. Shef and I am going to be proud of it. And if people mistake me for being a Jew, who cares? I know what I believe and the one that matters knows what I believe to. If people as, I will correct them because I think that our union of the two religions is interesting and exciting! We are happily untraditional. Take your husbands last name. You will be his wife, not his significant other.
Just my opinion.
Post # 24
Forgive me, I’m not really understanding a lot here. Seems to me like the issue has nothing to do with the “Jewishness” of his name but more so the issue of you giving up your name for his and you’ve “crouched” the issue in a religious one so to speak. Respectfully, what does a last name have to do with you practicing one faith or the other. Does it really make you any less Catholic that you may have a non Catholic last name? What would a Catholic last name even sound like in this day and age…?
Are you that worried about people judging you as a Jewish person because of your name, and so what if they did? Will you then need to proclaim that “no, I’m Catholic”? Are you afraid that having a Jewish name will automatically make you Jewish…these questions and suppositions sound wild right…I would say that yes, lets say your last name was for lack of a better example Sienfeld, I would think, hmm that sounds Jewish, and thats as far as it would go…respectfully, I wouldn’t care less. It wouldn’t be so important to me to say, hmm I wonder if this person is really Catholic with a Jewish last name. Why does it matter to you what other people may assume about your last name. Now…are you really worried about your family and or people you know thinking you jumped the fence so to speak and you need to retain your name to defend against people thinking that you’ve converted to Judaism…?
Which makes me wonder if the issue is just plainly, you want to keep your name because it is tied in with your identity. I just am having lots of trouble understanding what that has to do with having a “Jewish” last name, ESPECIALLY since he is culturally vs religiously Jewish…makes no sense to me really.
Lastly, I understand the need to keep your identity. I moved my maiden name to my middle name and took his last name (it helped that I didn’t have a middle name)
Post # 25
What a great way to handle the name sharing!
Post # 26
I agree with kww.
It sounds like you are afraid of being mistaken for a Jewish person and your issue is not about losing your name or taking a husband’s name, but about assuming a Jewish name and identity.