by Sarah Flint Erdreich

Too Jewish? Changing The Family Name

My favorite necklace is a chunky gold ring suspended on a thin linked chain. You have to look close to see the letters "SE" are carved into the middle of the ring. It's too big for my fingers, just as it was too big for my mother's fingers when her father gave her the ring. That was when she was Susan Erdreich; when I became Sarah Erdreich, my mother passed the ring onto me. 

When I was in middle school, I learned that my paternal grandfather had changed his name from “Finkelstein” to “Flint” when he immigrated to New York City from Canada. The reason for the change, my father explained, was that my grandfather felt Finkelstein was too Jewish and would encourage anti-Semitism.

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