My internship with the Jewish United Federation and also InterfaithFamily has put me in religious Jewish settings that I wouldn’t have normally found myself in. Throughout among these times, functioning an InterfaithFamily booth at an occasion, an problem was brought to my attention that I’d never assumed existed: prejudice based on names. In this day and also age it appears so odd to assume somepoint about a perchild based exclusively on their name, specifically so in the U.S. wright here the society is a established on many type of different ethnic cultures and also geographical backgrounds. Yet tbelow I was, trying to defend my Judaism to a pair of older Jewish men who assumed I was Catholic based off my name.

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River Shannon

The origin of the name Shannon is Irish. Depending on whom you ask it means: little and also wise, or river. My name was offered to me by my birth mom, and also my parents chose to store it as soon as they embraced me. In some means I have the right to understand also why these men assumed I was Catholic. The southerly nation of Ireland has been and remained Catholic for centuries, and also the name “Shannon” derives from Ireland’s longest river, River Shannon. That being said, I was upcollection that they couldn’t picture a Jew having my name, and also it was just after I explained to them my family background, that they recognized me as Jewish.

I understand also that in Judaism a name carries weight. Historically, tbelow were 3 groupings of Jews: the Levites, Kohens and Israelites. Descendants of the Levites and also Kohens were tasked through one-of-a-kind spiritual duties (e.g. Kohens were priests and also Levites served directly under the Kohens), while the Israelites (i.e. everyone else) held the lowest standing. At some synagogues, Kohens and Levites are still treated differently from everyone else. For instance, Kohens can be referred to as approximately check out from the Torah first, followed by Levites. Even exterior the biblical conmessage, a family’s name identifies a perkid. The Jewish community has actually constantly been tight knit, and also last names now serve as a tool to help place a perkid in the area.

In the instance of initially names, I alert the repetition of certain names within the Jewish neighborhood. Daniel, Jeremy, Rachel, Joseph, Sarah, Ari, Noah, Adam, Elizabeth, Rebecca, David, Jonathan, Dana, Shana, Michael, Sam. Chances are you’ll come across these names in a Jewish area, yet that doesn’t strictly expect all Jews take their names from the same collection. Tbelow are Jews anywhere the people in many different nations. You can’t mean that they all share the very same few names.

While I am proud to speak to myself Jewish, I recognize its drawbacks. Judaism is exceptionally good at being exclusive, also towards those who identify via it. Call it a design flegislation, or an outcome of social conditioning from centuries of persecution, either method an individual shouldn’t have to be questioned on what faith they are bereason their name is different.

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Cultivation up in an interfaith family, I always felt as if I was covertly having an identity crisis, never discovering wbelow I really fit it. But I’ve grown right into myself, and also I know that I am. My name is Shannon. I identify as a secular Jew. I come from an interbelief household. I’m adopted. Part of my family is from Israel, and also the various other half is from Europe. I recognize and also understand all of this. The trouble is everyone that doesn’t understand.