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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Appropriateness of taking an ethnic name outside of your ethnicity?

    I do not like my first name, and haven't for so long as I can remember. I have been using a nickname for a few years, and it works well for now. However, I don't know whether it will age well, and I don't like constantly explaining in job interviews and other sorts of paperwork-y situations that "My name is ____ but I go by ____." I'd rather just change my legal name to something I would actually use.

    So, I discovered a Hebrew variant of my name that I like much better. It has the same meaning as my name, which I like, plus it lacks the phonetic, cultural, and personal issues I have with my name. It's similar enough that it wouldn't be a big adjustment for other people if I adopted this name, but it's also different enough that I feel I would be comfortable with it.

    One friend has suggested to me that it would be wrong to take on this name because I'm not Jewish, and Jewish people may take offense. Another has suggested that it's not a problem, because my reasons for taking the name aren't about exoticising a culture different from my own. Are there any Jewish folks around who could lend me insight? I don't want to be culturally insensitive, I just can't tell whether this would be.

    Any input is appreciated!
    mother told me never to share a name before i used it.

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