What Millennials don't get about 'what's in a name'

The story is told of a Jewish woman who didn't like her name.

In a Times of Israel blog post, Sarah Halle Corey complains that her grandfather changed it more than 70 years ago, from Cohen to Corey.  The family had moved from Brooklyn to Arizona for her grandmother's health, and jobs in Arizona were easier to find for Coreys than for Cohens.

Ms. Corey is only a few years out of college.

"Normally," she writes, "I don't hide my Jewishness...I literally wear it.  One of my favorite pieces of clothing is a T-shirt that reads 'Oy Vey.'"

In my opinion, Sarah Halle Corey has no idea of what it means to be Jewish, and she could learn from the life of someone with the same name: the late comedian Irwin Corey.

Wikipedia sums it up as follows:

Poverty stricken after his father deserted the family, his mother was forced to place him and five siblings in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York, where Corey stayed until his early teens.  He then rode boxcars to California and enrolled himself into high school.

During the Great Depression, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and while working his way back East, became a featherweight Gold Gloves boxing champion.

The future comedian was a socialist and a communist in the days when being one was hard, rather than in vogue and enough to make you a U.S. senator or a presidential candidate.  Despite his professional success, or perhaps because of it, he panhandled for change, giving the proceeds to charities and liberal causes.

Irwin Corey was married for 70 years to the same woman, having two children and two grandchildren.  He died at the age of 102 in 2017 with his son at his side.

What of Miss Corey? 

"After I graduated from college, the US saw Donald Trump's victory's election and the rise of the the Alt-Right.  Suddenly, I was more aware of anti-semitism than ever before."

She describes being painfully aware of her white privilege.

"After I graduated from college, a few things happened that changes my relationship to Judaism.  I began dating Ryan, who is not Jewish."

It's remarkable that both Coreys work in the entertainment industry.  Her website says she likes writing and producing comedy, drama and everything that falls between.  The earlier Corey, a frequent guest on Johnny Carson and in films, was billed as "the World's Greatest Authority on Everything."

You wouldn't have to be an authority on anything to grasp that if Sarah marries Ryan, taking his name for her own or for their children,  any reflection of her Jewish past goes away.

The author's family name wasn't always Eisenberg.  His grandfather changed it from Mocholsky, also more than 70 years ago.

Image: Jack Dorsey via Flickr.

The story is told of a Jewish woman who didn't like her name.

In a Times of Israel blog post, Sarah Halle Corey complains that her grandfather changed it more than 70 years ago, from Cohen to Corey.  The family had moved from Brooklyn to Arizona for her grandmother's health, and jobs in Arizona were easier to find for Coreys than for Cohens.

Ms. Corey is only a few years out of college.

"Normally," she writes, "I don't hide my Jewishness...I literally wear it.  One of my favorite pieces of clothing is a T-shirt that reads 'Oy Vey.'"

In my opinion, Sarah Halle Corey has no idea of what it means to be Jewish, and she could learn from the life of someone with the same name: the late comedian Irwin Corey.

Wikipedia sums it up as follows:

Poverty stricken after his father deserted the family, his mother was forced to place him and five siblings in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York, where Corey stayed until his early teens.  He then rode boxcars to California and enrolled himself into high school.

During the Great Depression, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, and while working his way back East, became a featherweight Gold Gloves boxing champion.

The future comedian was a socialist and a communist in the days when being one was hard, rather than in vogue and enough to make you a U.S. senator or a presidential candidate.  Despite his professional success, or perhaps because of it, he panhandled for change, giving the proceeds to charities and liberal causes.

Irwin Corey was married for 70 years to the same woman, having two children and two grandchildren.  He died at the age of 102 in 2017 with his son at his side.

What of Miss Corey? 

"After I graduated from college, the US saw Donald Trump's victory's election and the rise of the the Alt-Right.  Suddenly, I was more aware of anti-semitism than ever before."

She describes being painfully aware of her white privilege.

"After I graduated from college, a few things happened that changes my relationship to Judaism.  I began dating Ryan, who is not Jewish."

It's remarkable that both Coreys work in the entertainment industry.  Her website says she likes writing and producing comedy, drama and everything that falls between.  The earlier Corey, a frequent guest on Johnny Carson and in films, was billed as "the World's Greatest Authority on Everything."

You wouldn't have to be an authority on anything to grasp that if Sarah marries Ryan, taking his name for her own or for their children,  any reflection of her Jewish past goes away.

The author's family name wasn't always Eisenberg.  His grandfather changed it from Mocholsky, also more than 70 years ago.

Image: Jack Dorsey via Flickr.