Today I legally changed my name (in Israel) from just Berger to Berger-Burcat. I added my husband’s family name to my name. Ironically it took me almost a year of marriage to take this step.
I wasn’t hindered by the idea of “losing myself” by changing/adding his name. In my mind, I’ve been Berger-Burcat since we got engaged. Maybe even a bit before that. Now that I have a bit of free time on my hands, it was time to make this change.
It was time to make it “legal”.
A bit of background history …. when my mother married my father she wanted to do the same thing. Hyphenate her last name with my father’s last name and have her family name Kaufman-Berger. My maternal grandmother was dead set against it and out of respect for my Bubby Leah, she didn’t hyphenate her last name. What she did do instead was give all of her girls double middle names. Each of us have double Hebrew names and double English names. All of us have only gone by our Hebrew name. There was a time early in my career that I used my English middle name. I needed an alias, and I thought – might as well use the name I never use. At least I’ll respond to it.
All three of us share one of our middle names – Kay. Kay, as in Kaufman. In America, you cannot write an initial on a birth certificate. You need to spell out the initial and that is exactly what my mother did. My full middle name is Erica Kay.
Back to the present. I didn’t want to stop using Berger. My paternal grandfather’s family was almost wiped out during WWII. Our family name isn’t even our real last name (it was shortened to gain entry into Canada). But the “Berger” name was going to end with my father and his brother.
Now as the oldest sibling, I wanted to carry on our name and hope to pass it along to the next generation.
Berger-Burcat. It has a great ring to it, doesn’t it?