How Millennials Are Reinventing Jewish Names
When Sivan Kroll-Zeldin and Igor Elkind were getting married, they knew two things. They were very much in love. And they were not about to give their children three last names.
Sending a little girl or boy to school with Kroll-Zeldin-Elkind for a family name just didn’t seem like a good idea – “absurdly cumbersome,” as Sivan puts it – so they decided to come up with a new one altogether.
Stumped over what their new family name should be, they consulted with friends, holding a contest of sorts. The winner was “Zakai” – an acronym for all three names and meaning righteous in Hebrew.
“We gathered as much information as we could about each of our names of origin and other names in our family trees, and sent it out to our family and friends, asking them to make suggestions for a new name. We got dozens of suggestions, some humorous and some very touching,” explains Sivan, 35, a professor of Jewish education. Now a family of five and living in Los Angeles, the Zakais are not alone
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