When my wife’s grandfather immigrated to the U.S., he took the name Propper, a shortening of his birth name. He’d escaped the pogroms, and the future was bright. As an American Jew, he was a respected member of his communities, both religious and secular. He made the most of his great potential. His story resonates with me. After years in an isolated community, I escaped, got an education, fell in love, discovered Judaism, and found a place of my own. The future is bright. I wanted to pass on a name to my children, b’ezrat Hashem [God willing], that reflects that potential. I am honored to share it with him.John's answer to my question about changing his last name
The second half of my two-part interview with my friend, former colleague and all-around interesting dude John Propper is now up at the Jewish Outreach Institute blog. When he started working for me at New Voices he went by John Wofford. I got into the habit of calling him just “Wofford,” which has made adjusting to his new last name particularly difficult for me. But I love his reason for it! Check out the rest of part 2 over here or go back and catch up on part 1.