Yehudah Tzvi Windweher arrived at Ellis Island and asked his friend "What would be a good American name for me? I want it to be Jewish, but more American." His friend replied "Sam Cohen, that's a good American Jewish name." Yehudah Tzvi began his long walk up a massive flight of steps leading to the immigration office. With each step he said "Sam Cohen, Sam Cohen", in an earnest effort to learn his new name. When he finished carrying his luggage to the top of the flight, he was winded and tired. A large immigration officer caugh Yehuda Tzvi off guard when he said "NAME?" in a booming voice. A flustered Yehudah Tzvi replied "shoyn fargesin" ("I already forgot" in Yiddish). The immigration officer replied "Sean Ferguson, welcome to the United States of America!"


more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad