Lifshitz is a decidedly, very Jewish last name.
Growing up in a mostly Catholic town, people assumed my “Jewishness” without really questioning me about my background unless it was to ask some token Jewish question.
“What’s the story of Passover?”
“What do those Dreidel symbols mean actually?”
Most of the times, I mumbled a general answer partially because as kids, they weren’t too invested in my answer and partially because sometimes, I didn’t know the answer to their Jewquiries.
And it was awkward.
How could I own this Jewish name and identity, yet not understand enough of what this association means? As a child and teenager, I brushed these things aside but as an adult it bothered me.