When I married for the first time in 1975, I changed my name from Peggy Kaplan to Peggy Hitt - the last name of my husband. Once I had a last name that was not "obviously Jewish" - I experienced more anti-semitic remarks than I had previously in my life.
I divorced in the mid 80's - and had to make a decision. Would I remain "Peggy Hitt"? Or would I return to my maiden name?
I decided the latter for two reasons. First, because changing one's name is such a royal pain in the neck, I never wanted to have to do it again! Secondly, I strongly wanted people to know who I was - immediately. I am Jewish. "Kaplan" is a commonly Jewish last name. People would know right away.
Beneath this powerful expression of identity, Koch commissioned the inscription of the Shema in Hebrew and English followed by these words: "He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York and he fiercely defended its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II."
Koch did not hesitate to define himself in this sequence – a proud Jew, a loving New Yorker and a patriotic American.
As an aside about myself, let me offer this coincidence. Had I not returned to my maiden name, my name would have been "Peggy Hitt Carr." Yes, my second husband's last name was "Carr." What are the odds of that - LOL!?