As a gentile who finds himself writing about Judaism in the ancient world, I've found myself reluctant to use the word "Jew". I tend to use phrases like "Jewish people" and "Hebrew" when it makes sense. Even writing this question makes me uneasy.
It turns out Google (of all organizations) explained this phenomena:
If you use Google to search for “Judaism,” “Jewish” or “Jewish people,” the results are informative and relevant. So why is a search for “Jew” different? One reason is that the word “Jew” is often used in an anti-Semitic context. Jewish organizations are more likely to use the word “Jewish” when talking about members of their faith. The word has become somewhat charged linguistically, as noted on websites devoted to Jewish topics such as these:
Someone searching for information on Jewish people would be more likely to enter terms like “Judaism,” “Jewish people,” or “Jews” than the single word “Jew” In fact, prior to this incident, the word “Jew” only appeared about once in every 10 million search queries.
With that background, does the Jewish community generally encourage the rehabilitation of the word "Jew" by it being used in non-anti-Semitic contexts? Are there cultural pitfalls to be warned about when using the word?