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My last name is Herskowitz. I was told that I am a Kohan. After reading Kohan names are Cohen and Katz. Am I truly a Kohan?

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    Welcome to MiYodeya Harold and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Mar 26 at 18:13
  • Hi Harold. We don't know you or your family. The only way for you to get a real answer to your situation is to contact someone personally who can help you.
    – Double AA
    Mar 27 at 1:12
  • Who can help me? May 19 at 20:38

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The definition of a Kohain is someone whos father is a kohain and so forth dating back to Aharon the brother of Moses. There were three families in our synagogue named Cohen. One was a Kohain, one was a Levite, and one was a Yisrael. The secular family name does not necessarily mean anything. Indeed, there are people with Jewish family names who are not Jewish.

Thus, unless you can trace back the identity through your father and his father etc. there is no way to know about your status.

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    I know someone with the last name cohen is not even jewish while i once met a jew with the last name christianson. names don't mean anything as far as jewish status is concerned
    – ezra
    Mar 26 at 0:37

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