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Back in those days, it was quite normal to anglicize a Yiddish or foreign name by using phonetics.

The joke going around many years ago was that a man named John Kelly applied for membership at a local shul. The name, of course, made him suspect. Upon talking to the man, who had a very obvious Yiddish accent, it turned out that when he entered Ellis Island, the agent couldn't spell YANKELE.................so, he made it John Kelly. It was a joke based on reality.

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