My name is Zane Caplansky. "Zane" is, in fact, an Arab name. It means "good", or "strong" or "beautiful" depending on the context. Caplansky is a name I gave myself. I was born Zane Caplan but legally changed my name, restoring it to its ancestral glory when I opened my deli business six years ago. I changed the spelling from Caplanski to Caplansky just because I thought it looked better.
The reasons why my great-grandfather Benjamin Caplanski changed his name are lost in time. My belief is that it was an attempt to fit in better with Canadian society. I have a photo of him wearing a straw bowler hat and a wool suit. The epitome of: "be Yiddish, look British." In changing my name back, I made a statement about not needing to fit in. I embrace my Jewish name and my Jewish identity. I am a proud Jewish man who is part of a family that has contributed to this city and this country for well over 100 years.
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