While the name itself was unusual, the name change itself was common among American Jews.

Yosef Meir Opatowsky (1886-change)

He was born in Poland to a Hasidic Jewish family. His father was a wood merchant, who sent Yosef to the best schools in Poland. Eventually, Yosef immigrated to America.

In America, he specialized in Yiddish theater, where his son would receive his start.

Joseph Opatoshu (change-1996)

Opatoshu: originally Opatovsky, it was apparently shortened by his father

His son, David, was best known for his roles in the film Exodus and in the original Star Trek series.


  • “David Opatoshu.” Wikipedia.
  • Grimes, William (May 3, 1996). “David Opatoshu, 78, an Actor Best Known for an ‘Exodus’ Role”The New York TimesArchived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  • “Joseph Opatoshu.” Wikipedia.
  • Keenoy, Ray (2003). “Opatoshu, Joseph (Yoysef).” In: Sorrel Kerbel (Ed.), Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 747-749.
  • Mohrer, Fruma, and Marek Web (1998). Guide to the YIVO Archives. New York: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. p. 207.

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