Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Jewish baby names

33 Baby Names Inspired by Hanukkah

hanukkah baby names

If you fertilized your egg in the early spring, then ’tis the season to start thinking of baby names! Not sure where to begin? As always, we here at Kveller have got your back.

To honor our most favorite least important Jewish holiday, give your baby a Hanukkah-themed name! No, not like “applesauce” or “latke” (although, on second thought, those are pretty adorable names).

From paying tribute to the Maccabee soldiers to honoring the fire that burns your menorah candles, here’s an extensive list of Hanukkah inspired baby names. (But that’s not all! Peruse our Jewish baby name bank for more inspiration.)

Honor the Maccabees

The Maccabees are the official poster boys for the Festival of Lights. Matityahu and his five sons (Judah, Shimon, Yonatan, Yochanan, and Eliezer) revolted against Antiochus, the anti-Semitic ruler of the Syrian Kingdom, and led a guerrilla war against his army. After three years of battles and bloodshed, the Maccabees won — the true miracle of  Hanukkah.

1. Judah. Judah is a Hebrew name for boys that means “to praise or thank.” (And since Hanukkah is so close to Thanksgiving this year, we’re really rooting for this one). 

2. Shimon – Shimon is a Hebrew name for boys that means “he has heard.” 

3. Yonatan – Yonatan is a Hebrew name for boys that means “God has given.”

4. Yochanan – Yochanan is a Hebrew name for boys that means “God is gracious.” 

5. Eliezer – Eliezer is a Hebrew name for boys that means “help of my God.”

6. Matityahu – Matityahu is a Hebrew name for boys that means “gift of God.” (Are you sensing a common theme here among the Maccabee boys?).

7. Mac – Mac is not a Hebrew name, but it’s supercool and unisex and short for Maccabee.

Gift it

For some families — and hey, no judgements! — the true miracle of Hanukkah isn’t about oils and lamps or military victory… it’s about all those fabulous presents. And, really, what’s better than the gift of life?

8. Matan/a – Matan/a is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “gift.”

9. Jesse – Jesse is a Hebrew name for boys that means “gift.”

10. Shai – Shai is a unisex Hebrew name that means “gift” or “present.”

Gold and bold

What is Hanukkah without gelt? Nothing!

11. GoldaGolda is a Yiddish name for girls that means “gold.” 

12. Paz/it – Paz/it is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “pure gold” or “anything that glimmers like gold.” 

13. Zahava – Zahava is a Hebrew name for girls that means “gold.” 

14. Zehavit – Zehavit is a Hebrew name for girls that means “gold.” 

Light and fire

This category is self explanatory (#FestivalofLights) but explain it I will: These baby names are an ode to the flame that keeps the menorah candles burning all night long.

15. Yair – Yair is a Hebrew name for boys that means “he will illuminate.”

16. Zohar – Zohar is a unisex Hebrew name that means “light.” 

17. Ziv/a – Ziv/a is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “light” or “brilliance” or “glow.” 

18. Neri – Neri is a Hebrew name for boys that means “candle” or “oil lamp.”

19. Ziv – Ziv is a Hebrew name for boys that means “light” or “brilliance” or “glow” 

20. Or/a – Or/a is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “light.”

21. Lior/a – Lior/a is a Hebrew name for girls or boys that means “I have a light.” 

22. Noga – Noga is a Hebrew name for girls that means “light.”

23. Orel – Orel is a unisex Hebrew name that means “light of God.” 

24. Or/it – Or/it is a Hebrew name for girls or boys that means “light.” 

25. Keren – Keren is a Hebrew name for girls that means “ray of light.” It is also the name of Madonna’s vaguely Kabbalah-inspired seventh album.

26. Uri – Uri is a unisex Hebrew name that means “my fire.”

27. Uriel – Uriel is a Hebrew name for boys that means “fire of God.” 

28. Uriah – Uriah is a Hebrew name for girls that means “fire of God.” 

29. Shalhevet – Shalhevet is a Hebrew name for girls that means “flame.” 

But that’s not all!

There are also a bunch of Hanukkah-adjacent names, such as these.

30. Nissim – Nissim is a Hebrew name for boys that means “miracles.” (This refers to the miracle of Hanukkah.)

31. Leila – Leila is a Hebrew name for girls that means “night.” (The menorah is lit at night.)

32. Jobina – Jobina is a Hebrew name for girls that means “persecuted.” (Jews were persecuted by the Syrian Kingdom.)

33. Yuval – Yuval is a unisex name that means “rejoice.” (Jews rejoiced when they took back the Temple after the Syrian army destroyed it.)

Skip to Banner / Top Skip to Content