Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. If you’re like me, whenever you try to think of things that begin with the letter “B,” you get stuck on those words that pop culture and fans of “The Office” have conditioned into our brains forever. Sure, I was an English major in college and am distantly related to the inventor of the dictionary, but in my brain under the “B” section, there are only bears, only beets, only Battlestar Galactica.
But don’t worry, I swear I’m not going to recommend that you name your Jewish baby Battlestar Galactica. (Though, if you read ahead, there are plenty of Jewish names that mean “bear.”) Thanks to Kveller’s Jewish baby name bank, I’ve compiled a list of beautiful Jewish baby names that start with the letter “B.”
1. Barbara — Hello, gorgeous (baby)! We simply have to claim Barbara as a Jewish name thanks to multi-talented icon Barbra Streisand. Originally coming from Greek, Barbara means “stranger” or “foreigner.”
2. Batsheva — Meaning “Daughter of the Oath” in Hebrew, Batsheva (also spelled Bathsheva or Bathsheba) could be the perfect name for your daughter. Plus, she would have plenty of namesakes in King David’s wife and Solomon’s mother, Batsheva Haart from “My Unorthodox Life” and Jewish fashion designer Batsheva Hay.
3. Beth — For the child who’s making your home a complete one, why not name her Beth? In Hebrew, Beth is the second letter of the alphabet and means “house” or “home.” It’s also a great nickname for the name Elizabeth.
4. Billie — From the Hebrew name Bilhah, Billie means “bashful.” In the Torah, Bilhah was Rachel’s maidservant whom Jacob took as a wife. In contemporary times, Billie is the name of Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd!
5. Bina — Baby Einstein alert! In Hebrew, “Bina” means wisdom and could signal a very intellectual future for your child. (Alternative spellings include Binah or Bena.)
6. Bluma — How can you not love the name Bluma? Coming from Yiddish, it means “flower.” I mean, come on, that’s just really pretty.
7. Bruriah — Meaning “pure and clear,” Bruriah comes from the Hebrew. Historically, Bruriah was the name of the wife of Rabbi Meir. However, that wasn’t her only title! In the Talmud, she was mentioned as a Jewish scholar in her own right. Truly, Bruriah is the name of a future girl boss.
8. Buendia — Was your daughter born on a holiday? Name her Buendia! In Ladino in means “good day.”
9. Bar — Meaning “crops,” “grain” or “wild” (as in wild flowers), Bar is a gorgeous name for a baby of either gender. It might also set up your child for a lucrative career in modeling, as they would share the name with famous Israeli model Bar Refaeli.
10. Bari — Give thanks for a healthy baby by naming them Bari, which literally means “healthy” in Hebrew!
11. Beryl/Berel — Meaning “bear,” Beryl or Berel comes from Yiddish. In the 19th century shtetl of Krizover, Ukraine, Berel was the name of a trans Jewish man who was loved and accepted by his community.
12. Baer — If you want your child’s name to mean “bear,” but you want something more simple than Beryl/Berel, Baer is a great option. It also comes from Yiddish.
13. Barak — Popularized thanks to American President Barack Obama, Barak is a name of Hebrew origin which means “lightning.” In the Book of Judges, Barak was an Israelite general who led an army during wartime.
14. Baruch — As in “…atah Adonai,” name your little guy Baruch and think of him every time you say any Jewish prayer ever! Naturally, Baruch is a Hebrew word which means “blessed.”
15. Bechor — If your first baby is a boy, Bechor is a great option for a name! With Hebrew and Ladino origins, it translates to “first born.”
16. Benvenuto — Beckon your son into the world with the name Benvenuto. In Ladino it means “welcome.” Benvenuto, Benvenuto!
17. Binyamin — Also spelled “Benyamin” or “Benjamin,” Binyamin means “Son of the Right Hand” in Hebrew. (So don’t name your child Binyamin if you’re left-handed, I guess?). Biblically, Binyamin was the youngest son of Jacob and one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Plus, Ben, Benny, and Benji are great nicknames.
18. Boaz — Want your son to grow into an athlete? Name him Boaz. In Hebrew, Boaz means “swiftness” or “strength.” It’s also a great name if your son is born on Shavuot, as the biblical Boaz was Ruth’s husband.
Click here for a full list of Jewish baby names that start with the letter “B.”