Serena Williams Gave Her Daughter the Perfect Hebrew Name – Kveller
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Jewish baby names

Serena Williams Gave Her Daughter the Perfect Hebrew Name

The name is fitting for the daughter of an athlete like Williams.


via Getty Images

Mazel tov to Serena Williams, 41, and Alexis Ohanian, 40 — the couple has welcomed a second baby this week. Another baby girl has joined their daughter Olympia, 6, and they gave her a pretty great Hebrew name, too.

Williams shared a family photo of the new family of four and captioned it with their baby’s name: Adira River Ohanian.

Adira’s Hebrew meaning is absolutely perfect for the daughter of an athlete like Williams. The feminine version of the name Adir, Adira (pronounced ah-deer-ah) means great, mighty, powerful impressive, wonderful of superior quality. Basically, it’s a name for a little girl destined for greatness, which, as the daughter of a history-making tennis player and the co-founder of Reddit, Adira most certainly is.

Neither Ohanian nor Williams are Jewish; Williams is a Jehovah’s Witness. Adira’s middle name, River, is possibly a reference to her faith, and is inspired by a line from the book of Isaiah (48:18), in which God tells the Israelites that if they had followed his commandments, “your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea,” a translation which Ohanian shared in his Instagram post announcing Adira’s birth and name.

Adira is a pretty unique name in America, but with this new seal of approval from Williams, I’m sure it will be rising in popularity in the coming years, and it absolutely deserves to.

Williams, who won the Australian Open while pregnant with Olympia, decided to step away from playing professional tennis to focus on her venture capital company, Serena, and on growing her family. She penned a very candid open letter in Vogue, in which she talked about the complicated choice.

“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity,” she wrote. Yet, as one of five sisters, she longed for her daughters to have more siblings.

A little over a year after that letter was published, Williams welcomed Adira. We’re so excited for the entire Williams Ohanian family and so thrilled about this perfect baby name choice. Mazel tov!

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