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Jewish baby names

The Best Jewish Baby Names from the 1980s

Viv Lynch

Let me guess: You probably know a million people named Ashley or Jennifer or Jessica or Amanda — or Christopher or Jason.

That’s probably why you never meet a toddler with that name these days. Because if you’re a mom of a certain age (late 20s to late 30s), chances are pretty good that we’ve called out your name, or the name of your bestie. (That’s especially if you’re following traditional Jewish baby naming practices.)

Nowadays, you’re very likely to meet a little Liam or Noah, or Ava or Olivia. But trends come and ago, so we decided to look at names that were most popular in the 1980s for some good old retro inspiration.

We took a look at the Social Security Administration’s official list of the 200 most popular names of the decade that brought us yuppies, Reaganomics, and MTV.

From this list, we rounded up some of the most popular Jewish names — and honestly, they’re clearly favorites for a reason. And if you’re in need of more inspiration, don’t forget to check out our baby naming guide.

Boys

1. Michael. Michael is a Hebrew name meaning “who is like God.” Michael is also the name of an angel in Jewish tradition.

2. Matthew. Matthew is a Hebrew name meaning “gift of God.” Matthew was also the priest, the leader, and the father of the Maccabees, who defeated the Assyrians in the story of Hanukkah.

3. Joshua. Joshua is a Hebrew name meaning “God is salvation.” Joshua was the leader of the Israelites after Moses, who guided the people into the Land of Israel from the wilderness.

4. David. David is a Hebrew boy’s name that means “beloved.” David was the second king of Israel.

5. Joseph. Joseph is a Hebrew boy’s name that means “increase.” Joseph was one of the sons of Jacob and a leader of the Israelites in Egypt.

6. JonathanJonathan is Hebrew for “God has given.” Yonatan was the son of Saul who became the best friend of King David. You can, of course, use Jon or Jonny for short.

7. Adam. Adam is a Hebrew name that means “earth.” Adam was also the first man who God created, NBD.

8. Benjamin. Benjamin means “son of the right hand” in Hebrew. Benjamin, the youngest son of Jacob, was one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

9. Aaron. Aaron is a Hebrew name that means “exalted.” In the Bible, Aaron, the high priest, was Moses’ brother. Together they helped free the Israelites from Egypt.

10. Jacob. Jacob means “to follow” in Hebrew. He was also the third patriarch in the Bible, was father of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Girls

1. Sarah/Sara. Sarah is a Hebrew name meaning “princess.” In the Bible, Sarah, the first matriarch, was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac.

2. Elizabeth. Elizabeth means “God is my oath” in Hebrew.

3. Rachel. Rachel is a Hebrew name meaning “ewe.” In the Bible, Rachel, one of the matriarchs, was the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin.

4. Rebecca. Rebecca is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning “captivating.” In the Bible, Rebecca, one of the matriarchs, was the wife of Isaac.

5. Danielle. Danielle, or Daniella, is a Hebrew name meaning “God is my judge.”

6. Leah. Leah is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning “delicate.” In the Bible, Leah was one of Jacob’s wives.

7. Hannah. Hannah means “compassionate” in Hebrew. She was also was the mother of the prophet Samuel.

8. Bethany. Bethany is a Hebrew name deriving from Bet t’eina, which means “house of figs.” The name is that of a town near Jerusalem at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

9. Joanna. Joanna is a Hebrew name meaning “God is gracious.” We are a bit partial to this name.

10. Tamara. Tamara is a Hebrew name meaning “palm tree.”

Check out our Jewish baby name bank for more inspiration.


Image: Viv Lynch

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