Often times, when expecting Jewish American parents are thinking of baby names, they tend to focus on popular names here in the U.S. But what about using Jewish names that are popular in Israel? It could be a great way to find a name that’s less common in the States, giving your baby something special and unique.
When it comes to the most popular Jewish baby names in the U.S. versus Israel, there is some overlap of course, but not as much as you’d think (Noam, for instance, is one of the top Jewish baby names for boys in Israel, but not nearly as much in the U.S., although it did make the cut for 2018’s most popular list so far).
Here are some beautiful Jewish baby names that would work well — meaning, they’re easy to pronounce — in the U.S. as well as Israel. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our baby naming guide for even more inspiration.
1. Noam. Noam is a Hebrew boy’s name that means “tenderness.” While it’s traditionally a boy’s name, it was given to 1,924 Jewish children in Israel, including boys and girls. Plus, who doesn’t love Noam Chomsky?
2. Uri. Uri is a Hebrew name for boys meaning “God is my light” or “my flame, my light.”
3. Ariel. Ariel, which can be Ari for short, is a Hebrew name meaning “lion of God.” Ariel is also a scriptural name of Jerusalem. While traditionally a name for boys, it is also a fairly common name for girls as well (and no, we don’t just mean because of The Little Mermaid).
4. Eitan. Eitan, which is Ethan in English, means “strong” or “enduring” in Hebrew.
5. Itai. Itai means “friendly” in Hebrew. This is the name of one of King David’s warriors.
6. Yonatan. Yonatan, which is Jonathan in English, 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 for short — but we love Yonatan, which is far less common in the U.S.
8. Elijah. Elijah is a Hebrew name meaning “the Lord is my God.” He was a prophet and his return is considered a harbinger of the Messiah. Also, who doesn’t love Eli being a nickname?
1. Tamar. Tamar is a Hebrew name meaning “palm tree.” It is the most popular Jewish name for girls in Israel.
3. Avigail. Abigail, or Avigail, is a Hebrew name meaning “my father is joy.” In the Bible, Avigail becomes one of King David’s wives. It’s one of the most popular Jewish names in the U.S. too. If you opt for Avigail, you can use Avi for short.
4. Yael. Yael is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning “mountain goat.” In the biblical Book of Judges, Yael killed Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army. Most Yaels today aren’t quite so… violent.
6. Ella. Ella is a nickname for Elah, which is a Hebrew name meaning “tree.”
7. Shira. Shira is a Hebrew name meaning “song,” perfect for music lovers and budding musical babies.
8. Ayala. Ayala is a Hebrew name meaning “female deer.”
9. Talia. Talia is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning “dew from God.”