Choosing a name for your baby girl is no easy task. Naming your baby after a relative is traditional, but it’s not the only way to go. There are many Hebrew baby names for girls that sound fresh and cool even though they have been around for centuries. Hebrew names are more typical than many people know. As these names were interpreted and put into use by the ancient Greeks and civilizations more broadly, the appeal of Hebrew names proved not to be an ancient trend and instead, they became a mainstay for peoples of all faiths.
We decided to take a look at some amazing Jewish names that are currently popular in the US and beyond, and some lesser-known possibilities, to discover which names would appeal most to modern parents. A great many of these names are found in the top 1000 baby names today while others deserve a bit more attention or a slight dusting off to bring back their glorious shine. Here are 25 delightful, modern Hebrew baby names for girls that any precious child would be blessed to boast.
Naomi was once a primarily a Jewish name that referenced the mother-in-law of Ruth. Because of this, it is a symbolic name given to girls on Shavuot when the story of Ruth is read in the synagogue. Naomi is more popular than ever before in the US and we’d love to see that trend continue. This Hebrew name means “pleasantness.”
Talia can also be spelled Tahlia and you get to decide which spelling is more appropriate for your baby girl. Talia is derived from the Hebrew elements tal, meaning “dew,” and yah, in reference to God. In the mythology of one ancient sect, Talia was one of ten angels who attended the sun on its daily course. This name debuted in the US top 1000 baby names in 1977 and it’s continued to rise ever since then.
If you love names containing just about every vowel sound, Eliora would be the perfect choice as this lyrical name is somewhat of a mouthful. Eliora has Hebrew origins and means “the Lord is my light.” This name has never appeared in the top 1000 in the US and we chose it because of its unique sound and as a potential alternative to Eleanor or Ella.
A popular Israeli choice that is ripe for adoption here in the US, Shira is a perfect name. It has an elegant sound similar to Kiera but with a sophisticated SH- beginning. It’s a mystery to us why this Hebrew name has not taken off in America. It means “my song.”
We, at MU, will not stop until we hear more of the name Yael in the US. There’s no reason this excellent unisex name should not be picked. It sounds great. It’s casual. It’s fun. It’s warm. What’s not to love? Yael has Hebrew origins and you’ll commonly find it in Israel today. The name means “to ascend.”
If you’re after something softer than Yael, consider Ayala. Ayala is one of the most popular names in contemporary Israel for baby girls. This name has not seen much favor in the US, however, and that’s a shame because this subtle, animal name means “doe” or “gazelle.”
Shoshana is an exotic and lovely form of Susannah commonly heard in Israel. As with a great many names on this list, you won’t hear it often in the US. Shoshana is completely gorgeous with a beautiful meaning to match, “lily.”
Aviva is vivacious and exceptional, a fresh spin on the Vivian and Vivienne names that have been getting more popular these days. Aviva has Hebrew origins and means “springlike.” So, if you are expecting a baby girl this spring, this name is already teed up for you.
Chava is a lovely variation of Eve or Ava that’s perfect for a family that speaks Hebrew or Yiddish. This name thanks both traditions for its origin. As with Eve and Ava, Chava means “life.”
An old favorite in traditional Jewish families, Frayda is a Yiddish name that means “joy.” We must admit, the name certainly sounds full of happiness. With the rise of the name Freya over the last couple of years, Frayda could be a welcome alternative that also honors your heritage.
Kelila is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “laurel” or “crown.” This is a much more distinct and attractive form of its cousin-name, Kayla. Kelila is often spelled with an “H” at the end as well. Kelila has never appeared in the top 1000 in the US, but we expect that to change in the coming years as parents search for a new generation of names beginning with “K.”
Riva is a modernization of the Hebrew Rivka, which doesn’t sound so modern anymore. Riva sounds free flowing and wonderful and should appeal to a number of parents. The Hebrew meaning of this name is “maiden.”
A popular Yiddish name in the Jewish community is Brina. It’s a subtle color-name that means “brown.” Although well-known, parents have not flocked to this name like others in its class. We’d love to hear this charmer more often.
Goldie enjoyed popularity in the US until the sixties when it fell from fashion. What a tragedy! Goldie is a perfectly cute name that has Yiddish origins. You’ll also find other forms of this name Golda and Golde. This name means exactly what you think it does. We want it to shine once more!
Another name with Yiddish origins, Raisa has tons of cross-cultural appeal as it’s found in Slavic and Arabic naming traditions as well. The Yiddish meaning of the name is “rose,” which is delightful. If you are of Jewish and Eastern-European descent, you could do no better.
Hila is a name that has grown in popularity in recent years, placing it firmly within Israel’s Top 20 for girls. In Hebrew tradition, the name means “halo.” It is sometimes written as Hilla or Hilah. In Pashto, it means “hope” and is also spelled Heela.
Suri is a multi-cultural hit that means “the sun” in Sanskrit, “rose” in Persian, as well as a Yiddish form of Sarah. Sarah is one of the world’s most favored names so its a wonder that Suri has not taken off as an alternative. Sarah was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac who was originally named Sarai. Suri, like Sarah, means “princess.”
Similar in sound to the flower named Dahlia, Dalia is a gentle but distinctive name, heard in many cultures. Dalia is such a sweet name and a subtle nature choice for parents who are so inclined. The name means “branch.” The name had a twenty-year run in the top 1000 from 1994 through 2014. We’d like it to return to the top!
Tamara is another form of the name Tamar, but Tamara has far outpaced its original form. This gorgeous Hebrew name has fallen out of the top 1000 in the US after appearing on it for nearly 100 years! This is another hidden nature name that means “date palm tree.”
Paz is an incredible gender-neutral Hebrew name that we especially love. The name means “gold.” You will also encounter this name in Spanish naming traditions where it means “peace.” Paz is such an effortlessly cool name and we need more of it!
Anouk is a captivating name that’s popular in The Netherlands and France. While the name certainly has a Dutch feel to it, its root is Anna/Hannah, a Hebrew name meaning “grace.” If you’re looking for alternatives to the ubiquitous (yet beautiful) Hannah or Anna, Anouk would be an excellent option.
Yona is the female form of Jonah and we love it. We don’t expect many other parents feel the same way, but we thought we would put this name out there as a possibility for the brave ones. Yona and its pet form Yonina are just such cute choices. Like Jonah, Yona means “dove.”
With the prevalence of the clothing store with the same name, it’s a miracle that this Hebrew name has taken off over the last 15 years in the US. Zara is a feminine form of Zachariah that means “God remembers.” The name can also be found in Arabic traditions meaning “blooming flower.”
Ilana is a name with seemingly endless variations, well used in Israel, sometimes chosen for little girls born on the holiday of TuB’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees. This is very appropriate because this Hebrew name for girls means “oak tree.” We’d love to see more of this name in the US.
Ariella has skyrocketed in popularity in the US since 2008. It’s a feminine variation of Ariel, a name that’s given to both genders now, but once was considered masculine. Ariella, like Ariel, means “lion.” We love when a name’s sweetness belies its strong meaning in this way. Ariella was just outside of the top 200 and we expect it will only continue to climb.
There you go! We hope you feel inspired by these modern Hebrew baby names for girls. Some of these names are currently all the rage while others deserve a revisiting from new parents to discover fresh possibilities for these ancient, beautiful names.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Naomi
- 2 24. Talia
- 3 23. Eliora
- 4 22. Shira
- 5 21. Yael
- 6 20. Ayala
- 7 19. Shoshana
- 8 18. Aviva
- 9 17. Chava
- 10 16. Frayda
- 11 15. Kelila
- 12 14. Riva
- 13 13. Brina
- 14 12. Goldie
- 15 11. Raisa
- 16 10. Hila
- 17 9. Suri
- 18 8. Dalia
- 19 7. Tamara
- 20 6. Paz
- 21 5. Anouk
- 22 4. Yona
- 23 3. Zara
- 24 2. Ilana
- 25 1. Ariella
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