In Honor of the Jewish High Holy Days, Discover the Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

The Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, has just been observed. It’s the first of the Jewish High Holy Days or Jewish High Holidays. It’s a time for prayer and reflection. Each year at this time, Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority releases its annual report of the most popular baby names from the year. It’s always exciting to see what appellations parents in Israel choose!

The way the data is broken down is by names given overall and then, specifically, to Jewish children. We’ll share the top ten of each and then will explore each individual appellation to paint the fullest picture of the baby names chosen in Israel and their meanings and origins. If you’re ready to learn about some excellent baby names, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dig in!

Most Popular Baby Names for Girls in Israel Overall

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel
  1. Abigail
  2. Tamar
  3. Miriam
  4. Sarah
  5. Yael
  6. Ayala
  7. Noa
  8. Lia
  9. Adele
  10. Mia

Most Popular Baby Names for Jewish Girls in Israel

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel
  1. Abigail
  2. Tamar
  3. Yael
  4. Noa
  5. Sarah
  6. Libi
  7. Ayala
  8. Adele
  9. Lia
  10. Ella

Most Popular Baby Names for Boys in Israel Overall

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel
  1. Muhammad
  2. Adam
  3. Yosef (Joseph)
  4. David
  5. Ariel
  6. Lavi
  7. Omer
  8. Rafael
  9. Achmed
  10. Daniel

Most Popular Baby Names for Jewish Boys in Israel

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel
  1. David
  2. Ariel
  3. Lavi
  4. Rafael
  5. Ori
  6. Yehuda
  7. Eitan (Ethan)
  8. Daniel
  9. Moshe
  10. Noam

Learn More About the Top Baby Names for Girls

Abigail

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Abigail comes from the Hebrew name Avigail and is derived from the Hebrew elements ab, meaning “father,” and g-y-l, meaning “to rejoice.” It is the number one name overall and among Jewish families.

Tamar

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

The number-one name in Israel for a time, Tamar now ranks second overall and among Jewish girls. This name is of Hebrew origin and means “date palm tree.” Tamar is sometimes given to girls born on the holiday of Sukkoth because palm branches were used to make the roof of the Sukkah. 

Miriam

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Miriam is the oldest known form of Mary and is beloved by observant Jewish families. The meaning of the name Miriam is up for debate, but possibilities include “drop of the sea” (from Hebrew roots mar “drop” and yam “sea”); “bitter” (from Hebrew marah “bitterness”); and “beloved” (from the Egyptian root Mr), according to Nameberry. Miriam ranks third overall in Israel.

Sarah

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Roundly beloved name Sarah can be heard around the world. In Israel, the name ranks fourth overall and fifth for Jewish girls. Sarah comes from a Hebrew root that means “princess.”

Yael

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Yael is a unisex name that is far more popular for girls than boys in Israel. The name is of Hebrew origin and means “ibex.” An ibex is a type of mountain goat. The name ranks fifth overall and third among Jewish girls.

Ayala

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Ayala is a gorgeous name of Hebrew origin that means “gazelle.” It is the sixth most given name overall and seventh for Jewish baby girls.

Noa

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Noa ranks seventh overall and fourth for Jewish families. Not to be confused with Noha, Noa comes from a different Hebrew root that means “motion.”

Lia

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Lia and Leah come from the same Hebrew root and mean “weary.” Lia has emerged as the more stylish choice in Israel. The name ranks eighth overall and ninth for Jewish girls.

Adele

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Adele is a name of German origin meaning “noble.” It has crossover appeal as it sounds very similar to the Yiddish name Udel. Adele ranks ninth overall and eighth for Jewish girls.

Mia

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

A name that appears in the overall popularity top ten but not the Jewish set, Mia is a Scandinavian form of Mary or an Italian name that means “mine.” We imagine the former is what’s driving its popularity in Israel.

RELATED: 25 Modern Hebrew Baby Names for Girls That Put a Spin on Traditional Classics

Libi

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

For those unfamiliar with the Hebrew name Libi, you want to pronounce it like Lee-bee. The name ranks sixth for Jewish girls but does not crack the overall. This darling name means “my heart.”

Ella

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Ella is a gorgeous name that ranked tenth for Jewish girls. The name’s Hebrew root means “terebinth tree.” It’s a tree found in the Mediterranean, similar to a pistachio tree. In modern Hebrew, the name is taken to mean “goddess.”

Learn More About the Most Popular Baby Names for Boys

Muhammad

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

One of the world’s most given names, Muhammad, tops the overall list for boys. The prophet who inspires this name is the founder of the Islam. This is a reflection of Israel’s large Muslim population. The Arabic root of this name means “praiseworthy.”

Adam

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Adam ranks second overall. This name is of Hebrew origin and means “son of the red earth.” The name is not only popular in Israel, but you will hear it all around the world.

Yosef

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Yosef is the preferred form of Joseph in Israel, ranking third overall. This name comes from a Hebrew root that means “God will add.”

David

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

David is the number-one name for Jewish boys in Israel, and it ranks fourth overall. It should come as no surprise that the name is so popular in Israel as it is a reference to King David, who conquered the city to form the United Kingdom of Israel. David comes from a Hebrew root that means “beloved.”

Ariel

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Ariel ranks fifth overall and second for Jewish boys. Ariel is a handsome unisex name that goes to far more boys than girls in Israel. The root of this name means “lion of God.”

Lavi

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

The Hebrew root of Lavi means “lion.” The name ranks third for Jewish families and sixth overall.

Omer

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Omer is a symbolic name for boys born during a period between Passover and Shavuot. It ranks seventh overall. The name’s Hebrew root means “sheaf of corn.”

Rafael

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Rafael is the most popular spelling of this name in Israel today. It’s eighth overall and fourth among Jewish families. The root of this name means “God has healed.”

Achmed

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

One of the five hundred-plus variations on Muhammad, Achmed is a popular choice among Muslims. The name means “greatly praised.” It ranks ninth overall.

Daniel

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Daniel ranks tenth overall and eighth for Jewish boys. According to Nameberry, Daniel was derived from the Hebrew name Daniyyel, from the elements din, meaning “judge,” and ’el, “God.” The name is popular all around the world.

Ori

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Ori ranks fifth among Jewish boys. The sweet name means “my light.”

Yehuda

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Yehuda is traditionally given to boys born at Chanukah. It means “to praise.” The name ranks sixth for Jewish boys.

Eitan

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Eitan is the seventh most popular name for Jewish boys. It comes from the same root that brings us, Ethan. It is also a place in southern Israel. The appellation means “strong.”

Moshe

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Moshe is what brings us the name, Moses. Moshe ranks ninth for Jewish baby boys. The name means “son” or “deliverer.”

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Noam

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel

Naom ranks tenth for Jewish boys. Noam can be translated to “charm,” “tenderness,” and “pleasantness.” This name is technically gender-neutral, but it is rarely given to girls in Israel. A quick note: Noam is also a far-right Religious Zionist political party in Israel.

As we bring this exploration to a close, let’s reflect on the beauty and significance these names carry. Each one is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Israel, imbued with profound meanings, historical resonance, and spiritual depth. Whether you’re expecting a little one or simply intrigued by the fascinating tapestry of naming traditions in different cultures, we hope this list has offered a captivating glimpse into Israeli names. From all of us, we wish those celebrating the High Holy Days a time of meaningful reflection, renewal, and joyous celebration. Shana Tova!

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