Category Archives: Names

Pre-War Male Jewish Names in Poland

In 1928, the Warsaw Jewish community published a list of Jewish given names, with the name in Hebrew, a transcription of the Hebrew, and the Polish equivalent. The list was intended to show the proper forms of Jewish names, and also included a second larger list of names which were meant to show incorrect alternatives that should not be used.

This is an excellent list, and particularly useful for understanding what names were in use at the time, and for looking up the Polish versions of names (although keep in mind that one’s name in Hebrew need not have mapped directly to the Polish equivalent). The booklet is titled Spis Imion Żydowskich in Polish and לוח השמות העבריים in Hebrew (It actually has a a title page and introduction in Polish on one side, and a title page and introduction in Hebrew on the other side).

Excerpt of Spis Imion Żydowskich

I originally found this booklet at the National Archives of Israel in Jerusalem, but I later found a digitized copy posted online the Repozytorium Cyfrowe Instytutów Naukowych (Digital Repository of Scientific Institutes) site.

The original separated ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ names into two separate lists (or rather 4 lists as male and female names are separated). I’ve put the two lists together, as well as integrated footnotes that indicated which names were frequently paired with other names.

One way to use this list, besides searching for names you might have found in a document or on a gravestone, is to find the canonical name. For example, if you are looking for a relative that you found in a document listed as Benek or Beno, and are looking for their birth record, it’s useful to know that those names derive from Binjamin.

Continue reading Pre-War Male Jewish Names in Poland

101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018

My annual posting of the top 101 Jewish boys and girls names in Israel are popular posts on this site. Usually the data for a given calendar year is posted over a year after that calendar year comes to an end. Possibly due to the ongoing upgrade of the Central Bureau of Statistic’s web site over the past year, I don’t think the 2017 names data was posted until this week when it was released together with the 2018 data. That’s late for the 2017 data but early for the 2018 data. Therefore I’m combining both sets of data for this post, and also include the 2016 ranking information for comparison. You can also see the posts for 2016 (which includes rankings for 2015 and 2014), 2015 and 2014. You can also see the parallel post 101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018.

Only three girls names entered the top 101 names in 2017 – Haleli (102 to 98), Michaela (122 to 92), and Lior (104 to 99). The names that left the list in 2017 were Aleen (80 to 109), Rotem (84 to 104), and Yuli (99 to 105).

In 2018 five names entered the top 101 names – Lenny (108 to 91), Liv (122 to 94), Bar (107 to 96), Aleen (109 to 97), and Anne (137 to 101). Note that Aleen reentered the list after exiting it in 2017. I’m still not sure if Aleen is supposed to be a form of Aileen or not. The names that left the list in 2018 were Odele (84 to 103), Daniella (91 to 105), Batsheva (96 to 106), Lior (99 to 109), and Orin (100 to 113). Note that Lior entered the list in 2017 and exited it in 2018.

Continue reading 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018

101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018

My annual posting of the top 101 Jewish boys and girls names in Israel are popular posts on this site. Usually the data for a given calendar year is posted over a year after that calendar year comes to an end. Possibly due to the ongoing upgrade of the Central Bureau of Statistic’s web site over the past year, I don’t think the 2017 names data was posted until this week when it was released together with the 2018 data. That’s late for the 2017 data but early for the 2018 data. Therefore I’m combining both sets of data for this post, and also include the 2016 ranking information for comparison. You can also see the posts for 2016 (which includes rankings for 2015 and 2014), 2015 and 2014. You can also see the parallel post 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018.

Seven boys names broke into the list in 2017 – Aryeh (484 to 72), Leo (113 to 97), Yedidya (107 to 99), Re’em (117 to 92), Dan (106 to 93), Ofek (109 to 94), and Elazar (102 to 100). The names that left the list in 2017 were Leroi (76 to 103), Yinon (93 to 106), Shai (98 to 109), Yaheli (86 to 105), Oz (97 to 108), Ron (83 to 115), and Osher (99 to 120).

In 2018, there were also seven names that broke into the list – Ray (136 to 83), Levy (119 to 93), Leroi (103 to 95), Yinon (106 to 93), Shai (109 to 98), Arbel (107 to 100), and Yarden/Jordan (117 to 101). Note that Leroi, Yinon and Shai were all on the list in 2016, left the list in 2017, then returned in 2018. The names that left the list in 2018 were Tom (90 to 103), Ofek (94 to 104), Aryeh (72 to 105), Uriah (82 to 108), Elazar (100 to 112), Asaf (76 to 118), and Dvir (98 to 119). Note that Ofek, Aryeh, and Elazar were not on the list in 2016, were added in 2017, and left the list again in 2018.

Continue reading 101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018

101 Most Common Surnames in Israel (in 2016)

I’ve been posting the 101 most common Israeli given names for both boys and girls for the last few years, as the data has been released by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Recently the data for 2016 was released, and I posted the lists for girls and boys. While going through the data, however, I noticed something I had not noticed in previous years – a link to information on Israeli surnames.

The data consists of over 50,000 surnames, and the number of people with that name in Israel. The smallest number of people with a name is 9, so the least common surnames do not appear (including mine – I guess I need a few more kids to break through, or get my cousins to make aliyah). In theory this data is current as of 2016, although I suspect the top 101 names out of over 50,000 probably don’t change significantly from year to year.

Something significant worth noting is that the list is only in Hebrew, and like any other government data, has no nikudot (diacritical marks used as vowels in Hebrew), so many times names that would be considered different in English are spelled the same in Hebrew.

Sometimes those names have a common origin, such as פלד which could be Feld or Peled. Peled is actually a Hebraization of Feld, so that’s not such a big deal, although many times changes in spelling are useful in genealogy research in detecting different branches of the same family. Sometimes the same family uses different spellings, but many times different families used the same spelling for many years, and this merging of names can be frustrating when researching one’s family history. Consider the most common name כהן which in English could be spelled Cohen, Kohen, Cohain, Cohn, Kohn, Cahan, etc.

When I publish my lists of given names, I add nikudot to the names, since even those fluent in Hebrew might not be able to decipher the name if they’re not familiar with it. Reading without nikudot requires some familiarity with the words you’re reading. If the name is not familiar, it’s not possible in some cases to figure it out. Some given names also use the same spelling, such as אורי which can be Uri or Ori. The problem is significantly worse for surnames, however, where many more variations exist.

As officially names in Israel are written without nikudot, it creates a genealogical problem that documents with names don’t actually reflect what a person called themselves. If you are researching someone whose name is recorded as אורי פלד, is their name Ori Peled, Uri Feld, Ori Feld, or Uri Peled? That’s not a problem I can solve, but what I’ve done with the following list of the 101 most common Jewish Israeli surnames is added nikudot for one common pronunciation, added a few possible English spellings, and linked to all the surname articles at Beit Hatfutsot (in English this was formerly called the Diaspora Museum, but is now called the Museum of the Jewish People) that are for names that use the Hebrew spelling, as well as the English versions of those articles.
Continue reading 101 Most Common Surnames in Israel (in 2016)

101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2016

[Update: The list for 2017-2018 is now available.]

I’m happy to release my list of the 101 most popular Jewish boys names in Israel for 2016, based on recently released data for that year. This follows up my earlier releases of lists for 2014 and 2015. You can also see the lists for the 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2016.

Five boys names broke into the list in 2016 – Ari (all the way from 106 to 56), Malachi (107 to 77), Roy/Roi (108 to 88), Gabriel (111 to 92) and Osher (104 to 99). The five that left the list were Yotam (99 to 103), Tomer (91 to 105), Dan (101 to 106), Yarin (90 to 108), and Ofek (80 to 109).

All the columns in the table below can be used to sort the table, so you can sort the table to see the order of ranking for each year, or by the spelling of the name in Hebrew or English. You can also search the table using the search field on the top right of the table.

2016
Rank
2015
Rank
2014
Rank
Name
(Hebrew)
Name
(English)
Number
111נוֹעַםNoam1505
223דָּוִדDavid1479
332אוריUri/Ori1385
447אֲרִיאֵלAriel1251
564יוֹסֵףJoseph1237
655אֵיתָןEitan (Ethan)1175
798דָּנִיֵּאלDaniel1165
876אִיתַּיItai1067
989יְהוֹנָתָןYehonatan1053
101010מֹשֶׁהMoshe975
111414יְהוּדָהYehuda (Judah)956
121311אַבְרָהָםAbraham928
132636לָבִיאLavi876
141918יִשְׂרָאֵלYisrael (Israel)831
151115אִיתָמָרItamar824
161817עוֹמֶרOmer780
171512יוֹנָתָןYonatan (Jonathan)769
181616יָאִירYair743
192120יַעֲקֹבYaakov (Jacob)743
202524אַלְיָהEliya741
213237רְפָאֵלRaphael735
221730שְׁמוּאֵלShmuel (Samuel)733
231213עִידּוֹIdo724
242225מִיכָאֵלMichael706
252321יִצְחָקYitzchak (Isaac)674
262428חַיִּיםChaim647
272023הַרְאֵלHarel642
283135שִׁמְעוֹןShimon (Simon)594
292922עָמִיתAmit583
302719אַלּוֹןElon579
313332שְׁלֹמֹהShlomo (Solomon)533
325456עוֹמֶרִיOmri514
333026עִילָּאִיIlay512
342827גַּיְאGuy505
353531בֵּןBen487
363429נהוראיNehorai482
373734נְתַנְאֵלNetanel477
384438מֵאִירMeir466
394233אָדָםAdam461
404948מָרְדְּכַיMordechai457
414345נִיתַּאיNitai455
424044אוֹרOr452
434751יִשַׁיYishai440
445357יַנַּאיYanai439
453640אַהֲרוֹןAharon (Aaron)438
464539לִיאַםLiam429
474146בִּנְיָמִיןBenjamin428
483954אֵלִיָּהוּEliyahu422
493841נָדָבNadav403
505049מְנַחֵםMenachem394
514859הללHillel/Hallel377
525152רוֹעִיRoi374
535758נָתָןNatan (Nathan)373
545242יוּבַלYuval367
5565128אֵלרוֹאִיElroi362
56106111אֲרִיAri353
574643יוֹאָבYoav347
586161מַתָּןMatan312
5967120בְּנָיָהBnaya310
605950לִיאוֹרLior310
61100124אִימְרִיImri307
625553מָאוֹרMaor303
635868אֲבִיאֵלAviel293
645662אֶבְיָתָרEviatar289
657780בְּאֵרִיBeeri289
667874נְבוֹNevo269
676366שַׁחַרShachar267
686255אָבִיבAviv263
699291רוֹםRom262
706047עִידָּןIdan259
717373נוהNeveh257
726464אוֹפִירOphir248
737063אָסָףAsaf247
748789נַחְמָןNachman246
756960דּוֹרDor244
767495לִירוֹיLeroi234
77107121מַלְאָכִיMalachi229
786869אוּרִיאֵלUriel226
798272אֶלְחָנָןElchanan222
806665איילEyal221
818990אֲמִיתַּיAmitai218
827576יַהַבYahav218
839371רוֹןRon218
849583צְבִיZvi215
858492שָׁלוֹםShalom210
867167יָהֵלִיYaheli209
878693נֵרִיָּהNeriah207
88108147רוֹיRoy/Roi206
899478אוריהUriah201
907284אֱלִיאָבEliav201
918587שִׁילֹהShilo201
92111108גַּבְרִיאֵלGabriel197
938182יִנּוֹןYinon197
94103125אַדִּירAdir195
9596112אֵלִיעֶזֶרEliezer195
967981דְּבִירDvir192
9788104עוֹזOz192
989788שַׁיShai191
9910497אוֹשֶׁרOsher189
10011686תּוֹםTom189
10183105מַעֲיָיןMaayan185