Tag Archives: names

101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2014

Following yesterday’s posting of the 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2014, I here present the most popular boys names. These names are taken from just-released information from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Names have been translated and/or transliterated into English as necessary. In some cases, if the name is used in English in both forms (translated and transliterated), they are both presented in English.

The table below can be sorted by name in either Hebrew or English.

RankName (Hebrew)Name (English)Number
1נוֹעַםNoam1608
2אוריUri/Ori1477
3דָּוִדDavid1408
4יוֹסֵףJoseph1344
5אֵיתָןEitan (Ethan)1275
6אִיתַּיItai1274
7אֲרִיאֵלAriel1252
8דָּנִיֵּאלDaniel1191
9יְהוֹנָתָןYehonatan1130
10מֹשֶׁהMoshe1017
11אַבְרָהָםAbraham908
12יוֹנָתָןYonatan (Jonathan)887
13עִידּוֹIdo878
14יְהוּדָהYehuda (Judah)856
15אִיתָמָרItamar851
16יָאִירYair825
17עוֹמֶרOmer695
18יִשְׂרָאֵלYisrael (Israel)695
19אַלּוֹןElon673
20יַעֲקֹבYaakov (Jacob)666
21יִצְחָקYitzchak (Isaac)637
22עָמִיתAmit607
23הַרְאֵלHarel606
24אַלְיָהEliya603
25מִיכָאֵלMichael597
26עִילָּאִיIlay592
27גַּיְאGuy563
28חַיִּיםChaim551
29נהוראיNehorai540
30שְׁמוּאֵלShmuel (Samuel)534
31בֵּןBen496
32שְׁלֹמֹהShlomo (Solomon)477
33אָדָםAdam475
34נְתַנְאֵלNetanel475
35שִׁמְעוֹןShimon (Simon)469
36לָבִיאLavi468
37רְפָאֵלRaphael456
38מֵאִירMeir452
39לִיאַםLiam450
40אַהֲרוֹןAharon (Aaron)434
41נָדָבNadav431
42יוּבַלYuval422
43יוֹאָבYoav418
44אוֹרOr415
45נִיתַּאיNitai403
46בִּנְיָמִיןBenjamin391
47עִידָּןIdan382
48מָרְדְּכַיMordechai382
49מְנַחֵםMenachem377
50לִיאוֹרLior374
51יִשַׁיYishai370
52רוֹעִיRoi366
53מָאוֹרMaor356
54אֵלִיָּהוּEliyahu353
55אָבִיבAviv350
56עוֹמֶרִיOmri332
57יַנַּאיYanai326
58נָתָןNatan (Nathan)323
59הללHillel/Hallel322
60דּוֹרDor319
61מַתָּןMatan319
62אֶבְיָתָרEviatar312
63אָסָףAsaf296
64אוֹפִירOphir295
65איילEyal291
66שַׁחַרShachar283
67יָהֵלִיYaheli259
68אֲבִיאֵלAviel258
69אוּרִיאֵלUriel252
70אוֹפֶקOfek241
71רוֹןRon222
72אֶלְחָנָןElchanan220
73נוהNava216
74נְבוֹNevo212
75יָרִיןYarin211
76יַהַבYahav211
77עוֹבַדְיָהOvadia (Obadiah)208
78אוריהUriah202
79תּוֹמֶרTomer201
80בְּאֵרִיBeeri201
81דְּבִירDvir201
82יִנּוֹןYinon200
83צְבִיZvi198
84אֱלִיאָבEliav196
85דָּןDan194
86תּוֹםTom191
87שִׁילֹהShilo190
88שַׁיShai186
89נַחְמָןNachman185
90אֲמִיתַּיAmitai184
91רוֹםRom183
92שָׁלוֹםShalom182
93נֵרִיָּהNorah181
94אֵלעָזָרElazar181
95לִירוֹיLeroi179
96יוֹתָםYotam175
97אוֹשֶׁרOsher173
98עִילַיIlay172
99אֵלעָדElad168
100אֲבִישַׁיAvishai167
101יְדִידְיָהYedidya165

101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2014

Since my earlier posts on the most popular Israeli girls and boys baby names broken down by city, the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has released the overall popularity of names broken down by religion. The following table shows the 101 most popular Jewish girls names  in Israel for the year 2014.

As with the previous posts, I’ve added English versions of all the names. In some cases I’ve used the most-common English version. In some cases I’ve added a transliteration of the Hebrew name with the English version, when both versions might be used. Some names might seem like boy’s names, such as Daniel, but in Israel are considered unisex. With Hebrew names that don’t exist in English, I’ve tried to give the best English transliteration I could considering both the pronunciation and what the name would be spelled like in English.

Since the CBS files don’t include nikudot (vowels) in the original Hebrew, some names may overlap that have the same letters, but are pronounced differently. In that case I’ve generally left out the nikudot from the Hebrew and put both versions in the English.

The table below is sortable by column, so you can easily sort by Hebrew name or English name, or then re-sort it by overall rank. The number of babies given each name is also shown.

RankName (Hebrew)Name (English)Number  
1נוֹעָהNoa1478
2תָּמָרTamar1381
3שִׁירָהShira1201
4מַאיָהMaya1200
5יָעֵלYael1135
6אַדֶלAdele1096
7טַלְיָהTalia1063
8אֲבִיגַיִלAbigail1039
9איילהAyala932
10שָׂרָהSarah863
11אֶסְתֵּרEsther768
12נוֹיָהNoya764
13מִיכַלMichal753
14חַנָּהChana (Hanna)719
15אֵלָהElah709
16לִיָהLia706
17רוֹמִיRomi704
18רִבְקָהRivka (Rebecca)687
19רוֹנִיRoni657
20רָחֵלRachel642
21הוֹדָיָהHodaya630
22עַלְמָהAlma619
23אֲגַםAgam611
24יוּבַלYuval574
25תָּהֶלTahal557
26מִרְיָםMiriam555
27חַיָּהChaya544
28עֲדִיAdi540
29אֲרִיאֵלAriel526
30הִילָּהHila520
31לִיאַןLian/Leanne517
32נָעֳמִיNaomi508
33רוּתRuth504
34נֹגַהּNoga502
35אֵמָהEmma472
36מַעֲיָיןMaayan462
37הללHallel413
38הָדָרHadar411
39גַּאיָהGaia401
40אֶפְרָתEfrat398
41לֵאָהLeah393
42תְּהִילָּהTehila388
43נוֹעַםNoam381
44אוֹרOr377
45נטעNeta377
46מִיקָהMika370
47הֲדַסָּהHadassa368
48נַעֲמָהNaama358
49עָמִיתAmit354
50אוריהUria/Oria349
51עופריOfri348
52אמיליEmily333
53טוֹהָרTohar329
54אוריUri/Ori328
55יָהֵלִיYaheli328
56יְהוּדִיתYehudit (Judith)325
57הֲדַסHadas321
58אוֹפִירOphir319
59שָׁקֵדShaked308
60שִׁירShir306
61מַלְכָּהMalka300
62לִיבִּיLibi297
63לִיאֵלLiel287
64דָּנִיֵּאלDaniel287
65מוֹרִיָּהMoriah287
66עֵדֶןEden284
67אֲבִישַׁגAvishag283
68אֱלִישֶׁבַעElisheva (Elizabeth)266
69אָלִיןAleen262
70שָׁנִיShani252
71אַלְיָהAliya251
72גֶּפֶןGefen247
73גִּילִיGili244
74דְּבוֹרָהDvora (Deborah)239
75שַׁחַרShachar237
76אנאלAnael233
77רוֹתֶםRotem223
78יַרְדֵּןYarden (Jordan)221
79נֶחָמָהNechama219
80לִיאוֹרLior219
81אוֹדֶלOdele217
82בִּרָכָהBracha207
83מַאיMay206
84זוֹהַרZohar204
85שַׁיShai201
86אֲבִיָּהAvia192
87אוֹרִיןOrin190
88אֲבִיטַלAvital182
89בַּת שֶׁבַעBatsheva181
90אַלְמָהAlma180
91דָּנִיֵּאלָהDaniella176
92שַׁי-לִיShaily176
93הִילִיHili176
94אָבִיבAviv171
95עוֹמֶרOmer169
96שִּילָתShilat168
97חַוָּהChava162
98צִפּוֹרָהTziporah161
99יַעֲרָהYaara160
100אַלּוֹנָהAlona159
101כַּרְמֶלCarmel157

Most popular boys names in Israel, by city, for 2014

Earlier I posted a chart showing the most popular girls names in Israel in 2014, from 14 different cities. The data came from a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), and I had just reformatted it to make it easier to read. That report didn’t have the information on boys, so I couldn’t post that information. I’ve since received the information on boys, and put together a similar chart for boys names, although there are some caveats. If you are not interested in comparative demographics and onomastics of the Jewish and Muslim populations of Israel, you should skip directly down to the chart below.

People who have read other reports on popular names in Israel this year probably noticed that the most popular name in Israel is Mohammed. That’s not because more Muslims are born in Israel than Jews (although there are more Muslims born per capita, the difference is not as extreme as it was in the past, and the overall number is still much lower). It’s because one in seven Muslim boys in Israel were named Mohammed in 2014, while the next closest ratio among Jews was one in forty. There is just a larger pool of first names used among the Jewish population than there is among the Muslim population.

As this blog is about Jewish genealogy, I’ve removed the Muslim names, but indicated which cities had names removed with an asterisk. Where things get tricky is where names overlap. In some cases names are clear, such as the most popular Muslim names Mohammed and Ahmed. Other names, while pronounced differently, are spelled the same in Hebrew, like Joseph (Yosef in Hebrew, Yusef in Arabic). Some names are for the same person but spelled very differently, such as for Abraham, which is Avraham (אברהם) in Hebrew and Ibrahim (אבראהים) in Arabic.

Some names are used by both Jews and Muslims, but are much more popular among one group than in the other. For example, in 2013 (I don’t have the full overall rankings for 2014 yet) Omer (עומר) was the 3rd most popular name among Muslim boys, and the 17th most popular among Jewish boys. Omer, in Hebrew, comes from the word for a sheaf (bundle) of wheat used in the bible, while the Arabic version would be Umar, who was the Caliph (ruler) of the Muslim world who accepted the surrender of Jerusalem in 637 CE. The Mosque of Umar, which sits on the Temple Mount, was built later, but named after him (not to be confused with the Dome of the Rock which also sits on the Temple Mount, but is not strictly speaking a mosque.

Adam (אדם) was the 5th most popular name among Muslim boys, and the 51st most popular name among Jews. In the case of Adam, in general you would think if it showed up in the top ten then it was as a Muslim name, but where things like that get thrown off is in Tel Aviv, where Arabs (Muslims and Christians) make up less than 5% of the population, Adam showed up in 2014 as the 5th most popular name. That would seem unlikely to be due to the Arab population unless all Arabs in Tel Aviv named their sons Adam. On the other hand, this could be evidence of the large variety of names used by Tel Aviv Jews, lowering the overall score for the names used among them, while bringing Muslim names higher up in the list due to the scarcity of names used compared to the Jewish population. As further evidence of this, in 2013 the top ten Muslim boys names made up 41.47% of all names, while the top ten Jewish boys names made up only 18.41% of all names.

However, as mentioned, in 2014 one in seven boys in Israel were name Mohammed. In Tel Aviv Mohammed shows up in 47th place, yet less common Muslim names Adam and Omer show up in 5th and 7th place respectively. While some of the reason clearly has to do with those names also being used among the Jewish population, that wouldn’t seem to explain their popularity completely. Perhaps, and this is just a guess, Muslims in Tel Aviv are more likely to name their children using names common among both Jews and Muslims, which skews the popularity of those names. It’s also possible that that Adam, which simply translates as Man in Hebrew, is more popular among the Jewish population of Tel Aviv than in the country overall.

Interestingly, this disparity doesn’t exist among girls names, where there is an equal range of names for both Jews and Muslims. The top ten names of both Jewish and Muslim girls make up just over 17% of names, and in fact the Muslim girls names are slightly lower than the Jewish girls, showing a slightly higher variance. Perhaps I’m cynical, but the lack of disparity between girls names might explain why the chart given by the CBS only showed girls names. Without some names making up a much higher percentage of usage, the large cities they chose would be unlikely to show a Muslim name. In the cities they chose, there were no Muslim girls names in the top eleven names, so while they do include Muslim names among the geographic distribution records, the list of names in the chart I posted previously were singularly Jewish. This is the case without the CBS needing to remove names as I’ve done below (something they’ve gotten in trouble for in the past).

I should point out that while the girls chart did not include any exclusively Muslim names, the rankings shown were certainly influenced by Muslim children, in at least one case. Miriam (מרים), the number two girls name in Jerusalem in 2014, also happened to be the number two girls name among Muslims in 2013. Among Jews in 2013, Miriam was the 25th girls name. Clearly Miriam could be more popular in Jerusalem among Jews, and that’s probably the case (being a more traditional name), yet it seems at least a few places in the ranking for that name in Jerusalem are due to Muslim girls.

Just to be clear, while it’s true that Adam and Omer which I remove from the rankings are obviously used among the Jewish population, and I know Jewish people in Israel with those names, I’m only removing them because it seems unlikely they would show up in the top eleven names without the Muslim population, and as a list of the most popular Jewish names, I’ve removed them to illustrate the top Jewish names. For the record, the names I removed are (with original ranking):

Jerusalem: Mohamed (1), Ahmed (7) and Adam (10).
Haifa: Adam (4) and Omer (8).
Tel Aviv: Adam (5) and Omer (7)
Holon: Omer (10)
Rishon Lezion: Adam (10)

With that out of the way, here’s the chart for Jewish boys names in 2014, divided into the same 14 cities used in the girls’ chart (click on the chart to see it larger):

Popular Jewish Boys Names by City 2014
Some notes and observations. In general, I’ve used the English translation of a name (such as Joseph) instead of the transliteration of a name (such as Yosef). In cases where I felt the translation would be unlikely to be used (such as Moses) I’ve used a transliteration (such as Moshe). Some names have no translation into English, or at least no common one.

Like the girls chart, the most popular boys name overall (Noam) is only the top name in three out of the fourteen cities. The overall rankings countrywide for boys is Noam, Uri/Ori, David, Joseph, Eitan, Itai, Ariel, Daniel, Yehonatan, and Moshe. Interestingly the only other name at number one in three of these cities is Daniel, which is down at number eight.

It’s also worth pointing out that while Noam (נועם) is the most popular boys name in Israel, and Noa (נועה) is the most popular girls name, Noam is also used a girls name in Israel, while Noa is not used as a boys name. Don’t be confused by Noah (נח), of biblical ark fame, whose name ranked only at number 281 among Jewish males in Israel in 2013, and is not used among girls in Israel. In the US, on the other hand, Noah is actually the number one name used for boys.

You might notice that for the name אורי I’ve listed two English versions, Uri and Ori. That’s because Hebrew doesn’t use vowels, and while these two names can be differentiated by using nikud (a kind of vowel system that uses marks such as dots and dashes below and above the letters), there is no nikud in the official data, so there is no way to differentiate between the names Uri and Ori.

Some of the more uncommon names from the perspective of English speakers include Yehonatan, Eliya, Nehorai, and Ilay.

Yehonatan is a different form of Yonatan, or Jonathan. The origin of the name is biblical, but used by less well known people than the name Jonathan. Perhaps the popularity of Yehonatan is a way to use a less common spelling for a popular name, something very common in English naming, although more common I believe for girls names, such as Sophia/Sofia, Chloe/Khloe, Zoe/Zoey, etc.

Eliya, maybe better spelled Aliya, but I didn’t want it confused with the common word Aliya (pronounced differently), used to denote someone who moved from outside of Israel to Israel. The root of the word is not the same. The word comes from the bible, where it is not a name of a person. Nehorai and Ilay are both taken from the Talmud, Nehorai the name of a rabbi, and Ilay the name of two different rabbis.

I don’t know why these names have become popular. I suppose some research into popular culture (to see if there are famous people in Israel with these names) and a comparison with previous years (to see when the names became popular) could help determine the reasons. If you have an idea about these names, or any other names for that matter, please share your thoughts in the comments.