At long last, the Israeli Central Bureau for Statistics announced popular names for 2012. Today I’ll review the top twenty names for Jewish girls.
First, a word about trends. Remember how just a few years ago single-syllable names were all the rage? We had Lee, Shai, Or, Tal, Gal, and so on. These names have virtually disappeared, with only two of the top fifty girls’ names containing one syllable. And one of those is the classic biblical name Ruth at 24. Shir, once enormously popular, is at 50.
Names with a combination of two one-syllable words like Orly, Liat and Meital have also dropped way down. Replacing them are classic Hebrew names including the biblical Noa and Yael which remain popular in secular circles. Avigayil jumped from nineteenth place in 2010 to six in 2012. Others, like Chana (Hannah) are common in the growing religious sectors.
Unisex names have also lost popularity, with names like Adi staying popular for girls but not boys.
Comparing the 2012 top twenty with 2010, Chana and Adele have replaced Maayan and the non-Hebrew Lian, which dropped to 26 and 29 respectively.
Without further ado, here are the twenty most popular Jewish girls’ names for 2012.
In parentheses, you’ll find the sectors in which the names are most popular: S=secular, NR=national religious, and H=haredi (ultra-Orthodox).
- Noa (S, NR) biblical
- Shira (all) song
- Tamar (all), biblical, date
- Talia (S, NR), female lamb
- Maya (S, NR) Russian
- Yael (all) biblical, gazelle
- Sarah (H), biblical, princess
- Adele or Edel. (S, NR). This name is popular because of the singer, and because both the mother and daughter of Rabbi Nachman of Breslau was named Edel. Edel is a Yiddish name.
- Ayala (all), doe
- Michal (all), biblical
- Avigayil (NR, H), biblical, lit. father of happiness
- Chana (NR, H), biblical, full of grace
- Ella (S, NR),When the second syllable is accented, terebinth tree. Could be a goddess.
- Noya (S, NR), feminized form of Noy, beauty
- Roni (S, NR), sing, shout for joy
- Hodaya (NR), thanksgiving
- Hila (S, NR), halo
- Tahel (S, NR), she will light
- Rivka (NR, H), biblical
- Adi (S, NR), jewel
If you’re looking for more baby name posts try these:
Popular Israeli Names for Girls (October 2008)
Popular Israeli Names for Boys (October 2008)