20 Top Israeli Baby Boy Names for 2012

baby boy in mother's arms

Courtesy of Shlomit Stern

The Central Bureau for Statistics recently published the top Israeli names in each sector for 2013. Today I’ll review the top boys’ names. See yesterday’s post for the most popular Israeli girls’ names.

The list is similar to the list for 2010, except that Nehorai and Guy have been replaced by Ilai and Omer. The trends are similar to those for girls’ names:  Biblical and traditional names stay strong, with less emphasis on single-syllable and unisex names. Noam, Ori, Amit and Ariel are at 40, 51, 48 and 62 on the list for girls. None of the top twenty girls’ names work for a boy except for 20th-place Adi, which placed at 157 on the list for boys.

Single-syllable names for boys in the top 50 included Guy (22), Ben (37) and Or (40).

Yonatan and Yehonatan are listed separately, but together they make up 3% of all Jewish babies born last year and beat first-place Noam by half a percentage point.

You can download the name lists for recent years at the government website. We used the list for a game for our family Chanukah party: After checking the placement of the names of the family members, we divided up everyone into teams and had them guess.

The letters in parentheses indicate the sectors where the names are popular. S=secular, NR=national religious, H=haredi.

  1. Noam (all) pleasantness
  2. Ori or Uri (S, NR) my light
  3. Itai (S, NR) biblical, vintner
  4. Yosef (H) biblical, He will add
  5. David (all) biblical, beloved
  6. Yehonatan (all) biblical, God has given
  7. Daniel (all) biblical, God is my judge
  8. Ariel (S, NR), Lion of God
  9. Moshe (H) biblical, one who draws (Moses)
  10. Eitan (S, NR) strong
  11. Ido (S, NR) biblical
  12. Itamar (S, NR) biblical
  13. Avraham (H) biblical, father of many nations
  14. Yehuda (NR, H) biblical
  15. Yair (S, NR) biblical, he will light
  16. Yonatan (all) biblical, God has given
  17. Yisrael (H) Israel, God is straight
  18. Amit (S, NR) colleague, friend
  19. Ilai (S, NR) high or elite
  20. Omer (S, NR) biblical measure

If you’re looking for more baby name posts try these:

Most Popular Israeli Girl Names 2014

Dreaming about Israeli Baby Boy Names

Israeli Baby Boy Name Help: June 2015

Israeli Baby Boy Name Help: March 2015

Israeli Baby Girl Name Suggestions Needed: January 2015

Israeli Baby Boy Name Help, December 2014

Israeli Baby Girl Name Help, December 2014

Israeli Baby Name Help, February 2014

Top 20 Israeli Baby Girl Names for 2012

Top 20 Israeli Baby Boy Names for 2012

Israeli Baby Girl Name Help, November 2013

Israeli Baby Name Help, June 2013

Modern Israeli Baby Girl Names, April 2013

Israeli Baby Boy Name Help–starting with “R”

Israeli Baby Name Queries, December 2012

Top 20 Israeli Baby Names for Boys, 2010

Top 20 Israeli Baby Names for Girls, 2010

Popular Israeli Names for Girls (October 2008)

Popular Israeli Names for Boys (October 2008)

Help This Reader Choose a Hebrew Baby Name (November 2009)

More Popular Israeli Baby Names (April 2010)

Help Readers Choose an Israeli Baby Name (June 2010)

Israeli Baby Name Help Needed (November 2010)

Needed: Israeli Baby Girl Name Suggestions (September 2010)

Unusual Israeli Baby Names

Get more baby name ideas at the Facebook page for A Mother in Israel.


  1. Many people who give the name Yehuda do it for the same reason the Matriarch Leah gave it to her son, to say “thanks.”

  2. Does the Central Bureau for Statistics count 2nd names in this name count? If so, it doesn’t really reflect which names are popular. Often people will give a 2nd name, naming after a relative, even though it’s a name that they like less, or if it’s a little old fashioned – and they never actually use that name. For example, I’m quite surprised that Avraham is up there in the top 20, as you say, it’s mainly used in Haredi circles, but you may have 100’s of non-Haredi kids named Ori Avraham, say – and that name Avraham gets put on their birth certificate, and used when they get called up to the Torah, but that’s it! So it’s not really as popular as the statistics make out.

    • It doesn’t make sense that they would, since that would skew the results just like you suggest. Most secular Israelis don’t use middle names. There would be more names than the number of children, and I don’t believe that’s the case.

  3. Pretty conservative list !

  4. Noam is a great name, since it alludes to the greatness of the Torah. Darkeha Noam. The Kli Yakar says that in no other instance can a Derech be called Noam since a Derech (path) is bustling with people. It’s only when a group of people lives according to Torah that they can have true pleasantness.