Israeli Baby Girl Name Help November 2013

Image: Chava Kovacs

Two readers just sent inquiries about Israeli baby names. Can you help?

  1. Thanks for a great site!  I am having quite a hard time with a baby name to be named after my grandmother Hedwig (Tzirel).  I am comfortable using an H or I suppose a Z for the tzadi.  We can’t use Hannah… Do you know of any other names for boy or girl with these letters?
  2. Hi I saw your blog and was hoping you can help me. I would like to name my new baby daughter Liyah or Lia (lamed yod heh). My husband and I are modern orthodox Jews living in the US but want a name that would be acceptable in Israel. Most of the people I have found with this name seem to be secular. Is it an acceptable name amongst kippah srugah dati Jews? What about haredim? Would it be deemed unacceptable to anyone? Is it a common name, or at least one recognized by most Israelis? Any info you can give me ASAP would be greatly appreciated. We are hoping to name her as soon as possible as we have already delayed due to a lack of agreement on a name.
    Thanks so much!

More baby name posts:

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


  1. Rachel Inbar says

    For the first: Hedva (similar sound) and Hadas (starts with an H and also has a D)… Shir-El (sounds like Tzirel) is used for both boys and girls, but to me it sounds like a girl’s name… Tzvi, for a boy (my grandfather was Harry in English and Tzvi in Hebrew).

  2. Names with “tz”: Tzofia- you can soften this to Sofia, if you’re living in the States and want something more Englishy sounding.

  3. There are Lias who are dati leumi but it won’t go in the haredi world, they would definitely change it to Leah.

  4. I named my daughter after my grandmother Tzirel. I named her Adi meaning jewel as I understand that Tzirel also means jewel. I would have maybe used Sarah as I understand Tzirel is a derivative of Sarah but my living grandmother’s name is Sarah so I didn’t. Hope that helps.

  5. Tzirel/Cheryl (connected to jewel/precious/dear) can be Yakira in Hebrew. (Even tho linguistically speaking it shouldn’t be Yakira but Takir :-)) And for Hedwig I also thought of Hedva (Chedva) which I see was mentioned above.

  6. Lia is becoming popular amongst dati Leumi. We recently gave our daughter Lia as her middle name after my grandmother who was called Leah, pronounced Lia.

    Personally, I would stay away from Hedva as it can have negative connotations amongst Israelis.

  7. My post from my iphone seems not to have posted–my suggestion is Tsuriah . . .no linguistic connection but a somewhat unusual Biblical name (I think it it was in the parsha 2 weeks ago) that begins with Ts.

  8. Placido Etzioni says

    The name Hedwig means “warrior.” If so, how about: Gavriella or Gavriel (God is my strength) or Amatziah (for a boy, similar meaning)?

  9. Great to see that you are naming your child after a grandparent, it seems that today’s newly married are not so sensitive to this. Serphadi grandparents can have a grandchild in their name while they are still alive !!!

  10. What about Shir-el? Sounds like Tzirel, but more modern. I know a teen with that name in our dati-leumi neighborhood in Haifa.

  11. Shirel is a very pretty name for a girl and keeps the general sound of Tzirel.
    For a boy, maybe Tzur-el or Tzuriel.

    Lia is a name that I am starting to hear more and more. I personally am biased against it because the only Lia that I know snubbed me several times in the last few years, so the name gives me a bad taste in my mouth.

  12. My cousin (dati leumi, living in Israel) just had a baby girl named Lia, so that’s the only group I know it in 🙂