Popular Jewish Names for Boys

Updated on December 28, 2017
Brainy Bunny profile image

Brainy Bunny is married to a Conservative rabbi and has extensive experience with living an observant Jewish life.

What will be the perfect name for this Jewish baby boy?
What will be the perfect name for this Jewish baby boy? | Source

When you find out that you're going to have a child, you have so many things to think about and plan for. One of the most important decisions you'll have to make is what to name him. Do you want to be traditional and name him after a deceased relative, choose a secular name and a separate religious name, or choose something funky and different altogether? Whichever route you decide on, here are some popular Jewish and Hebrew boys' names to consider for your new son.

Most Popular Biblical Jewish Baby Names for Boys in the U.S.

Many of the most popular names in the United States are of biblical origin, which makes it easy to choose a name that honors your heritage yet stays current with trends. More than a dozen biblical names are on the list of most popular baby names during the past 100 years (from 1912–2011), and more than two dozen are currently in the top 100 according to Social Security. This list includes all the popular biblical names from that data (during the past 100 years, past decade, and currently).

(Note: For the most part these names have been Anglicized through the years; you can use the Anglicized version as a secular name and the original Hebrew version as a religious name.)

  • Aaron
  • Adam
  • Benjamin
  • Caleb
  • Daniel
  • David
  • Eli
  • Elijah
  • Ethan
  • Gabriel
  • Isaac
  • Isaiah
  • Jacob
  • Jeremiah
  • Jeremy

  • Jesse
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph
  • Joshua
  • Josiah
  • Levi
  • Matthew
  • Michael
  • Nathan
  • Nathaniel
  • Noah
  • Samuel
  • Seth
  • Zachary

Popular Hebrew Names

Biblical names are great, but what if you want something a little different? There are hundreds of Hebrew names derived from the natural world, and one might be perfect for your son. Or you may want something with a strong religious meaning. In either case, read on for a sampling of popular Hebrew boys' names.

Names from Nature
Religious Names
oak tree
lion of God
top branch of a tree
my Father
son of my people
Elazar or Eliezer
God has helped
gift of God
God will strengthen
island of palms
Gilad or Gilead
hill of testimony
Jordan (Yarden)
descent (Israel's river)
praised, famous
God is willing
young deer
my messenger
pine tree
fresh, flourishing
song, joy
Micah or Micha
Who is like God?
morning, dawn
Raphael or Refael
God has healed
behold, a son!
deer, gazelle
to hear or to be heard
Yonah (Jonah)
he will sing
friend of God

Jewish Naming Options

Example: The relative you want to name after is your Great-Grandpa Morris (Hebrew first name: Mordechai).

  • Option 1: Use Morris as your son's first or middle name in direct tribute. Use Mordechai as his Hebrew name or choose something different like Melech or Micah.
  • Option 2: Name your son a popular secular name like Mason or Max, and use Mordechai as his Hebrew name.
  • Option 3: Morris means "dark" or "swarthy," so you could choose a secular name like Cole with the same meaning. Then either find a Hebrew name that also means something similar, like Kedar or Pinchas, or stick with Mordechai for religious purposes.

Jewish Naming Customs

It is customary among Ashkenazi Jews to name children only after deceased relatives, not after anyone still living. (This is not a Jewish law, however; Sephardi Jews did not develop this superstition and do name babies after living relatives.) If you want to honor your great-grandpa Morris or Irving, but don't want to use an old-fashioned name, consider using his Hebrew name as your son's Hebrew name for religious purposes, and choose a secular name that is similar, starts with the same letter, or has the same meaning.

A Jewish boy traditionally receives his name at his brit milah, or bris, eight days after he is born. You will need to fill out the paperwork for his birth certificate before that, but you may want to keep his name a secret from all but the closest relatives until his big reveal on the eighth day. That way you can announce it to all your friends and family together and explain why you have chosen the name you did. If your son is named after a deceased relative, the bris is an ideal time to talk about the values or accomplishments your son's namesake showed that you hope will manifest in the new generation.


Kolatch, Alfred J. Best Baby Names for Jewish Children. New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 1998.

Sidi, Smadar Shir. The Complete Book of Hebrew Baby Names. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1989.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Fowler Home Improvement Services 

        6 months ago

        Hitler is a Jewish name

      • Robert Levine profile image

        Robert Levine 

        2 years ago from Brookline, Massachusetts

        Interesting, I never knew the superstitious side of that tradition--I'd always assumed it was simply as a memorial to the deceased. And thank you for the Book of Daniel citation.

      • Brainy Bunny profile imageAUTHOR

        Brainy Bunny 

        2 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

        Michael appears in Ketuvim, in the book of Daniel. Avi can be a nickname, but it is also used as a standalone name. The practice of not naming children for living relatives is a superstition because there is/was a belief that the angel of death could come for the wrong person and take the baby when it was actually the older relative's time. I don't think too many people literally believe that in that these days, but the practice of only naming for already-deceased relatives lives on.

      • Robert Levine profile image

        Robert Levine 

        2 years ago from Brookline, Massachusetts

        Is Michael ever actually mentioned in the Hebrew Bible?

        Avi is usually an abbreviation for Avraham.

        Why do you call the Ashkenazi practice of naming children for deceased relatives a "superstition"?

      • babynology profile image


        5 years ago from New York

        I admire jewish baby names. Each name comes with information on any known meaning. If you would like to find out the meaning or origin any of the names, you can simply search over the internet.

      • theclevercat profile image

        Rachel Vega 

        6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Oh, Asher is great, too! :-)

      • Brainy Bunny profile imageAUTHOR

        Brainy Bunny 

        6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

        Oh, Judah! I knew I forgot a good one. There are so many wonderful Jewish names that I could have gone on for pages. I didn't even list some of my personal favorites, like Asher. Thanks for reading, clevercat!

      • theclevercat profile image

        Rachel Vega 

        6 years ago from Massachusetts

        Personally, one of my favorite names is Judah (not on the list!) but I love Ari and Benjamin too. And you can really never go wrong with Joshua.

        A fun read! Voted up and interesting.

      • Brainy Bunny profile imageAUTHOR

        Brainy Bunny 

        6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

        Those are beautiful Hebrew names you chose for your children, DW. I'm glad they grew up comfortable with their secular names, too. When I was born, my parents didn't give me a Hebrew name, so I chose my own as a child, and then insisted on only being called by it for the next three years before going back to my secular name in junior high. (I was a pain in the neck!) For my own kids, we decided to give them dual-purpose names, so they could feel their Jewish and secular identities were integrated. Seems to be working so far . . .

      • profile image


        6 years ago from Colorado

        Hi BB-

        Since my wife and I have common secular names we wanted our children to have unique names. But not, a burdon of a name like "sweet butterfly jones" or "Dwezil" or "Moon unit" (thanks Frank Zappa). So we made up their secular names, figuring if they didn't like them they could always use their religious name or a nickname. Big son's religious name is Chaim Mordechai (after a deceased great uncle and great great grandfather) Big daughter is Tiertza Adina, after a great grandmother and great great aunt.

        They both managed to survive just fine with their unique secular names (even though they went to Jewish Day School) and actually enjoyed being the only child on the playground to turn around when their name was called.

        Today, one a lawyer and the other holds an advanced degree and works at a large university.

        I'm a lucky man.



      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)