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100 Hebrew Girl Names: With Meanings

Embrace the beauty and depth of Hebrew culture with girl names that carry significant meanings and a timeless charm.

Choosing the perfect name is difficult. You may have family traditions or expectations, rules or guidelines from your religious community, the conflicts created by joining heritages and cultures, or a mixture of any of the above.

If you are looking for a Hebrew girl name, we can help. Here are 100 carefully researched Hebrew names for girls, with origins, meanings, and other information to help you make the best choice for your little one.

We’ve included both the Hebrew spelling and the English transcription.

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100 Lovely Hebrew Names for Girls

We’re confident that this list will help you find the perfect Hebrew girl name for your baby girl.

Abigail אֲבִיגַיִל

The Hebrew name Abigail means “my father is joy.”

In the Old Testament, Abigail, also written אֲבִיגָיִל or Avigayil, intervenes to prevent David and his men from committing violence against her brash, unpleasant husband, Nabal. When she tells her husband, God strikes him dead, and she eventually marries David.

Abigail is described in 1 Samuel 25:3 as beautiful and intelligent, and the Aggadah considers her a historic beauty.

Beautiful, Intelligent, Strong

Adi עֲדִי

Adi is Hebrew and means “ornament, jewel.”

Across many Fijian cultures, women who hold the rank of chief or a similar position, depending on the community’s social structure, are given the title Adi. Many Fijian women of this rank, for example, Adi Litia Qalirea Cakobau, also hold senior positions in the country’s government.

Adi can be considered a name of power and responsibility as well as one of beauty.

Beautiful, Serious, Strong

Adina עֲדִינָה

The Hebrew name Adina means “delicate.”

Born in Kibbutz Kfar Blum, in Israel’s Upper Galilee region, Adina Bar-On is not only considered the leading professional artist in Israel, but she is also thought to have been the first.

Bar-On began creating in 1973, before performance art was recognized as a legitimate medium in Israel. Consequently, her art school professors called a psychologist to evaluate her and her work before sending her a letter, instructing her to return to a conventional medium.

Creative, Strong, Stylish

Agam אֲגַם

Agam means “lake” in Hebrew.

Although it’s a unisex name, in Isreal, Agram is most often given to girls. Roughly 87% of Israeli Agams are female, and 13% are male.

The country with the most significant number of people with the given name Agam is India. This is because Agam is also a unisex Gurjurati name which means “incomprehensible, unreachable, profound (as God).”

Natural, Complex

Ahava אַהֲבָה

Ahava is the Hebrew word for “love.”

Worldwide, there are only around 105 people with this pretty, feminine name, and only 52 are in the U.S. This makes it the country’s 78,509th most popular name.

It is the 18,495th most popular name in Israel, where only five people bear the name Ahava.

Creative, Informal, Unique

Alma עַלְמָה

Alma means “young woman” in Hebrew.

In addition to being a Hebrew name for girls, Alma is also an entirely separate, Latin-based girl name, popular across much of Europe. In this case, it is from the Latin word “almus,” which means “nourishing.”

Alma also crops up as a word in many languages. For example, in Spanish, Alma means “soul,” and in Azerbaijani, it means “apple.”

Feminine, Simple, Traditional

Aliyah עֲלִיָּה

Aliyah is an alternate transcription of עֲלִיָּה meaning “ascent.”

Both Aliyah and the original transcription, Aliya, are derivatives of ‘alah, which means “to climb” or “to ascend.”

Aliyah is a fundamental concept in Zionism and is cemented in the “Law of Return,” legislation which guarantees assisted immigration to, settlement in, and citizenship of Israel for all eligible Jews and non-Jews.

Complex, Historical, Traditional

Aliza עַלִיזָה

Aliza is a Hebrew name that means “joyful.”

American Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt was born in what we now call Ukraine in 1888 and immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1900.

Greenblatt’s poetry was printed in multiple Yiddish publications and as five volumes of poetry. It has also been set to music and recorded by over a dozen composers and musicians.

Creative, Simple, Youthful

Ariel אֲרִיאֵל

The Hebrew name Ariel means “lion of God.”

Variations of Ariel include the French feminine form Arielle; the English feminine form Ariella; the feminine nicknames Arie, Elle, and Ella; and the masculine nicknames Ari and Arik. Ariel is also a relatively common surname.

On the downside, despite having multiple other historical, cultural, and artistic uses, most people today associate Ariel with the main character in the Disney movie “The Little Mermaid.”

Informal, Refined, Youthful

Atalia עֲתַלְיָה

Atalia is Hebrew and probably means “Yahweh is exalted.”

Atalia is a modern transcription of the Hebrew girl name Athaliah. The only woman in the Hebrew Bible who is recorded as ruling Israel or Judea, Athalia is viewed negatively in Biblical writings.

However, modern scholars speculate this was because of her success as a woman and that her ability to rule for six years because of her political and personal savvy should not be overlooked.

Intelligent, Serious, Strong
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Atarah עֲטָרָה

Atarah means “crown” in Hebrew.

Native English speakers tend to place the stress on the first syllable, so it comes out as AT-ar-rah. This can make the name sound a little aggressive, or as one person said, “stabby.”

However, although there isn’t consistent stress on a particular syllable in Hebrew, in its native language, Atarah is generally pronounced a-TAR-uh, emphasizing the second syllable.

Musical, Simple, Stylish

Avia אֲבִיָה

The Hebrew name Avia means “my father is Yahweh.”

Avia is the modern Hebrew form of the Ancient Hebrew name Abijah. The modern version has become increasingly popular due to the simplified spelling and more obvious pronunciation.

Avia is not a common name, but it is slowly growing in popularity. In 2014, only 2 Israeli babies were named Avia, but in 2019, there were 217 girls given the name.

Beautiful, Feminine, Informal

Batsheva בַּת־שֶׁבַע

The Hebrew name Batsheva means “daughter of the oath.”

Batsheva is a variant of the Ancient Hebrew name Bathsheba, which has the additional form Bat-Sheva.

In the Bible, King David sees Bathsheba/Batsheva when she was taking a bath, so she was one of the only nude female figures deemed acceptable in early Christian art, the other being Eve.

Consequently, Batsheva features prominently in Medieval and Renaissance paintings.

Mature, Strong, Traditional

Beracha בְּרָכָה

Beracha means “blessing” and is an alternate transcription of Bracha.

Several Hebrew words share a common root with Beracha. For example, berech, which means “knee,” and breicha, which means “wellspring.”

The relationship between these words happens because a bracha, or prayer of blessing (in which someone may bend the knee), recognizes God as the source from which all the good things have come.

Refined, Religious, Strong

Chava חַוָּה

Chava is the Hebrew form of Eve.

Eve is the English-language form of the Hebrew name or Chawwah. This, in turn, comes from the word חָיָה, or chayah, which means “to live” or חָוָה, chawah, meaning “to breathe.” Subsequently, Chava is a Hebrew form of an English version of a Hebrew name!

Some Chavas bemoan life with a silent C but still love their name.

Beautiful, Feminine, Natural

Chesed חֶסֶד

The unisex Hebrew name Chesed means “goodness, kindness.”

Although the meaning of Chesed is listed as “goodness, kindness,” it could also be considered as “grace” or “mercy.” The word chesed frequently occurs in the Book of Psalms, where it is used to express the love of God towards the whole of humanity.

In the sphere of Jewish ethics, Chesed is a primary virtue, considered by some as the core ethical virtue from which everything else flows.

Beautiful, Complex, Strong

Dafna דַּפְנָה

Dafna comes from the Greek name Daphne, which means “laurel.”

Dafna shares roots with names such as Daphne, Lauren, Loreto, and Laurence. It can be given in honor of a relative with any of those names while still allowing you to use a Hebrew girl name.

Feminine, Youthful, Whimsical

Dalia דַּלְיָה

The female Hebrew name Dalia means “hanging branch.”

There are three versions of the girl name Dalia in English, each of which evolved separately. First, there is the Hebrew girl name Dalia.

Second, there is the Dalia of Baltic mythology, which comes from the Lithuanian word dalis, meaning “share, divide into portions.”

The third is the Arabic name Dalia, an alternate spelling of Dahlia, the flower. This is also a popular Hispanic girl name.

Feminine, Natural, Strong

Dana דָּנָה

The Hebrew girl name Dana means “God is my judge.”

While Dana is the Hebrew feminine form of Daniel, the exact spelling is also a gender-neutral English name that evolved from an adjective for someone from Denmark.

Also, Dana is a Bulgarian and Macedonian nickname for girls with the names Bogdana, Gordana, or Yordana and an Arabic and Persian unisex name which means “wise.”

Religious, Simple, Youthful

Dar דַּר

Dar is a gender-neutral Hebrew name, meaning “nacre.”

Nacre, commonly known as mother of pearl, is an iridescent, inorganic substance produced by some mollusks.

Nacre is sometimes sliced into extremely thin layers and laminated to a marble, ceramic, or fiberglass base, then used as a decorative architectural element. It is also used without lamination as decoration on musical instruments, firearms, and more.

Creative, Refined, Youthful
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Devora דְּבוֹרָה

Devora is an alternate transcription of Devorah, meaning “bee.”

The Song of Devorah is a unique victory hymn in the Tanakh because it celebrates a military victory led by two women. One is the judge, Devorah, and the other is the warrior Jael.

For us, this makes Devora an excellent candidate for one of a pair of sister names, the other being Jael.

Historical, Informal, Traditional

Diklah דִּקְלָה

Diklah probably means “palm grove” in either Aramaic or Hebrew.

Although technically a gender-neutral name, Diklah was historically a boy name, but in modern times, it has almost exclusively become a Hebrew girl name.

Diklah is used in Israel, where the modern, masculine equivalent is Dekel. We can find fewer than a dozen examples of this name being registered outside of Israel. Therefore, it can be argued that this is now a Jewish name for girls.

Serious, Strong, Traditional

Dinah דִּינָה

Dinah means “judged” in Hebrew.

In 2012, singer Dinah Jane auditioned for the TV series “The X Factor.” Having made it onto the show, she was later eliminated but brought back, along with four other female contestants, to form the group “Fifth Harmony.”

Intelligent, Strong, Youthful

Dorit דּוֹרִית

Dorit is a Hebrew girl name. It means “generation.”

Dorit itself does not translate into English as “generation.” Instead, Dorit is the strictly female version of the unisex Hebrew name Dor, which is a direct translation.

It is also a completely separate name from the Danish girl name Dorit, which is an affectionate nickname for Dorothea, meaning “gift of God.”

Feminine, Youthful, Whimsical

Eden עֵדֶן

Eden is a Hebrew name of disputed meaning.

One theory is that the name Eden is from the Hebrew word עֵדֶן, or eden, which means “delight, pleasure.” The other is that it evolved from the Sumerian word 𒂔, or edin, which means “plain.”

Globally, masculine and feminine usage of this name is pretty evenly split, but Eden is predominantly used for one gender or the other at a regional level, depending on the country.

Religious, Simple, Stylish

Efrat אֶפְרָת

Efrat is a modern spelling of Ephrath which means “fruitful.”

Israeli actress Efrat Dor began her career with minor TV roles in her native Israel. Dor made her movie debut in the 2009 Israeli film “Phobidilia” and came to international attention after playing Magda Gross in “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

After starring in the Amazon series “Sneaky Pete,” Dor was accepted in “The Flash” before her current role in the FX series “Mayans M.C.”

Creative, Intelligent, Stylish

Eliana אֶלִיעַנָה

Eliana is Hebrew and means “my God has answered.”

The Hebrew girl name Eliana has become a popular, meaningful choice for those who have waited a long time for their child.

Eliana is also a Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian girl name with roots in the Roman family name Aelianus, which means “sun.”

In our opinion, the combination of the meanings of these two versions of the name makes it a winner.

Beautiful, Feminine, Youthful

Elisheva אֱלִישֶׁבַע

Elisheva is the Hebrew form of Elizabeth and means “my God is my oath.”

At the time of this writing, 816 people in the U.S. have been given the name Elisheva, making it the 12,196th most common name in the country.

Meanwhile, there are only 17 people in Israel with the name Elisheva, with 15 being female and 2 male.

Mature, Refined, Traditional

Emili אֶמילי

Emili is the Hebrew form of Emily, meaning “rival.”

Emili is a pretty alternative to the more common Emily or Amelia. However, you may have to deal with people assuming you are using a “creative” spelling rather than a legitimate form of a popular name.

Emili has the additional advantage of having the super cute nicknames Milly, Millies, Em, and Emmie.

Informal, Modern, Youthful

Esther אֶסְתֵר

The meaning of the Hebrew name Esther is disputed.

In the Tanakh, Esther has two names, the other being Hadassah, meaning “myrtle.”

One theory says the spelling of Esther arose because of a mistake by Gentiles who confused her name with אסתהר, or ‘īstəhăr, the morning star.

The other theory is that the name is a combination of the Semitic ās and Iranian dā́r, which would translate as “the myrtle.”

Feminine, Natural, Traditional
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Gali גַּלִי

The Hebrew name Gali means “my wave.”

Gali is also an Urdu word. It refers to a narrow strip of land between two mountains. Rather than simply being a mountain pass, a Gali is not the highest point in a mountain range, and on both sides of the Gali, there are other valleys.

We think this combination of waves and mountain “alleys” makes Gali a particularly beautiful name.

Beautiful, Intelligent, Natural

Galia גַּלְיָה

An elaboration of Gal, Galia means “wave” — well, sort of!

Galia began as Gal, with the casual, sweet, affectionate “ia” sound added.

People began to use Galia as a name, and the “ia” went from being an informal sound at the end to needing a written form. So, instead of being written “גַּל” it’s written “גַּלְיָה.” Adding “יָה” to make the “yah” sound technically changes the meaning of the written formto “wave of God.”

Creative, Natural, Youthful

Gefen גֶּפֶן

Gefen means “grapevine” in Hebrew.

Gefen Publishing House is a Jerusalem-based company. Grefen specializes in publishing English-language books that target readers interested in Israeli and Jewish-focused subject matter.

Grefen publications are widely available in the U.S. and include titles as diverse as “A Time to Kill, A Time to Heal,” about an Israeli Navy Seal and “Genesis: A Torah for All Nations.”

Natural, Nerdy, Strong

Gilah גִּילָה

A feminine form of the Hebrew name Gil, Gilah means “happiness, joy.”

Many Hebrew names are unisex but Gil, גִּיל, is exclusively masculine, which necessitates a feminine form, hence Gilah.

It is difficult to establish how popular, or otherwise, Gil and Gilah are because there are forms of both in other languages and data only covers the written spelling, rather than the religious, cultural, or linguistic intent of a name,

Feminine, Stylish, Traditional

Gili גִּילִי

Gili is a gender-neutral Hebrew name, meaning “my joy.”

In Pali, the sacred language of Theravada Buddhism, Gili means “eating up, swallowing,” and in Kannada language, it means “to be obsessed, consumed with an idea.”

We think that the Pali and Kannada meanings, when combined with the Hebrew meaning, make this the perfect name for a child born after a long wait, especially after multiple fertility treatments.

Complex, Serious, Strange

Golda גּוֹלְדָּה

Golda is a Yiddish name, meaning “gold.”

Although it’s a Yiddish name rather than a Hebrew girl name, we included Golda because of Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir. The first and, so far, only female prime minister of Israel, Meir was the third female prime minister in the world.

Intelligent, Strong, Vintage

Hadassah הֲדַסָּה

Hadassah is from the Hebrew word hadas, or הֲדַס, meaning “myrtle tree.”

Making its first appearance in the U.S. top 1,000 girl names charts at number 998 in 2007, Hadassah is steadily climbing in popularity. In 2020, there were 419 newborns registered with this name, making it the 672nd most popular choice for girls in the States that year.

Natural, Serious, Strong

Hagit חַגִּית

From the Ancient Hebrew Haggith, the name Hagit means “festive.”

Hagit is pronounced ha-GEET, but those unfamiliar with the name tend to pronounce it HAG-it.

Therefore, while we love this beautiful Hebrew name for girls, and we know it won’t be a problem for adults with the name, Hagit may be a difficult one for kids to live with as it can too easily be shortened to “Hag.”

Modern, Strong, Stylish

Hallel הָלֵּל

The name Hallel comes from the Hebrew word halal, הָלַל, meaning “praise.”

The more traditional form of Hallel is Hillel, an almost exclusively masculine version of this name, rarely used for girls.

In Hebrew, both Hallel and Hillel are written as הִלֵּל. However, when spoken, Hallel has an “ah” sound after the H while Hillel has a short i sound instead.

Religious, Joyful, Youthful

Hannah חַנָּה

A form of the Hebrew name Channah, or חַנָּה, Hannah means “grace, favor.”

One of the many beauties of the name Hannah is that it is used around the world. We found records of newborns registered as Hannah in 190 countries.

However, this universal love of the name, coupled with the global upswing in use during the late 1990s and early 2000s, may make Hannah a “too popular” choice for many.

Intelligent, Popular, Traditional
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Hed הֵד

Hed means “Echo” in Hebrew.

In contrast to the previous name, Hannah, Hed is exceptionally rare. In Israel, we found records of 49 babies registered with the name Hed, only two of which were girls.

Hed was more prevalent in Sweden, where 89 babies have the name. However, in Sweden, this could be the transferred use of the surname Hed rather than the use of the Hebrew forename.

Complex, Simple, Strange

Herut חֵרוּת

The Hebrew girl name Herut means “freedom.”

The name Herut has strong political associations for some, especially those who were living in Israel at any time between 1948 and the early 2000s. Herut was the name of the primary conservative, nationalist party in the country during this period.

This can make the pretty, lyrical name Herut a tough sell in some families, especially for older generations.

Beautiful, Strong, Stylish

Hodia הוֹדִיָה

In Hebrew, Hodia means “majesty of Yahweh.”

Hodia has held a steady presence in the Israeli top 100 girl name charts since 2014.

However, it already peaked in its popularity in 2016, when it reached #17 in the charts and 700 little girls were given the name. In 2019, Hodia had dropped to #29, with 527 people choosing the name for their child.

Refined, Strong, Stylish

Ilana אִילָנָה

Ilana is a Hebrew name that means “tree.”

It could be an unidentified bias in our research, but a significant number of people named Ilana seem to be famous for artistic and creative work.

Artist Ilana Yahav is famous for latex puppets and sand art performance. Writer, comedian, director, and producer Ilana Glazer is celebrated for her series “Broad City.” And artist Ilana Halperin explores geology in her work.

Natural, Intelligent, Youthful

Inbar עִינְבָּר

Inbar is a Hebrew name. It means “amber.”

Inbar is a pleasing alternative to the more often used Amber, and now that actress Inbar Lavi has spent time on our TV screens, it is also a name familiar beyond the Israeli borders.

Creative, Stylish, Strong

Keren קֶרֶן

The Hebrew name Keren means either “ray of light” or “horn.”

In the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible, Keren-happuch is the youngest of Job’s three daughters. Keren-happuch and her sisters Jemima and Keziah are said to be the most beautiful women in the land and, unusually for the time, each was given an inheritance.

Another unique point about Jemima, Keren-happuch, and Keziah is that they are named in the Tanakh while Job’s sons are not.

Informal, Traditional, Simple

Keshet קֶשֶׁת

Keshet means “rainbow” in Hebrew.

Keshet is most prevalent in Israel, where the gender split for the name is 95% feminine and 5% masculine. Elsewhere in the world, it is exclusively used as a girl name.

In addition to being a forename, Keshet is also a surname, primarily found in Israel, but with a smattering of families of the name in the U.S., Canada, and England.

Beautiful, Creative, Natural

Kineret כִּנֶּרֶת

Kineret is a Hebrew name, meaning “harp.”

Kineret is an alternate transcription of כִּנֶּרֶת, which is also written in English as Kinneret.

The name(s) come from the large lake in northern Israel called Kinneret, from the Hebrew word כִּנּוֹר, or kinnor, meaning “harp.” The name arose because of the harp shape of the lake, which in English is usually referred to as the Sea of Galilee.

Creative, Strong, Unique

Leah לֵאָה

Leah is probably from the Hebrew word le’ah, or לְאָה, meaning “weary.”

Leah in the Torah is the unloved wife of Jacob, who only married her through a mixture of deception on the part of Leah’s father and the promise of marriage to her sister Racheal.

It’s said God saw Leah’s unhappiness and gave her many children as compensation and that everything she did was to become closer to God.

Religious, Traditional, Vintage

Libi לִיבִּי

Libi means “heart” in Hebrew.

There are two forms of Libi, one Hebrew and one Yiddish.

The Hebrew Libi and the Yiddish Libi are two similar but distinct names with interconnected meanings. The Yiddish version of Libi is thought to be a variant of the name Liba, which is from the Yiddish word ליבע, or libe, meaning “love.”

Feminine, Youthful, Whimsical
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Liora לִיאוֹרָה

Liora is a Hebrew girl name, meaning “light for me.”

Liora is a strictly feminine version of the gender-neutral Hebrew name Lior, which has the same meaning.

It may be a bit of a cliche, but we think that Liora would make a great sister name for Uri, or אוּרִי, which is a unisex Hebrew name, meaning “my light,” and Or, אוֹר, another gender-neutral Hebrew name that means “light.”

Feminine, Intelligent, Strong

Livna לִבְנָה

Livna means “white” in Hebrew.

Livna is exceptionally rare, with only 47 people in the world known to have this as a forename and two families with Livna as a surname.

Consequently, if you’re looking for a beautiful Hebrew female name that you won’t find on anyone else in the schoolyard, Linva could be the one for you.

Beautiful, Musical, Whimsical

Malka מַלְכָּה

Malka is a Hebrew name that means queen.

Malka Zimetbaum, also known as Mala or Mala the Belgian, spent nearly two years in Auschwitz-Birkenau before escaping with Edward “Edek” Galiński. The pair were captured, returned to the camp, and executed.

Zimetbaum used her position as an interpreter in the camps to help others. She is revered for her strength, kindness, and the resistance she displayed during her execution.

Complex, Serious, Strong

Margalit מַרְגָלִית

The Hebrew name Margalit means “pearl.”

Both Margalit and the English-language name Margaret evolved from the Greek word μαργαρίτης, or margarites, meaning “pearl.”

It is related to a variety of names, including the Italian girl name Rita, the German girl name Gretchen, the Swedish forename Merit, the Polish girl name Małgorzata, and the Welsh name Megan.

Mature, Traditional, Vintage

Marganita מַרְגָנִיתָה

Marganita is the Hebrew name of a common flower.

The marganita is a common, flowering, daisy-like plant in the primrose family and has the scientific name Anagallis arvensis. This low-growing annual is found across Israel and is native to most of North Africa, Western Asia, and Europe.

Across the world, Marganita has a variety of names, including Scarlet Pimpernel, poor man’s barometer, and shepherd’s clock.

Mature, Natural, Whimsical

Maya מַיָּה

The Hebrew name Maya comes from Mayim, מַיִם, meaning “water.”

You may sometimes see Maya written in Hebrew with an aleph added, making it מאיה. The addition of the aleph indicates that it is not a standard Hebrew word nor a traditional Hebrew name.

This Maya is different from the Sanskrit Maya, or माया, which means illusion, and the English Maya, which is a variant spelling of Maia, meaning “foster mother, good mother.”

Intelligent, Feminine, Natural

Michal מִיכַל

The name Michal may mean “brook,” but the direct translation of מִיכַל is “container.”

In the Hebrew Bible, Michal is the youngest daughter of Saul, who offered her in marriage to David. David responded that he was poor and could not afford a “bride price,” but Saul told him no money was required and that David could bring him 100 enemy foreskins instead.

David went to war, brought Saul 200 foreskins, and married Michal.

Feminine, Strong, Stylish

Miriam מִרְיָם

The meaning of the Hebrew name Miriam is uncertain.

There are multiple theories about the roots and meaning of Miriam. One belief is that the name means “wished for child” and another is that Miriam means “sea of bitterness” or “rebelliousness.” However, there’s no firm evidence to support these theories.

It’s more likely that Miriam evolved from an unspecified Egyptian name with the word elements mr meaning “love” or mry meaning “beloved.”

Informal, Refined, Vintage

Naomi נָעֳמִי

From the Hebrew name Na’omi, or נָעֳמִי, Naomi means “pleasantness.”

Naomi was a short series of six comics published by a DC Comics pop-up imprint called “Wonder Comics.” The comics are about superhero Naomi McDuffie, also known as Powerhouse, her childhood on Earth, and how she discovers her true identity.

In 2021, the CW Network announced it has a live-action series in development based on the comics.

Feminine, Intelligent, Strong
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Nessa נֵס

The Hebrew girl name Nessa means “miracle.”

As well as a Hebrew girl name, Nessa is also an English nickname for Vanessa, which was a name created by author Jonathan Swift. He took the first syllables of his friend’s name, Esther Vanhomrigh and reversed them to create Vanessa.

It’s also an anglicized form of an Irish forename, Neasa. When a queen named Assa, meaning “gentle,” avenged the deaths of her sons, she had her name changed to Neasa, meaning “not gentle.”

Refined, Simple, Stylish

Netta נֶטַע

A feminine form of Neta, Netta, means “shrub, plant, bush” in Hebrew.

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest winner, Netta Barzilai, is the upbeat looping artist best friend we all wish we had. An explosion of energy and positivity, Netta will be a judge on “The X Factor,” helping to choose who will represent Israel in the 2022 contest.

Informal, Natural, Youthful

Nili נִילִי

Nili is a name created from an acronym.

Nili was created from the Hebrew phrase Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker, which means “The Eternity of Israel Will Not Lie.” This was the name of a spy network active in Palestine during World War I.

The phrase originated in 1 Samuel 15:29, although some translations replace Eternity with Strength or Glory.

Complex, Strange, Strong

Noam נוֹעַם

Noam translates from Hebrew to English as “pleasantness.”

NOAM is the short name of Noar Masorti, the youth movement of Masorti Olami. Known in the U.S. as United Synagogue Youth; NOAM is active across Europe, North America, South America, and Russia, as well as in Israel.

And you thought we were going to be lazy and talk about the obvious Noam — Chomsky!

Intelligent, Nerdy, Traditional

Odelia אוֹדֶלְיָה

Odelia is a Hebrew name. It means “I will thank Yahweh.”

It’s thought that this modern Hebrew name was inspired by the English-language name that is spelled the same way. Odelia is a variant spelling of the Ancient Germanic name Odilia.

Oddly, it’s a random but happy coincidence that someone realized the English name Odelia was made of Hebrew name elements, meaning “I will thank Yahweh” and subsequently created a “new” Hebrew name.

The original Germanic name is an elaborate, affectionate form of the name element odal, which means “fatherland” or aud, which means “fortune, wealth.”

Strong, Traditional, Vintage

Ofra עָפְרָה

Ofra is a modern, feminine form of Ophrah which means “fawn.”

Ofra Gaito is the founder of OFRA Cosmetics, a premium vegan cosmetic brand currently based in Florida.

Gaito and her husband resigned from their positions with the company after David Gaito posted a photo on his Instagram account. In the photo, he was making an “OK” hand gesture, which the Anti-Defamation League designates as a hate symbol.

Complex, Strange, Strong

Ora אוֹרָה

Ora is a form of Or which means “light” in Hebrew.

Ora was popular in the U.S. during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, this was more likely a usage of the English language unisex name Ora, which is from the Latin word oro meaning “to pray.”

The combination of the English-language and Hebrew meanings make this a wonderful name option for Jewish girls.

Natural, Simple, Stylish

Orna אָרְנָה

Orna is the feminine form of Oren, meaning “pine tree.”

Orna is also the anglicized form of the rather poetic, traditional Irish name Odharnait, which means “little pale green one.” This was, in turn, an affectionate nickname for girls, based on the Irish word odhra, which means “pale green, sallow.”

This combination of languages and meanings makes Orna a fabulous nature name for girls in mixed-heritage families.

Natural, Strong, Stylish

Rachel רָחֵל

Rachel is a Hebrew name that means “ewe.”

Also spelled Rachael, people outside of Jewish communities rarely used Rachel as a name until the upheaval of Europe’s Protestant Reformation. Many Western European populations then moved away from Catholic saint names, and names from the Bible became fashionable.

Rachel became one of the most popular Hebrew names in non-Hebrew speaking countries, and it has never been out of the U.S. top 250 girl names.

Simple, Traditional, Youthful

Raz רָז

The Hebrew name Raz means “secret.”

Israeli judoka Raz Hershko competed for her country in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Competing in the 78kg and over category, Hershko won the 2015 European Under 18 Championships and a gold medal in the 2021 Judo Grand Slam Antalya.

Modern, Simple, Youthful
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Rebecca רִבְקָה

The Ancient Hebrew name Rebecca probably means “to snare, tie, join.”

In the U.S., Rebecca was an extremely popular name in the early 1970s. In 1975, there were so many boys named Rebecca that it crept onto the top 1,000 boy names list at #980.

However, although Rebecca frequently swings in and out of the top 20 names in most English-speaking countries, Rivka and Riva remain the more popular choice among Hebrew speakers.

Mature, Strong, Stylish

Rina רִינָה

The feminine Hebrew name Rina means “singing, joy.”

The name Rina is also found in other languages and cultures, each with its own meaning. The Irish Rina is an anglicized form of Ríona, which is from Ríoghnach, meaning “queen.” This could make Rina a great sister name for Malka, which also means “queen.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese girl name Rina usually combines the kanji for “white jasmine” and “greens,” 莉菜.

Informal, Musical, Simple

Rivka רִיבְקָה

A Modern Hebrew form of Rebecca, Rivka probably means “join, tie, snare.”

As a variant of Rebecca, Rivka is an excellent option if you want to honor a relative or ancestor called Rebecca but do not want to use the original version.

The name can also be found transliterated to English as Rivkah, and there is also an Ancient Hebrew Biblical form which transliterates as Rivqah.

Modern, Stylish, Youthful

Romi רוֹמִי

Romi is a Hebrew name that means “my exaltation, my height.”

We adore the bright and breezy Romi because it’s a fabulous combination of an older, more traditional name and a short, snappy, modern-looking spelling.

We’ve listed Romi as feminine, but if this is important to you, be aware there are a handful of male Romis. For example, there’s Romi Goldmuntz, a Belgian businessman who is considered a pivotal figure in Antwerp’s diamond industry.

Informal, Modern, Youthful

Sarah שָׂרָה

Sarah means “noblewoman, Lady, princess” in Hebrew.

The Bible tells the story of Abram and his wife Sarai, who was unable to become and remain pregnant. After making a covenant with God, the couple were given new names: Sarah and Abraham. After the covenant was made, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Issac.

Said to have been wise, pious, and hospitable, Sarah is often held as a figure of worthiness.

Intelligent, Strong, Traditional

Shachar שַׁחַר

In Hebrew, Shachar means “dawn.”

Shachar is one of the rare gender-neutral names which is evenly split between male and female usage, no matter where in the world you are.

The only downside to Shachar is that because there is no English-language equivalent to the Hebrew letter Chet, non-Hebrew speakers tend to pronounce Shachar as “SHAH-CHAR” rather than “SHAH-khahr.”

Intelligent, Natural, Strong

Shai שַׁי

A gender-neutral Hebrew name, Shai means “gift.”

Sometimes transcribed in English as Shay, most people agree that Shai can be pronounced as either “SHY” or “SHAY.”

In addition to being a stand-alone name, Shai is also an affectionate nickname for people with the name Isaiah, which means “Yahweh is salvation.”

Creative, Strange, Stylish

Shamira שָׁמִירָה

Shamira is a Hebrew name that means “protector” or “guardian.”

Filmmaker Shamira Raphaëla began her career directing TV in her native Holland. However, she found her groove in documentary filmmaking.

In “Deal With It,” Raphaëla presents an intimate family portrait featuring her brother and father, both addicted to drugs. In “Daddy the Warlord,” Raphaëla follows Clarice Gargard as she uncovers her father’s life.

Serious, Strange, Strong

Shifra שִׁפְרָה

A form of the Ancient Hebrew name Shiphrah, Shifra might mean “beautiful.”

The direct translation of שִׁפְרָה is “improved,” and it was the name of a Biblical midwife who defied an order from the Egyptian Pharaoh to kill male Israelite babies at birth. Her name is said to mean beautiful because she beautified the babies she delivered.

Another theory is that both names are related to the Aramaic name Sapphira, meaning “sapphire.”

Creative, Feminine, Modern

Shiri שׁירי

The Hebrew name Shiri means “my song.”

Actress Shiri Appleby was sent to acting classes when she was four because her parents thought she was too shy. Appleby made appearances in multiple programs after her breakout role in “Roswell,” where she played Liz Parker.

Musical, Informal, Youthful
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Shlomit שְׁלוֹמִית

The Hebrew name Sholmit means “peaceful.”

Shlomit Malka was serving in the Israeli Defence Forces when a modeling agent saw her photo on Facebook.

Malka was permitted to model on the condition she made up the time in the force. and so began her unique career of swinging between being a military instructor and a model for Ralph Lauren, Armani, Schwarzkopf, and L’Oreal.

Complex, Mature, Strange

Simcha שִׂמְחָה

Simcha means “joy, happiness” in Hebrew.

As a word, simcha is a fundamental concept in Judaism, as evidenced in the teaching “Mitzvah Gedolah Le’hiyot Besimcha Tamid” or “It is a great mitzvah to always be happy.” The belief behind this teaching is that you are more able to serve God when you are happy.

Simcha is also a Yiddish and Jewish noun meaning “festivity” or “festive occasion.”

Musical, Traditional, Youthful

Sivan סִיוָן

The Hebrew name Sivan means “occasion, season.”

Sivan is an evolution of the Akkadian word simānu, meaning “occasion” or “season.” It is the name of the ninth month of the traditional Hebrew calendar, which occurs in spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

WIth their associations with happy, festive occasions, Sivan and Simcha would make a fabulous pair of twin names.

Musical, Traditional, Youthful

Stav סתיו

Stav is “autumn” in Hebrew.

In 2014, the last year for which reliable, global data is available, there were 6,000 people with the name Stav.

The vast majority of these people are in Israel, where there were 3,838 female Israelis named Stav and 1,806 Israeli males with the name. This means 1 in 1,489 living people in the country are called Stav.

Mature, Simple, Strong

Talia טַלְיָא

The Hebrew girl name Talia means “dew of God.”

The Italian fairy tale “Sun, Moon, and Talia” was published in a 1632 compilation by Giambattista Basile. Basile collected and recorded traditional fairy tales, creating the earliest known records of folk and fairy tales from many countries.

As with many fairy tales, the original was pretty gruesome, but centuries later, it was sanitized, and Talia became who we now know as “Sleeping Beauty.”

Natural, Stylish, Youthful

Tamar תָּמָר

Tamar is a Hebrew name, meaning “date palm.”

Tamar is currently the number one girl name for newborns in Israel and has been for the last four years.

While annual data isn’t available for the years before 2014, Tamar was the 33rd most common name in Israel among all living residents that year. Tamar must have been popular for many years before 2014.

Natural, Popular, Strong

Tehila תְּהִלָּה

The root of Tehila is הָלַל, or halal, meaning “to shine, to praise.”

Also written as Tehilla, Tahila, and Tahilah, the Hebrew girl name shares its root word with another similar but distinct girl name, Tahel, meaning “you will shine.”

The masculine equivalent is Hillel, making this an excellent choice for boy-girl twins or any other brother and sister pairing.

Musical, Simple, Youthful

Tirtza תִּרְצָה

Tirtza is a modern form of Tirzah, meaning “favorable.”

While we are often bigger fans of the modern version of names, we’re on the fence with Tirtza/Tirzah.

The modern spelling is cute and dynamic but is also associated with the Neve Tirtza women’s prison. Meanwhile, the Tirzah spelling is less appealing, but it is associated with the ancient city of the same name, which was once the capital of Israel.

Complex, Refined, Strange

Tzufit צוּפִית

Tzufit means “hummingbird” in Hebrew.

TV host and actress Tzufit Grant began her career acting in movies such as “Time Off” and “Distortion.” Grant rose to prominence when her morning TV show, “Milkshake,” showed her doing such things as drinking her own urine to discover if it had the health benefits people claimed.

Beautiful, Feminine, Natural

Varda וַרְדָה

Varda is a Hebrew name, meaning “rose.”

In the “Middle Earth” universe created by J.R.R. Tolkien, Queen Varda is said to have placed the stars in the heavens. Because of this, Tolkien writes, the elves of Middle Earth revere Varda above all others.

Varda is also said to be beautiful “beyond the words of elves or men.”

Feminine, Natural, Strong
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Yaara יַעֲרָה

The Hebrew name Yaara means “honeysuckle” and “honeycomb.”

In Hindi, Yaara means “friend,” and in Urdu and Gujarati, it means the equivalent of “Dude.” Perhaps that’s why 64% of the people named Yaara in India are male. In Pakistan, all Yaaras are male, but in the rest of the world, Yaara is an exclusively feminine Hebrew name.

Nerdy, Strange, Strong

Yael יָעֵל

Yael is a Hebrew name, meaning “mountain goat, ibex.”

Yael is an alternate spelling of Jael. The biblical story of Jael tells how the Canaanite general Sisera escapes during a battle during Israel’s wars with the Canaanites. Sisera flees to Jael’s tent, where she welcomes him in and provides comfort and sustenance.

Exhausted, Sisera falls asleep, and Jael uses a hammer to drive a tent peg through his forehead.

Complex, Serious, Strong

Yafa יָפָה

Yafa is an alternative transcription of Yaffa which means “beautiful.”

Singer Yafa Yarkoni was often referred to as “songstress of the wars” because she frequently performed for the Israel Defence Force soldiers. In 1998, Yarkoni was awarded the Israel Prize for her contribution to Hebrew music.

Beautiful, Informal, Simple

Yakira יַקִירָה

Yakira means “precious” in Hebrew.

Yakira L.L.C. is the registered name of the popular urban fashion company Ecko Unltd. Famed for their Rhinoceros logo, which features prominently in many of their designs, Ecko became popular in the late 1990s, especially in the skateboarding subculture.

Complex, Creative, Youthful

Yarden יַרְדֵן

Yarden is from the Hebrew word יָרַד, or yarad, meaning “to flow down” or “descend.”

Yarden is the Hebrew name for what is known in the English language as the River Jordan. The name was popular among crusaders and pilgrims in Medieval Europe. They would bring back vials from the river and use them to baptize their children, bestowing the name upon them.

Complex, Masculine, Strong

Yarona יָרוֹנָה

Yarona is the feminine form of the Hebrew boy name Yaron, meaning “to shout, to sing.”

The country in which the name Yarona is most popular is Botswana. However, this is most likely because of the popular radio station Yarona FM, which broadcasts there, and not because of any underground community of Hebrew speakers in Botswana.

Natural, Strange, Strong

Zillah צִלָּה

Zillah means “shade” in Hebrew.

In the Book of Genesis in the Torah, Zillah and Adah are the co-wives of Lamech. Their children were the seventh generation of natural-born human beings. This is significant because this seventh generation is said to be the start of a “fully launched” human race.

Four of their children are said to create the “civilized arts.”

Creative, Feminine, Strong

Zipporah צִפּוֹרָה

Zipporah is a Hebrew name, meaning “bird.”

Zipporah Nunes Machado Jacobs was born in Portugal to a family of conversos. As they were forced to practice their religion in secret, the family eventually fled to London, where they could worship openly.

In 1733, Zipporah Nunes Machado Jacobs became one of the first Jews to immigrate to the new colony of Georgia.

Beautiful, Complex, Strange

Ziva זִיוָה

A form of Ziv, Ziva means “radiant, bright” in Hebrew.

Ziva is also a delicious Israeli dish of puff pastry that is stuffed with cheese and olives, then topped with sesame seeds, baked until golden, and served with zhug — if you’re lucky.

Feminine, Informal, Youthful

Zohar זֹהַר

The Hebrew name Zohar means “brilliance, light.”

Zohar Hen Shikler began swimming at the age of six. Competing in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle, Shikler set an Israeli national record of 24.80 for the 50m freestyle at the 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships.

Beautiful, Masculine, Youthful
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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.