Inspired by Gaza war, Eitan surges as Israeli baby name choice

Mohammed and Noa continued to top list in 2014, according to figures released Sunday

Illustrative: Newborn babies in a hospital ward (Flash 90)
Illustrative: Newborn babies in a hospital ward (Flash 90)

Mohammed and Noa continued their reign at the top of Israel’s baby naming list for 2014, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Sunday.

Noa, which has been the most popular girl’s name for 15 years, was given to 1,478 newborns last year, while 2,650 baby boys were given the name Mohammed in 2014.

Not everything was as it has been, though.

Eitan soared in popularity to No. 5 from 10th place in 2014, a surge attributed to that year’s war in Gaza dubbed Operation Protective Edge, or Mivtza Tzuk Eitan in Hebrew.

ِAmong Jewish boys, the most popular names were Noam, Yosef, Uri and Daniel. The name Noam (1,600 boys and 400 girls) and Daniel was given to both boys and girls, and the name Yosef/Yussuf was given to both Jewish (1,350) and Muslim (600) boys.

The Central Bureau for Statistics released its report (Hebrew) on Sunday for the year 2014. At the end of every year, it releases the stats for the previous year.

Despite the continuing leading popularity of the name Noa, it was actually given to fewer girls this year than in previous years.

Rounding out the lineup of most popular names for girls was Tamar (1,380), Shira and Maya (1,200 respectively), Yael (1,135), Adele (1,110), Talia (1,060), Abigail (1,040), Ayala (930) and Sara (860).

For the first time ever, the Central Bureau of Statistics released statistics per city, with the popularity of certain names varying from city to city.

In Jerusalem, the most popular girls’ names were, unsurprisingly, traditional names popular with religious families: Sara, Miriam, Yael, Esther, Tamar, Abigail, Ayala, Rachel, Rivka, Chaya and Chana.

In more secular Tel Aviv, the names were almost entirely different, with an emphasis on more modern names: Maya, Ella, Noa, Alma, Tamar, Romi, Roni, Lia, Shira, Emma and Yuval.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the pop singer, in Ashdod the most popular name for girls was Adele, while, also unsurprisingly, in Bnei Brak it was Esther.

Interestingly, among the boys, there was more consistency in their names, regardless of city, with Noam being the most popular name in Beersheba, Ramat Gan, Rehovot, Ashkelon, Bat Yam and Holon. Uri was the most popular boys’ name in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Gan and Modiin. As with the girls, the boys in Jerusalem also favored more traditional names, with Yosef taking the lead.



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