The Name Ovadia Growing in Popularity in Israel


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ovaAccording to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the most popular boy’s name in 2014 was Noam and for girls, Noa. The report signals the name of Ovadia is gaining in popularity by hundreds of percent.

According to the newly-released CBS report, 1,600 boys were named Noam in 2014 and 1,478 girls were named Noa. In 2012, 36 children received the name Ovadia and in 2013, that number stood at 117. In 2014, that number increased significantly to 209.

Among Jewish boys the second most popular name was Uri/Ori with 1,477 followed by Dovid (1,408), Yosef (1,344), Eitan (1,275), Itai (1,274), Ariel (1,252), Daniel (1,191), Yonatan (1,130) and Moshe (1,017).

The name Eitan moved from 10th to 7th place, attributed to Operation Pillar of Defense, which in Hebrew was called Tzuk Eitan. The name Romi moved from 29th to 15th place.

Noa was the most popular in Petach Tikvah, Rehovot and Holon. In the other cities [excluding Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim], it ranks in the top five. Interestingly, while Noa remains the most popular name in Israel for 15 years, in certain cities the name is all but disappeared.

In Jerusalem and Bnei Brak for example, Noa is not in the top ten on the list. In Jerusalem, the most popular name is Sara and in Bnei Brak, Esther. In Ashdod, Bat Yam, Netanya, Beersheva and Ashkelon the most popular name is Adele. In Haifa, Tel Aviv/Yaffo, Rishon L’Tzion and Ramat Gan, the most popular name is Maya.

While Noam topped the list among the boys in Beersheva, Ramat Gan, Rehovot, Ashkelon, Bat Yam and Holon, the name Uri led in Tel Aviv/Yaffo and Modi’in; and Itai in Rishon L’Tzion and Petach Tikvah. Yosef led in Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak and it was Eitan in Haifa, Netanya, and Herzliya while Moshe led in Ashdod.

Among the Muslim population, one of every five boys is named either Mohammed or Ahmed (2,600 and 968 respectively). Among the Muslim girls, the most popular name is Miriam (419).

Therefore, the most popular name among the children in Israel in 2014 is Mohammed since it was given to one in seven Muslim boys. Regarding the girls, both Muslims and Jews, the most popular name is Miriam; one in every forty.

The third most popular name all around, give to over 1,350 Jewish boys and 600 Muslim boys is Yosef. In fourth place is Ariel which was given to 1,300 boys and 500 girls. The names Daniel and Ori were also among the names like Ariel – given to both boys and girls.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)