According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the most popular baby names in Israel over the last decade were Noam (for boys) and Noa (for girls).
Other popular baby names were Itai, Uri, Yehonatan, Daniel, David, Ariel and Eden (for boys) and Shira, Maya, Tamar, Talia, Noia and Adi (for girls).
“Can you see Rotem?” [my four-year-old] asks during morning drop-off at kindergarten. I look at each of the girls, believing I’ve already met her and risking his wrath because I have forgotten what she looks like, but no, this Rotem — though it’s a traditional girls’ name — is a boy. A couple of days later, a woman chats to me at the kindergarten gate. “I’m Natanel’s mom,” she says, positive that I know Natanel (the Hebrew form of Nathaniel). The name rings a bell, so out of politeness I say I know how much my son enjoys playing with him. Cover blown: Natanel is a she.
Jeffay also says parents are aiming “for a similar sound with boys’ and girls’ names. That is, a two-syllable format with a modern feel that has a vague Biblical sound without sounding traditional.”