Jews in Russia have been living in the country for more than a millennia.
The Jews in the country have historically made up for the majority of the religious diaspora. Among Russian Jews, the Ashkenazi Jews make up the largest group, followed by the Mountain Jews, Crimean Karaites, Bukharan Jews, the Krymchaks, Georgian Jews, and the Sephardi Jews.
The Ashkenazi get their name from the Biblical figure of Ashkenaz, who was a descendant of Noah. The term is broadly used to define the Jews who had their roots in Germany and other countries in Eastern Europe. From there, they spread to other parts of the world, including Russia. They don't speak Hebrew but speak the language of Yiddish, a dialect of Hebrew, which borrows from German, Aramaic, and other Slavic languages.
However, most Yiddish names have a Hebrew origin. In Russia, the largest country in the world spread across both Europe and Asia, many family names come from Jewish roots. Many non-Jew families in Russia also have Jewish surnames. On the other hand, many of these Jewish surnames have become common Jewish baby names. However, here we will be talking about the Jewish names, such as Daniil, rather than Jewish surnames and family names, such as Weiss. So, without further ado, let's take a look at these 50+ Jew origin names for boys and girls for the Jewish population.
Russian Jewish Names For Boys
Take a look at these male Jew names from Russia.
1. Abram meaning "exalted father"; the Russian form of 'Abraham'. Abram Ioffe was a renowned Soviet nuclear scientist.
2. Akim meaning "God will establish"; from 'Joachim'. This is a popular choice for Jewish boy names in Russia.
3. Arons meaning "of the mountains". Aron Bogolubovs is a former judoka from Soviet Russia. Variations of Arons has also been used as Jewish surnames.
4. Daniil meaning "God is my judge"; from 'Daniel'. Daniil Shafran was a cellist from Russia. This is one of the popular names for many Jewish families.
5. David meaning "beloved"; David Bronstein was a Soviet chess player. This is a very common choice for Hebrew names.
6. Emanuel meaning "God is with us"; Emanuel Goldberg was a Soviet-origin scientist.
7. Grigory (Greek origin) meaning "watchful"; from 'Gregory'. This is one of the popular Russian names adopted by the Russian Jews for their son.
8. Ilya meaning "my God is Jehovah"; from 'Elijah'. Soviet physicist Ilya Frank won the Nobel Prize for explaining the phenomenon of Cherenkov radiation.
9. Iosif meaning "he will add"; from Yosef. Iosif Shklovsky was a Soviet astrophysicist. This is another prevalent given name for a son in the Jewish community.
10. Isaak meaning "he laughs"; from 'Isaac'. Isaak Khalatnikov is a Russian physicist.
11. Israel meaning "God contended"; Israel Gelfand was a famous mathematician.
12. Lazar meaning "God has helped"; from 'Eleazor'. Lazar Yazgur was a Soviet painter.
13. Leivick meaning "attached"; from 'Levi'. Leivick Halpern was a Soviet Yiddish writer.
14. Leonid meaning "heart"; Leonid Yudasin was a chess player. This was also used as a last name.
15. Lev meaning "from the heart"; Physicist Lev Landau won the Nobel Prize in 1962. His numerous discoveries included the theory of diamagnetism in quantum mechanics. He had also discovered, along with scientist John von Neumann, the method of the density matrix in the field of quantum mechanics. This is a common Jewish first name.
16. Mark meaning "polite". Chess trainer Mark Dvoretsky had this name.
17. Mendele meaning "comforter"; from 'Menachem'. Mendele Mocher Sforim is a pioneering figure in modern Yiddish and modern Hebrew literature.
18. Mikhail meaning "gift from God"; from 'Michael'. Mikhail Mishustin is the current prime minister of Russia. This is a popular first name for Jews.
19. Moisei meaning "to draw out"; from 'Moses'. Moisei Kas'ianik was a Soviet world champion in weightlifting.
20. Naum meaning "comfort". Naum Idelson is a Soviet astronomer. This is a rare first name for Jews,
21. Osip meaning "God will multiply"; poet Osip Mandelstam had this moniker.
22. Samuil meaning "name of God"; from 'Samuel'. Samuil Marshak was a Soviet poet.
23. Savely meaning "help"; Savely Kramarov was a popular comic actor.
24. Selman meaning "man of peace; Biochemist Selman Waksman won the Nobel Prize.
25. Semyon meaning "listener"; from Simon. Semyon Gershgorin was a mathematician. This is a popular identity in the Russian empire.
26. Seva refers to a Hebrew vowel and is a unique given moniker; Seva Novgorodsev is a musician.
27. Shaul meaning "prayed for'; from poet Shaul Tchernichovsky.
28. Sholem meaning "peace"; from Sholem Aleichem, who is a playwright. One of the prevalent names amongst Jewish people.
29. Vitaly (Latin origin) meaning "life-giving"; Vitaly Ginzburg was a Jewish Soviet physicist.
30. Vladimir can be traced to the Yiddish word for "wolf". This is a popular moniker in the Russian empire.
31. Yakov meaning "supplanter"; from 'James'. Yakov Frenkel was a Soviet physicist. This is a very common moniker for Jews.
32. Yefim (Greek origin) means "well-spoken"; Legendary Soviet Jewish actor Yefim Kopelyan had this given name.
33. Yuli refers to July; from film director Yuli Raizman. An uncommon choice from names for Jewish people.
34. Yuri means "light of God". Yuri Levitan was a Soviet radio announcer, and this is a common given name for a son.
35. Zhores is one of the numerous new names popular for a son amongst the Jews. Jewish physicist Zhores Alferov had this moniker.
Russian Jewish Names For Girls
Let's take a look at some popular Jewish names in Russia.
36. Alisa meaning "great happiness". Alisha was the Russian first name of the author, Ayn Rand.
37. Alla meaning "to go up"; Soviet-origin Alla Kushnir was the women's world championship challenger in chess.
38. Anna meaning "favor"; Anna Smashnova is a Soviet-born Israeli tennis player. This is an excellent choice for Jewish girl names.
39. Elizaveta meaning "devoted to God"; from 'Elisabeth'. Elizaveta Polonskaya was a translator and poet.
40. Irina meaning "grace"; Irina Press was a former two-time Soviet Olympic champion in hurdles and pentathlon.
41. Josephinne meaning "God shall grow"; Josephinne Yaroshevich is a pioneer and painter in the field of computer and digital art.
42. Maria meaning "of the sea"; Maria Grinberg was a legendary Soviet pianist of international acclaim. This is an excellent identity for a new-born child.
43. Nina meaning "God was gracious"; Nina Brodskaya was a popular soprano singer in USSR in the 1960s and 1970s.
44. Oksana meaning "please praise God"; Oksana Baiul is a Soviet-born Ukrainian figure skater, Olympic gold medallist, and world champion in figure skating. She was born a Christian but later converted to Judaism.
45. Rachel meaning "one with purity". Poet Rachel Bluwstein is a Russian-origin poet widely known by just her leading name.
46. Raissa refers to the flower rose; Raissa Maritain was a Jewish Russian poet and philosopher who converted to Christianity.
47. Sonia meaning "wisdom and intelligence"; Sonia Delaunay was a legendary painter and designer born in the Russian Empire. Many have named their new child Sonia after her.
48. Tamara meaning "date palm"; Tamara Press is a legendary sportswoman from the erstwhile USSR who made six world records in discus throwing and shot put. On top of that, she is three times Olympic gold medallist and one-time silver medalist.
49. Tatiana meaning "young forever"; Tatiana Lysenko is another legendary Soviet-born Ukrainian gymnast. She is a former two time Olympic gold medallist in the balance beam and the team combined exercises. She also won a bronze medal in horse vault.
50. Yanina meaning "Yahweh/God is gracious". Yanina Batyrchina from Russia is an Olympic silver medallist in the field of rhythmic gymnastics.
51. Yunna means "helper"; from 'Ezra'. Yunna Morits is a Soviet-born poet, activist, and translator who has won many literary prizes.
52. Zhanna meaning "gracious and kind God"; from 'Hannah'. Zhanna Pintusevich-Block is a Soviet-born Ukrainian sprinter who fought against many hardships while growing up. In the early 1990s, she became a world 100-m and 200-m champion in sprinting.
Kidadl has lots of great baby names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Russian Jewish names then why not take a look at something different like Jewish Girl Names or Russian Boy Names.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.