The Hebrew translation for the name Yetta #names

ada zig

Jennie, was not Sheina but Freude, Joy. 
I searched for many years to connect family grandmother Jennie in NYC and later Boston to somewhere in Galicia. Shayna and more, to no avail. There was so little documentation or family info. One day, listening to the chorale and Beethoven's 9th Symphony, I heard "Freude, ....". Joy. And then I knew. She had been Freude. Now I could search on-line records, and there she was, in Tarnopol, with her parents and an older brother. And her mother's father and more. All lining up with marriage names in NYC, the only thing to go on. 
Charlotte Steinzig in Canyon, CA

David Shapiro

Jennie is often Sheina.

David Shapiro

Reuven Mohr

of course it is important and helpful to find Hebrew/Yiddish names of ancestors. I think to use the word "translation" in this context sounds problematic.
Also the expression 'she created a name' sounds a little disturbing. In my research I learned that during the 18th-19th cent. people very often turn up with a variety of names, and we will never know how and by whom they were 'created'.

As to Jennie, I can give you a few samples of names which I found in German communities in connection with Jennie:
Judith, Jente, Jentel, Jachet, Jette, Julie, Shendel/Scheindel = Jeanette, Marianne, Chaya  ... and probably more

good luck,

Reuven Mohr

Mary Clare

My g-g-grandmother from Ellingen, Bavaria was named Yetta and also went by the name Idel, a Yiddish diminutive of the name Yehudit (or Yehuda for a male). 

Mary Clare
Austin, TX

Sarah L Meyer

Do you have Hebrew on her tombstone?  A Ketuba?  Either of these would give her Hebrew/Yiddish name as opposed to other possibilities (of which there are many).

Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Kathryn Kanarek James

My (maternal) great grandmother’s English name incensus documents and her death record was Jennie Goldstein. She came to Ellis Island with the name Bebe Goldstein. After years of searching, a volunteer sent me a picture of her gravestone from a NYC cemetery. The “English” name on the gravestone is Baba Goldstein. Her Yiddish name on the gravestone is Keile Golde. My Yiddish name is Keile Beile (Beile was my great-grandmother on my father’s side).
Kathryn Kanarek James
Annandale, VA, USA
Names of interest: WEGODNER/WAGNER, SIDUCH  (Sokolievka/Justingrad Ukraine), GOLDSTEIN, LANDA (Shpikov, Ukraine), WANG (Janow Lubelski, Russia Poland), KANAREK, BROD (Tarnobrzeg, Tarnow, Galicia) SINGER/KATZENELLENBOGEN (Tarnow, Galicia)


My grandmother who came to the USA in 1920 was always "Yetta" (and NO other name was ever used), however, in finding her Ellis Island manifest record it clearly was written 'Yenta" (and she also had an aunt named "Yenta" - I suppose that both were named after the same person). 

The bottom line: due to this, I do believe / understand that "Yetta" is a shortened or nickname to the Yiddish name "Yenta".

I do NOT know of any specific "Hebrew name" for it, but various internet sites say that the name 'Yetta" = Light.

Yosef Rabin
Jerusalem, Israel 

Gail H. Marcus

This is mostly for Peter Cohen:  If it's of any help, i had a great-aunt named Jennie, and the name on her gravestone transliterates as Scheine. 

Gail Marcus

Michele Lock

My experience has been that on US records where a person is listed, who never came to the US, that their first name is 'Americanized' to the most common one used by Jewish immigrants. For example, 'Wulf' changed to 'William', Tsali changed to 'Charlie', 'Chaya' changed to 'Ida', 'Dvora' changed to 'Dora'. Our immigrant forebears must have had a mental list of the most common Americanized form of a Yiddish name, and then used that one. 

For Jennie, the most common original Yiddish first name was Sheina (or its related spellings). Jennie may also have been from Channah, Zlata, or Zisl. 

Occasionally (maybe 5-10% of the time), I've also had the original maiden surname of a person who did not come to the US, also Americanized, or just outright changed to something completely different from the original. I have a Great great grandmother who Jewishgen records show as Beile Eivus (possibly related to Heifetz). On the US marriage records of her children, they always use Bella as the first name, but have Havets, Fineberg, Bargman, or Levine given as her maiden surname. I suspect that the one written as Havets is closest to the original surname.

When in doubt, keep looking for more records to sort out inconsistencies.
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus

Peter Cohen

I don't think it is pointless to try to determine the Hebrew (or Yiddish) name of an ancestor.  You need that information to find them in the Eastern European records.  One brick wall I have never been able to pierce is the ancestry of one of my great grandmothers. On her marriage license, my grandmother listed her mother's name as Jennie Katz.  Jennie died around 1876 (probably in Vilkomir, Lithuania). Her husband was born around 1852, so Jennie was probably in her early twenties. It is hard enough to try to research someone named Katz, but without knowing what her actual first name was, it has been impossible.  It is likely that "Jennie" was a name created by my grandmother for the purposes of her marriage certificate, since her mother never left Lithuania.  She is probably in the 1858 Revision List, but under what name?
Peter Cohen

Odeda Zlotnick

How about the following, very rare, very special name - I have run into it once.

Four Hundred Barrels of Wine - Yalta, the wife of Rav Nachman - Women of Distinction (

Spelled ילתא she seems to have been a very special woman. 

Have your grandchildren google the name in Hebrew -- if they speak the language.

Mind you, living with a rare name is not easy, though sometime fun because there are so few of you...
Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.


Another option: My grandmother was known as Yetta which is the name on the ship manifest, what we called her, the name on her US marriage license, and was the English name on her gravestone, but the Hebrew name on her gravestone was Tamara. She was from Lithuania.

Sheila Green
RUBINOVSKIY (Vselyub, Traby, Ivye in Belarus, Odessa, Ukraine)
ROLLNICK (Odessa & Berdychiv in Ukraine)
GRIN (Seduva, Lithuania)
SAX (Lithuania)


My grandmother's name was also Yetta.  On her gravestone in Hebrew it was written as Etyl and in the JRI-Poland record for her birth it was Ettel.  
June Farber Lash
St. Paul, Minnesota


I had an Aunt Jutta, born in Germany. I wonder if that is related to the name Yetta. 
Interesting topic thread. 
Beth Chardack
Salt Lake City, UT

Dan Nussbaum

Yetta is Yiddish and short for Yentl which in turn is a German/Yiddish translation of  Gentle or noble as in Gentleman with the "G" becoming a "Y."

A Hebrew name would be אדירה.

Daniel Nussbaum II, M.D., FAAP
Retired Developmental Pediatrician
Rochester, New York
Tone can be misinterpreted in email. Please read my words with warmth, kindness, and good intentions.

Searching for;
Nussbaum, Katzenstein, Mannheimer and Goldschmidt; Rhina, Raboldshausen and Bad Hersfeld, Germany
Teplitzky, Bendersky and Kaszkiet; Uman, Ukraine
Rosenthal and S(c)henk(el)man; Zinkov, Ukraine
Bild and Kashlevsky; anywhere

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

Women in Europe often didn't have Hebrew names, just Yiddish and / or secular ones. Furthermore, names weren't translated, but usually a new name in another language had the same initial sound.

So if you want a Hebrew name for Yetta, I have to ask whether you want an Israeli Hebrew name, or a likely name in Hebrew. My grandmother was Matilda, Aunt Tilly to those who knew her, was born in NYC as Rosa. She didn't translate her name, to Hebrew or English, she chose what was a fashionable, and apparently one she liked.

So looking for a translation of Yetta, which might actually have bee Etta in Eastern Europe, is difficult and, perhaps, pointless.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Sherri Bobish


There is no way to guess about her original name.  I can tell you that my ggm Yenta was called Yetta after coming to The U.S.  A hundred other ladies that called themselves Yetta may have had other names.

Your gm's Hebrew name may be on her tombstone.

Also, if she was born outside of The U.S. than her passenger manifest will list her under the name she used prior to arriving here.

Good luck,

Sherri Bobish

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)


Ellen, be careful with the use of Ita if you live along the Mexican border.  Ita is a common Spanish nickname,
Herschel Sheiness
San Antonio, Tx


To add more possibilities to this growing list:

My German-Jewish mother's secular name was Jettchen (pronounced Yettchen), a diminutive of the nickname for Henrietta.  (I won't go into what her "Hebrew" name was, as this would only add confusion). 

However, no-one called her Jettchen; they used one of two other nicknames:  Hette and Hetti.

I always thought that a nice Hebrew name to go with these would be Hadassah.
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Dick Plotz <Dick@...>

Jeffrey's reply illustrates a fact that we all need to keep in mind
with questions like Andrea's. Two related ones, in fact.

1. With the exception of common, well-known Biblical names such as
Sarah or Jacob, names do not translate, in the sense that when people
move from one country to another, especially when it involves crossing
an ocean, they often change their name, not only to the counterpart of
their original given name, e.g., Ya'akov to Jacob, but often to an
entirely different name. It's often been noted in JewishGen
discussions that men with a wide variety of names in Europe, not only
names beginning with S, became "Sam" in America. This has jokingly
been called "Samification."

2. Especially in cities, Jews' civil given names often did not
correspond in any predictable way to their ritual names. I'm a good
example of this; my Hebrew name is Yitzchak Yisrael, as is that of my
cousin Paul Plotz. We were both named after our grandfather Ike. Yes,
alliterative naming is common, but far from universal.

So attempts to deduce ritual names from civil names or vice versa,
ditto European names vs American names, are misguided at best. Even
when a civil name is Biblical in origin, it's not necessarily the
person's name by which they were called to the Torah or that appears
in Hebrew lettering on their gravestone. Think about it from the point
of view of how a person gets their given name or names. Typically,
their parents announce their name on a civil document and at a bris or
naming ceremony. Anyone who has cared for a newborn knows that it's
usually a hectic time, and making everything match up neatly is not
high on their list of priorities.

Dick Plotz
Providence RI USA

On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 1:57 PM Jx. Gx. <mrme1914@...> wrote:

Hello Andrea, My great-grandmother's name was Heneh Yuteh, but somewhere along the line she started using the name Yetta Chana and even more often just Yetta. My mother was name in honor of Yetta with the Hebrew name Yehudit, which in English became Judith. Incidentally, my mother had a strong bond with Yetta and often in later life referred to her as "Yitta" which seems to have a warmer tone to the name, at least to my ears.

Jeffrey Gee