Naming a Baby: Our Dilemma


My Jewish daughter and her non-Jewish husband are having a baby boy. We are planning a Bris. Their plan is to name the baby for the baby’s Jewish grandparents.

Rabbi, our question is this: Is it acceptable to give a third name for a non-Jewish grandparent?

We certainly want to be respectful to both sides of the family. Thank you very much.



  1. I assume you would like to know in advance of the birth and Bris out of curiosity and in order to allow for any input on your part. Or, perhaps you’d just like to share in the amazing experience surrounding the beginning of a family member’s new life in this world. I understand you and I can relate to the dilemma you may feel you are in.

    However, it should be clear that it is the parents’ right to choose the baby’s name. I am therefore speaking to you and not to the parents of the child on the way. My answer to you is that it would be better not to do so, if possible. A Bris is a sacred covenant between God and the Jewish People. For this reason, it seems incongruous to add the name of a non-Jewish grandparent. But, if it will be the cause of strife, then perhaps it would be acceptable to do so. However, I am not quite sure what name would be appropriate and “kosher” in that case.

    Whatever name they choose, I want to take this occasion to wish you much nachat (Jewish happiness) from the newest member of the family and from all of your family. May God bless you with much good health and success!

    Best wishes from the Team