The Israel Genealogy Research Association [IGRA] has been feverishly working on obtaining as many Israeli records as possible to database as an aide to your family research. It has been said that every Jewish family in the world has a branch in Israel. Whether precisely true or not, the likelihood of your having relatives in the Land of Israel is quite high.
The Voters’ List Project http://genealogy.org.il/british currently includes 21 lists that range from the earliest list found for voters in Tel Aviv in 1922, through the elections for the local council of Ramat Gan in 1946. Areas covered include Jerusalem
Safed, Rehovot, Ra’anana, Bnai Brak, various small settlements, Rishon Lezion, Magdiel [presently part of Hod Hasharon], and Ramat Gan, Different periods are covered for different areas. Some lists are for local council or municipal elections and some are for national Knesset elections.There is even one database of electors for the 18th Zionist Congress of 1933!
What sort of information can you expect to find in these lists/databases? The minimum would be the surname and given name of an individual.
You might find the street address and neighborhood. The minimum would be the surname and given name of an individual. Or perhaps the name is crossed out, so you would know that they once lived in that area but then had moved on. There might be a notation that the person was living abroad. There are even incidences where name of the country to which they had moved was noted. Sometimes the father’s name was written, as were titles such as Rabbi or Dr. Ages, however, were not usually noted. Oft times, the ultra orthodox were not included in the voters’ lists because they refused to participate.
In order to understand what some of these elections were about, perhaps you would like to read a bit of background information which can be found in the Wikipedia online. Just write in the name of the organization, for instance, the Jewish National Council [JNC], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_National_Council and read all about it.
The databases themselves are available at IGRA’s “All Israel Database”. You will need to register in order to perform a search. IGRA is actively searching for other surviving voters’ lists and expects to expand this database as they are located. If you would like to help, you can volunteer by contacting Rose Feldman <[email protected]>.
Dr. Martha Lev-Zion is an historian of modern European intellectual history. She was founder and president of the Negev branch of the Israel Genealogical Society and presently serves on the founding committee of the Israel Genealogical Research Association. She is a former director on the IAJGS board of directors and past president of the international Latvia SIG. She was co-founder and serves on the steering committee of the Courland Research Group. Dr. Lev-Zion is one of three founders of the annual one day seminar for researching genealogy in Israel and until recently actively served on that committee. Dr. Lev-Zion has written extensively about the Jews of Franconia & Thüringen [Germany] and Courland [Latvia]. She also authored the book Taking Tamar http://www.avotaynu.com/books/tamar.htm