The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) presented the nomination of The Oded Yarkoni Archives Historical Archive of Petah Tikva to receive the Stern Grant in 2013.
The Rabbi Malcolm Stern Grant, awarded yearly by the IAJGS at the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, honors Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern, widely considered to be the dean of American Jewish genealogy, and his efforts to increase the availability of resources for Jewish genealogical research.
The Oded Yarkoni Archives Historical Archive of Petach Tikva (www.ptarchive.co.il) gathers and holds documents from the 1860s to the present. They house an administrative archive of Petach Tikva, private archives of institutions and organizations associated with the city, family and personal archives, collections of photographs and negatives, maps, advertisements and posters, objects, films, tape recordings, press excerpts, books, and digital collections.
The archive serves the city of Petah Tikva, academic scholars, students and schoolchildren, journalists, genealogists, architects, and others. A study room and a library are available to users. The archive currently functions as a “total archive” akin to an “open house” for the community, which is invited to contribute and express itself in any field pertaining to the city’s life and society. There is an on-going project to collect and preserve the memories of the elders of Petah Tikva.
The archive displays its treasures in exhibitions held at the Museum Complex in the city and elsewhere. It takes an active part in conserving the city’s sites, and maintains continuous contact with its educational institutions. Audiovisual materials from the archive are available in virtual exhibitions and on YouTube.
The site contains a catalogue of archival fonds. The information is offered in Hebrew.
The Founders Museum for the History of Petach Tikva presents the unique and fascinating story of the “Mother of Settlements” in its early days. It was set up in the Museum Complex, next to the country’s first Yad Labanim house. Designed as a little, magical, 19th century rural town, the museum unfolds the historical heritage and the remote way of life of the founding fathers.
The exhibition contains photographs, documents, Judaica items, utensils, objects, accessories, furniture, models, costumes, toys, books, presentations, films, and interactive games.
This archive in Petah Tikva has been very welcoming, helpful and open to making their data available to a wider audience and to working together with IGRA. We already have a variety of databases built from material found there: Beit Haknesset HaGadol Beit-Yaakov in Petah Tikvah 1933, Losses sustained by Colony of Petah Tikvah, Members in Agricultural Organizations in Petah Tikvah, Voters lists: 1920, 1932, 1936. This archive was one of our partners in our programming for the International Jewish Genealogy Month and opened their archive for sessions with those in the community interested in researching their family history. We were able to help many of them.
The Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Grant for 2013 was awarded to the Oded Yarkoni Historical Archives of Petah Tikva for the purpose of recording the oral history of the settlement, doing so by interviewing the descendants of the founders of Petah Tikva, its first industrialists, teachers and adults who learned in the first schools in Petah Tikva. The material will be made available to genealogists, family historians and the public via the archives.
IGRA looks forward to many more years of cooperation between the archive and the genealogy community in Israel.