In 2012 the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) took upon itself to prepare databases from materials available in Israel including the Ottoman period through the early years of the State of Israel and make them accessible on our website. In 2019 IGRA decided to widen its focus to include materials of genealogical interest for North African Jewish communities and the Jewish communities in countries of the Middle East such as Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and others. This additional material will be mainly based on materials in archives in Israel such as the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP), the Central Zionist Archives (CZA), the Council of the Sephardi and Oriental Communities of Jerusalem (part of the Jerusalem Municipal Archives), the National Library of Israel, the Historical Archive of Rehovot, Yad Ben-Zvi as well as the Montefiore Endowment in London, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and databases donated by Jeff Malka from SephardicGen, Dov Cohen, Nagi Georges Zeidan, and Sarina Roffe.
Over one hundred volunteers have worked on this collection in the last ten years. Most volunteers have worked on transcription, and some have worked on proofing, transliteration and scanning. We thank them all for the time they have devoted.
A small part of the IGRA collection has come to us through private donations from people who have prepared the files for their own use. Our latest contribution in this category was found in the FDR library. It was a list of people in the United States applying to the British Mandate government to grant certificates for people in Hungary to immigrate to Palestine. The list was dated 1944.
IGRA has material from more than sixty archives and libraries around the world. The list can be seen here: https://genealogy.org.il/igra-salutes-participating-archives/. Our database collection has been tagged as including fifteen different types, enabling the researcher to choose the types of material relevant to his/her search in our top filter. Only after you have entered a name will the search engine show the types of records the collection has for that name. The following chart represents the types of records in the collection as of June 2021.
On the side of IGRA’s All Israel Database page there are various filters allowing you to focus on specific parts of the collection. They are to be used after you have done your search by name. The filters are:
Top Surnames in Your Search (limited to 10)
Top Given Names in Your Search (limited to 10)
Localities in Israel
Countries (in those cases where the file deals with people outside of Israel)
Record Years (The materials of the last 70 years can only be included if they have been made public)
IGRA does its outmost to allow the material to be searched both in Hebrew and English. Our search engine allows you to search either with exact results or phonetic matches. We have standardized our rules of transliteration. These rules of transliteration may not always show the name as you think the names of the person were spelled. It is best to search, separately, in both Hebrew and English.