In our desire to bring to you a present for each night of Chanukah we have added to our site something special each day.  We hope that you have seen the various articles, resources and videos that have been released in the past week.

We saved the best for the last night.  Tonight we are releasing our new search engine for our AID (All Israel Databases) section .  In July, at the IAJGS International Conference in Paris, IGRA was awarded the Stern Grant with the intent that these monies to be used to develop a bi-lingual search engine to improve our website.  We contracted with Brooke Schreier Ganz and worked closely with her to build what we hope will be a much improved search experience.  Rose Feldman, Carol Hoffman, Daniel Horowitz, Garri Regev and Philip Trauring have each given from their special fields to make this possible.

Rose Feldman has been working tirelessly for months both making contacts with a variety of archives and assessing what each archive has that may be possible to bring to you as a database.  We believe we bring you now a balanced assortment of databases – from the Ottoman, British and Israeli Administrations, relating to communities from the north to the south, and in many different fields.

Some of the databases are in English but most are in Hebrew, with a few additional languages as well.  Each database is presented in the language of the material found.  The search engine, however, is able to understand both English and Hebrew and will bring you matches in both languages even if you only entered the name in one language.  There is a virtual keyboard if you do not have a Hebrew keyboard and want to use one.

You will notice that in addition to entering the names you are searching there are possible filters on the right side of the page.  These filters will help you fine tune your search.  Try them out!!  Adding more or taking them away is quite simple.

Our databases and search engine page is available to all registered users of our website (free).  Please be sure to log in.  You will be alerted if you do not have permission to access information.  Due to restrictions from the various archives we have had to layer the accessibility of our databases.  There are databases available to everyone.  Some of our databases allow you to search but not to see all of the details.  Other databases are only for paid IGRA members.  The same is true for the images of the databases. Not all of the images have been added yet and more will be added in the coming days.

We present to you now more than 100,000 records from 85 databases!  Our many volunteers have done an amazing job of transferring the information we receive from the Archives to databases that we can all search.  We thank each of them for their many hours of work and hope that they will continue to work together with us.  We have many more database projects ahead and are always open to additional volunteers willing to contribute to this important effort.  Please contact us at [email protected] if you can join our team.

Registration on our site is free.  We encourage you to support our work by becoming members.