Toldot Yisrael

Toldot Yisrael

Documenting Israel’s 1948 Generation

Recommended for:

Toldot Yisrael is recommended for those interested in learning about the fascinating, turbulent history of the development and beginnings of the State of Israel, from grade 5 to adult, by viewing highly professional and engaging short videos and interviews about different parts and people who helped build Israeli history.  

Called by former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, “a project of paramount importance for Israel and its supporters worldwide,” Toldot Yisrael is a Jerusalem based nonprofit dedicated to recording and sharing the firsthand testimonies of the men and women who helped found the State of Israel. Since 2007, Toldot Yisrael has been interviewing the members of Israel’s 1948 generation in order to capture and preserve the epic story of Israel’s founding before it is too late. So far, we have interviewed more than 1,200 of Israel’s founders and recorded over 4,000 hours of powerful and unique footage. Toldot Yisrael’s aim is to conduct hundreds more – while it is still possible.

Their Mission

Personal stories bring a new perspective to the events historians have already written about. The mission of Toldot Yisrael is to capture this national narrative and preserve it for future generations. It is a last chance to record this glorious chapter in Jewish history before it is too late.

By presenting authentic, unedited accounts of the founding of the State of Israel, Toldot Yisrael’s interactive archive will:

  • Reinforce the positive role Israel plays in contemporary Jewish identity through these personal stories of genuine human triumph;
  • Restore the sense of purpose for young Israelis by helping them reconnect to their past;
  • Remind the world at large of the Jewish People’s legitimate right to a sovereign state and its struggle for independence in the shadow of the Holocaust.

Eyewitness 1948 is a short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael that tells the stories of Israel’s founding through the eyes of the people who lived it. The Eyewitness 1948 films address the heroism of the era as well as the complex moral dilemmas confronted by a young nation battling for its existence. The films serve as primary-source materials for educational curricula that bring to life the founding of the State of Israel for today’s young Jews. For more short films and interview clips, visit their YouTube channel.

Sample videos:

The American Contribution

American Jews played a key, yet unknown role in the founding of the State of Israel. Watch this playlist about Americans that volunteered to help bring Holocaust refugees to Palestine and prepare the country for the War of Independence.

A Bravery Fiercer than Death: The 35 Heroes of Gush Etzion

The tragic yet inspiring story of 35 young soldiers–mostly students at the Hebrew University– who set out from Jerusalem to bring much-needed supplies to the kibbutzim in the besieged Etzion Bloc south of the city.

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