Name that place with Nostal.co.il

The wonderful Nostalgia Online’s newest project asks followers to identify the people and places seen in old photos.

The wonderful Nostalgia Online – (nostal.co.il) is a volunteer association that collects images of modern-day Israel and presents them online. Founded by David Sela in 2003, Nostal.co.il today claims to be the largest archive of Israeli heritage, history and popular culture — and with over 60,000 images and 1,100-plus videos in its database, it probably is.

Powered by a team of researchers and volunteers the site’s mission is the preservation of Israel’s collective memory.

Recently, Nostal.co.il launched a new project on its Facebook page, asking people to participate in identifying people and places in old photos. For example, this photo was accompanied by the following query:

“This image was taken in the late 40s or early 50s. We’re asking for help in finding the exact place it was taken. The sign in the window in the building across the street says ‘Library’. Recognize it? Thank you!”

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So far no one has been able to identify the location but a number of folks have pointed out that the vehicle is a Buick Special Touring Sedan.

This photo, marked “Muster on the Valley of Esdraelon [the Greek rendering of the word "Jezreel" -- RN], Preparatory to the Attack on the Canal” aroused the curiosity of Nostal’s editors, who posted, “Anyone here from the Jezreel Valley? We want to find the place where this picture was taken of the Ottoman Army in 1914, preparing for battle during the First World War.”

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The answer came through yesterday from reader Yoni Einav. “The photo was taken in the Harod  Valley (east of the Jezreel Valley) in the area between Ein Harod and [Kibbutz] Beit Hashita of today. You can see from the photo-collage [below], the edge of Mount Gilboa (marked with an arrow). The photo was taken viewing from east to west as the second picture where you can see the Arab community of Sha’ata (in the tree grove), and the billowing locomotive smoke as the Valley Train makes its way eastwards.”

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This photo came with the following request: “If someone in your family served in the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (AMPC) during the British Mandate period, please contact Talia Kleiner at talya74@gmail.com who wants the information for research purposes and to arrange a meeting of the families.” Responses are now beginning to come in.

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Nostal is also running a Facebook project called “Personal photos to remember”, asking people to send in pictures from days gone by with historic, nostalgic or personal significance, as in this photo from 1951 uploaded by reader Ronen Marcus of his mother and grandfather at the Kfar Ono ma’abara (refugee absorption camp).

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It’s definitely worth visiting Nostal.co.il and the Nostal Facebook page. And if you have a photo to share, send it to editor@nostal.co.il — Nostal is happy to receive any and all contributions.

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.