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Searching Israeli Phone Numbers in English

3 בנובמבר, 2011 מאת ארנון · 11 תגובות

IsraelPB.com was launched about a year ago, enabling searching of Israeli phone numbers in English, however it seems that this site in not well-known yet, as I and my Israeli colleagues still get frequent queries from overseas colleagues about locating people in Israel. As I was wondering who is behind this site and how does its transliteration mechanism works – I sent a message via the "contact us" link at the bottom of the screen, and got an immediate response. After a few days, I had a very pleasant phone conversation with Shaun Waksman (28), who built this website, and I now feel that IsraelPB.com should be promoted as an important tool not only within the Jewish genealogy community but also within Hebrew-disabled Jewish communities world-wide. This is an English version of the original Hebrew post.

It is important to recall that the Israeli phone company, Bezeq, operates a full English version of its online directoy, however Waksman's transliteration mechanism outperformed Bezeq's, and as his website relies on more resources – it is much more extensive.

How did it all start? Shaun Waksman was born in 1982 in Montreal, Canada, where one of the largest and strongest Jewish communities in North America is to be found. His grandfather had immigrated from Chelm (Poland) and was active in Montreal's Chelm Landsmanschaften organization (one of many such organizations that were active in Montreal). Waksman went to a Jewish school, like many of the Jewish children in Montreal, and after graduating from high-school he was awarded with a scholarship for 1 year of studies in The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "After I came to Israel," he tells, "I understood how much I love Israel, the university, and the Israelis." He decided to stay, got a BA in Computer Science, and an MBA, worked in a few high-tech company, and moved to live in the Tel Aviv area.

After arriving to Israel, Shaun's father had asked him to locate Israeli relatives ("he read their names from a wedding invitation found in my late grandfather's belongings"), and then Shaun realized the difficulty in finding Israeli phone numbers if you don't read/write Hebrew. The website is a private initiation, being taken care when he has time ("it's a hobby"), but he is serious about it. Waksman is also active within the genealogy scene and currently serves as the Webmaster for the Chelmer Organization of Israel.

How does it work? The website relies on online and free databases ("asking lawyers about it, I realized there's no problem with it"), and covers Israeli land-lines and mobiles country-wide; the site is being updated once so often. For me, the transliteration mechanism is the most interesting part of this site. "I've built a lexicon of names," Waksman tells, "with every name in Hebrew has multiple variations in English." This lexicon is based on both manual transliteration of the most common names, and an automatic Hebrew-to-English transliteration suggested in an article by Stephen Morse.

Advantages of the site (also to Israelis!). The two biggest advantages of searching this website are auto completion (while typing) of the city, and the fact that search results are not limited by their number. The latter is a great advantage even for Israelis, as Bezeq's online directory limits any results-list to 15 records.

In addition, names and addresses from this site's database are accessible to crawlers, hence Israeli people can be found even by a Google search. Indeed, Waksman tells that the site has many daily visits referred from Google. Another feature, tough less effective in its current form, allows to search by city only. In that case, the location of this city in Israel is clearly shown on a map, and if the city has enough records – a tag cloud will appear showing the most common names in that city; clicking a name will lead to the search results of that name in that city (the homepage presents a tag cloud of Israel's names). As for now, first names and surnames are being analyzed together with regards to the cloud, but that might be improved.

While discussing interesting comments he has got, Waksman tells that since Bezeq also supplies service to the Palestinian Authority, their numbers also appear in his database. Frequently, he gets thank you messages from relatives of Palestinians who live in the States – they thank him for being able to find their relatives in an English search.

* * *
As we talk about our motives towards the genealogy research, Waksman says that "I've had many exciting discoveries and I've met with many relatives in Israel. I now understand that it's totally random that I was born in Canada and you were born in Israel. It could have been the other way around." So, for all of you who "randomly" happened to be born and raise without knowing Hebrew – you now have the option to easily find your Israeli relatives.

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11 תגובות↓

  • 1 חיפוש באנגלית של מספרי טלפון בישראל | משפחתובלוגיה // 3 נוב, 2011 בשעה 22:29

    […] RSS → Searching Israeli Phone Numbers in English […]

  • 2 venusVom // 30 יול, 2018 בשעה 16:04

    שלום לך

    אני משווק מורשה של מותג חדש , מכונת קפה שהגיע זה עתה לארץ

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  • 4 gelecegin meslekleri 2019 // 27 פבר, 2019 בשעה 16:38

    I'll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  • 5 gelecegin meslekleri 2019 // 27 פבר, 2019 בשעה 16:49

    If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you'll know which is right for you.

  • 6 2019 teknoloji trendleri // 1 מרץ, 2019 בשעה 12:12

    If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you'll know which is right for you.

  • 7 yerli otomobil 2019 son durum // 1 מרץ, 2019 בשעה 14:18

    This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  • 8 eski kadınların zayıflama sırları // 3 מרץ, 2019 בשעה 18:54

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.

  • 9 2019 dövme modelleri erkek // 6 מרץ, 2019 בשעה 14:17

    This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  • 10 Bettina Brouwer // 8 מרץ, 2019 בשעה 6:16

    You seem to have a lot of confidense in the things you do. Nice post also! …

  • 11 Cordell Kominek // 12 מרץ, 2019 בשעה 12:31

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