The records date back to Israel’s very first National Championships in 1955, two years after the opening of the first club at Ramat Gan
Each participant in the first championships was presented with an official certificate..
Singles only were contested until 1959 when pairs were introduced, followed by triples in 1978 and fours in 1984.
From the early 70s the original draw sheets remain preserved with full details of each competition.
Until 1989 the draws were done by hand, organized by Sam Skudowitz involving hours of printing the names of participants on slips of papers, and then “blind drawing” them out for printing on to a draw sheet.
The present day computerized system was introduced in 1989 by Mendi Donner.
34 South Africans participated in the first championships in 1955, organized by Max Spitz via Maccabi South Africa. Together with 42 Ramat Gan players, the 76-up field comprised 54 men and 22 women.
Rina Lebel, in her 20s was Israel’s first women’s singles champion, while Israel’s Benny Krivy was runner-up to Cape Town’s Izak Biurski.
The second 1956 championships was won by Krivy and Edith Cohen-Mintz, who was an Israeli national tennis champion, and the mother of the renowned basket ball player, Tanchum.
The 3rd championships coincided with the 1957 Maccabiah, and again with visiting players, 63 from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Lawrence Mendelsohn won the 1979 singles at the age of 14.
MASTERS: Jeff Rabkin won 16 Masters titles between 1985 and 2005. He had 10 successive wins between 1989 and 1998
Rina Lebel Israel's first national
champion 1955, receiving trophy
from Ramat Gan Mayor Krinitzi
Izak Biurski, (Capetown) Israel's first
national champion 1955
Israel's championship 1956
L-R: B. Krivy(winner), E. Cohen-Minz
(winner), B. Krivy, Y. Lebel (runners-up