MyHeritage, A 20 Year Story: Watch Our Documentary Film

MyHeritage, A 20 Year Story: Watch Our Documentary Film

It all started with a childhood passion for family history. Our Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet developed an interest in genealogy at a young age, even impressing his middle-school teacher with an exemplary genealogy project at age 13 — and it was that passion that led him to start MyHeritage 20 years ago. In the two decades that followed, the company has transformed from a scrappy startup in a Bnei Atarot barn with chickens clucking in the yard to an international phenomenon with millions of users and 550+ employees spread across multiple continents.

A milestone birthday is a great time to look back at all we have accomplished. We took the opportunity to produce a short documentary film about how we got here: a story of daring, perseverance, a strong sense of mission and purpose, and a liberal dose of chutzpah! The documentary is divided into 6 parts of 5–10 minutes each, with a total run time of 43 minutes. You can watch each part individually below, or view the full documentary here.

Part 1: The Early Years

Part 2: Starting Up

Part 3: Getting Noticed

Part 4: Leveling Up

Part 5: Making an Impact

Part 6: Exiting Into the Future

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this incredible project, including our in-house producers, director, and creative director, Shay Zilber, Eugene Slov, Roi Mandel, and Aaron Godfrey respectively; photographer and editor Noam Leibman of Kavana Films; and our associate editor, Dror Noy of Drop Production. Many thanks as well to the many MyHeritage employees, investors, and users, and friends and family members of Gilad, who dedicated the time to participate; and of course, to our fearless leader, Gilad Japhet, for sharing his story and allowing us all to be part of the dream he brought into reality.




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  • JD

    Jesse D Williams

    April 9, 2024

    Thank you! Watching these videos makes me very happy to be a member of MyHeritage. I’ve had a lot of fun too with all your AI projects that you’ve made available.

  • JC

    Jerry Cronin

    April 10, 2024

    Gilad thank you

  • IF

    Ian Foster

    April 10, 2024

    Dear staff of My Heritage,
    Your website and programs have given me so much joy since I started out on my journey. In 2005 death stalked my close family with my father dying in February, my mother in July and my sister, my only sibling, in November. My wife hovered in the emergency and intensive care wards for most of July and August and, as you might appreciate, I was asking myself many of the BIG questions in life. All my grandparents were dead and we had lost contact with my (very few) first cousins. Who was I?

    Luckily I had my father’s original birth certificate from Scotland in 1915, some of my mother’s papers, my paternal grandfather’s death notice newspaper clipping (literally) and a friend heading to do genealogy research in Canada. There were a few old family stories I’d taken too little time listening to and from then on I used records (mainly national) at our National Library to start me on my journey. My first objectives were to identify, and if possible contact, my second cousins and also to trace back forebears as far as the early 19th Century. I now have a tree with almost 10,000 people, on every continent except the Antarctic and I’ve met some wonderful people and have come to know some amazing stories – heroic, tragic, proud and dedicated. Thank you Gilad Japhet and all your staff.

  • RM

    Robert M. Holloway

    April 10, 2024

    When I was a young man I visited the Alamo in San Antonio Texas. There as I walked through the shrine I saw a plaque with the name Sam Holloway. Last name spelled exactly as mine. The hair on my neck stood on end. The spiritual connection with this man overwhelmed me and I knew somehow I was connected to him. I told my relatives they knew nothing about this man. Years passed I found out what I could about this man. I eventually joined My Heritage and continued my search. I hit a brick wall in the 1700s. Through the knowledge I gained from the web site, I continued back farther and in 1555 I found what I believe is the connection A man with the same last name as mine had two sons. From one of those sons descended Sam Holloway. From the other descended my family tree. Now on March 6th every year I remember Sam Holloway who made the ultimate sacrifice for Texas Independence. I encourage my many relatives who live in Texas to do likewise. Thank you MyHeritage!!

  • CC

    Cheryl Chase

    April 10, 2024

    Awesome video love them