The Pri-Or Photo House was established in 1940 by Rudi Weissenstein, a freelance photographer who had arrived in Palestine in 1936. Rudi began photographing at the age of 8 and continued doing so until his death.
Over the next forty years, Weissenstein explored the country's every nook and cranny, documenting both daily life and moments of note in the development of the State of Israel. Weissenstein's journals attest to his great diligence and his negatives are the work of a canny and sensitive photographer with a healthy respect for his compatriots, regardless of their origin or ethnicity.
Weissenstein captured momentous events and inconsequential ones, celebrities and simple laborers, farmers and members of the urban bourgeoisie. His love for the country and the Zionist endeavor are demonstrated by the generosity and compassion evident in his images. Rural settlements as they cropped up, alongside the developing city of Tel Aviv with its cultural institutions, road-building and the setting up of infrastructure for the Israeli economy, the growth of the Israel Defense Forces and the establishment of public institutions, all feature in the collection. Weissenstein also photographed scientific, musical and theatrical events in the life of the young Israeli society, thus advancing his mission: to present the positive aspects of the Israeli melting-pot.
The Photo House has remained a family business throughout the years of its existence. Rudi's wife Miriam ran it with him, and then alone for two decades after his death in 1992. After Miriam's death in 2011, their grandson Ben Peter took over. The Photo House is living testimony to a type of business that is sadly a thing of the past. As such, it is an outstanding example of the preservation of family and national heritage.