The Archive was previously named after its first donor- Abraham F. Rad, an Iranian businessman. Rad was born Abraham Mizrahi in 1923 in Russia where he went into the corrugation business. He moved to Teheran, Iran, where he opened a very successful factory manufacturing corrugated boxes. He helped smuggle Jews out of Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.
Rad married and had four children and built a home in Savyon, Israel.
Abraham Rad was the financial backer for the 1969 film 42:6 about David Ben Gurion. He agreed to sponsor the Archive after an agreement was signed between the Hebrew University and the World Zionist Organization in 1972, making the Archive the official depository of the WZO, the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod and Keren Kayemeth Leyisrael.
He also helped persuade Hazel Greenwald to deposit Hadassah films in the Archive.