Who, exactly, were the masters, or international masters, or gradnmasters, etc. in Israel in the 1950s? Wonder no more: the complete list was, helpfully, given by Moshe Czerniak in first issue of 64 Mishbatzot (Feb. 1956, p. 17):
|Source: see above|
It is noted how these include the "old guard" who was in Palestine before the war (Porat, Czerniak, Barav, Knaizer, Mandelbaum, Macht, Fischer, Dobkin, Beutum, and Smiltiner and Blass-- we are using Gaige's spelling), but also the new arrivals, Aloni, Dyner, and Oren, as well as new blood, in particular, Perstiz. This did not mean other talented players did not exist; only they didn't yet have time to gain titles.
This is listed in the same page has an article by a visitor, Saul Wachs (USA), who notes how chess advanced in Israel and, in particular, its popularity in the kibbutzim and other agricultural communes, not just in the large cities.