Founded in 1902
Founded in 1902, the Mizrahi party was one of two parties that established the National Religious Party (Mafdal). The party's founder, Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Reines, created Mizrahi in reaction to the decision of the Zionist Congress to add education to the responsibilities of the Zionist Organization—a move that Reines feared would allow the secular majority to dictate the educational policy of the Zionist movement. The party began its activity in pre-state Israel before World War I, when it established a wide network of religious-Zionist schools and supported cultural institutions.
The Mizrahi party played an active role in the life of the Yishuv and in its elected institutions, and initiated the establishment of the Chief Rabbinate. Although it maintained a longstanding alliance with the leftist Mapai, Mizrahi was actually the right-wing branch of the two parties that made up religious Zionism (the other being HaPoel Hamizrahi). This was true both politically (most of its leaders opposed both the partition plan in the late 1930s and the policy of restraint) and economically (its voters were mostly from the middle class).
In the first election, Mizrahi ran together with three other parties as part of the United Religious Front, with its leader, Yehuda Leib Maimon, as head of the joint list. Following Front's dissolution in the middle of the first Knesset's term, Mizrahi ran independently in the 1951 elections for the Second Knesset. In 1955, prior to the elections for the Third Knesset, Mizrahi joined HaPoel HaMizrahi to establish the National Religious Party (the Mafdal).