At the beginning there was Jaffa. During most of
its 4,000 years, it served as the main gate to the
Land of Israel.
Anybody arriving at the shores of Eretz
Yisrael was thrown from the ship into a
boat and carried in the arms of strong
Jaffa porters to shore and the colorful,
“not very clean” port. They would then
have to reach their destination climbing
through Jaffa’s picturesque alleys,
quenching their thirst with the water of
the “Sabil”, and continue through the
steaming, sweating Levant town. This is
what the pilgrims did hundreds of years
ago, and this was what the various
“Alliyot” people did.
On their way to “Han Manouli”
to catch a Dillijance, or a bed
for the night, the newcomers
would pass near the impressive
clock tower (built during the
Ottoman rule), and could also
purchase something in the
vibrant flee market.
The lively Jaffa Jewish
community lead an active life
throughout the generations. The
building which housed the Anglo-
Palestine Bank still stands in
Yeffet Street (the dark plaque
below), and in Jaffa-Tel Aviv
Street we can still see the plaque
on the building where the
Gymnassia Hertzelia made its
However, Jaffa was a “hard city”
for those who emigrated from
Europe or America. Various
communities gradually tried to
settle outside the city’s limits. The
first ones were the members of an
American religious sect from
Main, “The Messiah Church”,
who, in 1866, built the impressive
buildings shown here.
But after three years
only, poverty and
disease forced them to
sell the houses to the
German Templars, who
also built Sharona
(today’s Kirya), and
success. The impressive
church and buildings
(some of them restored)
still stand in Hoffman
though the house it
self was not refined
on the outside, the
inside rooms were,
and the house is used
as an art galery
In the year 1883 Mr. Aharon Shlush built this house on
the outskirts of Jaffe. As the place was in the middle of
nowhere, his family dared to move in only around 1887,
after the foundation of “Neve Tzedek” near by.
A bird’s eye-view of Neve-
The neighborhood, which
was started in 1887,
over the years, and the
broken shutters below
speak for themselves.
In recent years the
need to preserve and
neighborhood to its
former beauty finally
authorities to take
measures, and the
area is changing its
This is how some restored
sections of Neve-Tzedek look
today (at the left).
At the heart of the
neighborhood stands the
Suzanne Dellal Center for
dance and theatre (below).
During a period of ten years, more quarters were established
adjacent to Neve-Tzedek. In 1890 Neve-Shalom, in 1896 Mahane
Yehuda, better known as the Yemenite-Vineyard, in 1899 Achva
quarter, built by wealthy Ashkenazi Jews.
In 1902, as a result of a Cholera outbreak, the mayor forbade the
burial of the dead within the town’s boundary. The head of the
Jewish community in Jaffa, Mr. Shimon Rokach purchased 12
dunams of land and established a Cemetery, known today as the
Trumpeldor Cemetery in the south of Tel-Aviv.
The first person to be buried in
the new cemetery was a
“Galmood”- an anonymous new
immigrant without any relations,
whose headstone supports the
southern section of the cemetery
The second was Nishka Bromberg
buried exactly opposite in the
northern boundary of the
cemetery. Their graves marked
the borders of the cemetery when
a surrounding wall was built ten
Like many old cemeteries, this one too tells the
history of the town and its people. On the right is a
mass grave (of which there are quite a few) of the
victims of the 1921 pogrom. Above on the right is the
grave of Yehuda & Fanya Matmon- the founders &
teachers of the Hertzelia High School. In an area of
their own some of the more famous national figures
like the national poet Haim Nachman Biyalik, Nordau,
and others (and their little wives…)
On the left – the
grave pf the legendary
1st Mayor of Tel-Aviv -
Meir Dizingoff, & his
This simple, humble grave-stone deserves much greater honor
than it actually gets. Akiva Arie Weiss emigrated to Palestine in
1906 and became the first advocate for getting out of stuffy old
Jaffa. He was head of the committee of “Ahuzat-Bayit” and was the
chief instigator of the city of Tel-Aviv three years later.
Below, is the grave of his
daughter called, …”Ahuzabit “
born in 1910 and named after the
city just established by her father.
In April 1909, after
the building of
“Ahusat Bayit” finally
started in an event
called “The Sea Shell
Lottery” (The names
of people and plots of
land were written on
sea shells collected
.(from the sea
Jewish strongmen straightened
the sand dunes, and Arab
contractors were hired to build
the houses. Hertzel Street
emerged from the dunes…
The first house to be built in
Ahuzat-Bayit was the house of
Reuven Segal at 25 Yehuda
Halevi Str. It was demolished
But the second
house, built for
Akiva Weiss at
no. 2 Hertzel
a second floor
Here it can be
seen in all its
In 1909 the Hertzelia High School
was built in the middle of Herzel
Street, a fact which turned it into an
obstruction as the city grew and
spread out. However, at the
beginning it attracted many visitors,
as can be seen in the pictures of the
painter Nahum Guttman.
The same view of Hertzel str.
today, with the Shalom –
Tower, 140 meters tall, taking
the place of the Hertzelia High
School demolished in 1958.
In 1910 the name of Ahuzat-Buyit was changed to Tel-Aviv.
The name was suggested by Mr. Shenkin who had gotten the idea
from Theodor Hertzel’s book “Alt Neuland”. In 1911 Akiva Weiss
resigned from his post as head of the committee of Ahuzat Bayit,
and was replaced by the mythological Meir Dizengoff who became
the first Mayor of Tel-Aviv. Dizengoff was determined to erase the
name of Akiva Weiss from the history of the city, and only many
years later the municipality named a small street after him.
Meir Dizengoff built his house in 1910 on
Rothchild Blv. He left the house to the city,
which renovated it and added another floor,
and it was from there that David Ben-Gurion
read the Declaration of the establishment
of the state of
Israel in 1948. Today the house is a museum.
In Rothchild Boulevard trees were planted and Kiosks
were put up .A few of them – how unbelievable - are still
Many of Tel
built in an
The house of Ben fulfillment of
Zakay str. no.2 the owners’
dreams. The quot;Pagoda House” on
the corner off nachmany /
On Hertzel str no. 16
an impressive commercial
building was built by a
business man called Zvi
Arie Pansk. In its courtyard
was installed the first
elevator in town.
Push to operate it
This is how the elevator
looks today, neglected.
The end of Allenby str. circa 1920,
with camels walking along, and 1
Jaffa seen in the far distance.
Herbert Samuel Square in
the 1960’s with a double-decker
bus. Below is the same square
today, with Jaffa still in the
Below is a 1914 announcement about the opening of the
first cinema theatre in town, named “Eden”, together with a
“first class” refreshment shop.
The “Eden” cinema theatre was
purchased and restored by Bank Le’Umi,
which uses it as its’ archive.
The kiosk still stands, too, selling
sandwiches and drinks.
In the 1930’s a sizable group Rotchild Blv.
of architects, who were graduates
of the Bauhaus – school, arrived
They built hundreds of buildings
in Tel-Aviv, and a large number of
them survived (unlike Europe ,
where they were destroyed during
the 2nd WW). Because of them Tel
Aviv was declared an Unesco
World Heritage Site.
on Levanda str.
During the Arab revolt
in 1936, the British-
Mandate in Palestine
allowed the Jews to
build a new port in Tel-
Aviv. It was active for 30
years until the Ashdod
Port was opened in
1965, replacing the ports
of Jaffa and T.A.
Today it is an
On the left is the famous
Shapira House in what is called
“The –Nameless Alley”. In 1922
a wealthy business man called
Shapira built a new
neighborhood for the better-off,
which he named “Shapira
Alley” after himself.
Meir Dizengoff the Mayor did
not like the idea and expressed
his objection. When he arrived
for a visit riding his horse, an
argument broke out between
the two, and, according to some,
they even came to blows.
Eventually the angry Mayor
declared: “This alley will never
be named”. And so, indeed, this
alley is known as the”Nameless
–Alley” to this very day !!!
And this is the lion which stands
guard at Mr. Shapira’s front door.
Meir Dizengoff, Tel Aviv first
Mayor, died on October 4, 1936. The
picture on the right depicts the
municipality building and the
thousands of mourners who came to
the funeral. The same building today
serves as a museum.
The New Municipality building of Tel-
Aviv opened in 1968, on Ibn-Gevirol str.
In recent decades, the Tel Aviv sky line has been filling up
with hundreds of high rises, changing its “innocent”
To the right - the sea shore as
seen from Jaffa.
Below - is the same view from
the Shalom –Tower.
Your Towers, Tel-Aviv…
Above: the Diamond
Exchange buildings on the
border of T.A. & Ramat-Gan.
On the left is the tallest one -
the “ Aviv-Tower “. Levinstein
And last but not least: the glorious Azrielli Towers.
Beautiful to look at, and wonderful to look from.
The view from the Azrielli –Towers towards the
Diamond-Exchange area in the city of Ramat-Gan.
The story of Tel-
Aviv, the city
takes a break, is
completed – but
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