Tel Aviv is either 90 years old or 112, depending on whos doing the counting. The romantic story which places it at 90 has 66 families venturing out of Jaffa to the sand dunes for the "seashell lottery" -- the seashells being used as lots for the allocation of plots of land. This led to the construction of the neighborhood initially known as Ahuzat Bayit, which ostensibly grew into Tel Aviv. This story doesnt account, however, for Neve Tzedek, construction of which had commenced in 1887. At that time, the initiative of Simon Rokach, a young man of 23, was truly revolutionary -- venturing beyond Jaffa onto the sand dunes north of it, to start the first Jewish neighborhood.

By the time the worthies of Ahuzat Bayit were holding their lottery, Neve Tzedek and neighboring Neve Shalom already had a population of some 3000 and an infrastructure which included schools, parks, shops, and even a bank. The special attraction of Ahuzat Bayit was the prospect of larger plots of land on which more luxurious homes could be built. It also had the likes of Meir Dizengoff among its leadership. The fact that he went on to become Tel Avivs first mayor likely plays no small role in dating the city. So, officially, the city is currently 90 years old.

The first neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, where a process of gentrification is taking place. The Shalom Tower shows the relative position of the Ahuzat Bayit neighborhood.

Irrespective of its precise age, Tel Avivs growth to its current population of some 400,000 is remarkable. In the early 1950s, Jaffa, from which it grew, was incorporated into the municipal boundaries and administration. Thus, the citys official name is Tel Aviv-Yafo [Jaffa]. This technically makes it over 4000 years old -- but then the rest doesnt sound quite so impressive ...

The larger metropolitan area comprises a number of separate municipalities which have expanded and grown into a great urban bloc with Tel Aviv. Over 1 million people live in this spread - about 1/6 of the total population of Israel. [Immediately to the south are Bat Yam and Holon. Along the eastern flank are Ramat Gan and Givatayim, followed by Bnei Brak and Petach Tikva. To the north are Ramat Hasharon and Herzlia, with Tel Aviv bus service extending to Raanana and Rosh Haayin.]

In many ways, Tel Aviv has fulfilled the text of the promotional brochure for building Ahuzat Bayit:


"We must occupy a decent stretch of land on which to build ourselves houses. It should be situated near Jaffa, and will constitute the first Hebrew town, which will be one hundred percent Jewish populated, where Hebrew will be spoken, and purity and cleanliness maintained; and we shall not walk in the ways of the nations, and just as the town of New York symbolizes the gateway to America, so must we improve our town, until someday it becomes the New York of Eretz Israel... In this town, we will set out streets having roads and sidewalks, with electric lighting. Entering into every house will be water from the wellsprings of salvation that shall flow to us by means of pipes, as in every modern town in Europe and also canalization will be arranged for the health of the town and its inhabitants ..."

Tel Aviv - The Dynamics of a Dream, by Ilan Shchori


Clearly, many bought into the idea and the project, which ultimately was renamed Tel Aviv. This first neighborhood mushroomed, and, for decades to come, Tel Aviv was in a great rush to be built -- eyes focused on the new and back turned to the old. Within 15 years, it had grown into a full-fledged town, and, by 1939, its population totaled 160,000.

Now, less than a century after the Jewish residents of Jaffa were exhorted to the concept of "New York on the Mediterranean," it can be said that the vision of the founders has been fulfilled (were still working on "purity and cleanliness"). Though considerably smaller than other world metropolises, the first "Hebrew city" is, indeed, the cultural, financial, and commercial heart of Israel. In fact, it is considered so dynamic by international standards that Newsweek magazine recently cited it as being one of only three "hot new tech cities" outside the United States (the other two being Cambridge, England, and Bangalore, India): "And some say that the Silicon Valley's most serious global competitor is the mini-sprawl around Tel Aviv. High-tech start-ups are the new Zionism, says Yossi Sela, head of a $150 million venture-capital fund in the suburb of Herzliya."

One of the factors in this is that Tel Aviv is one of the top ten cities in the world to which young people migrate, according to the magazine. "Tel Aviv, the country's most expensive city, has become the whirring center of high-tech growth almost by default - it is the only Israeli metropolis that operates on the same 24-hour schedule as the tech industry."

During its short history, Tel Aviv has not only grown, burgeoning to the point that the Jaffa from which it originated is now incorporated into the city. What is important is that it has come of age; not only embracing the new, but no longer neglecting the old.

One of the early residents of the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, denouncing the opening of the "cinematograph," as the first movie theater was known, wrote: "It will be most harmful to us, also in a material sense, because thieves will find the right answer, for they will find a man lying in wait at the threshhold of his house, saying - to the cinematograph I go. And if I am wrong, no matter, and also in a moral sense, for who will guarantee that women and virgins shall not be taken by surprise, and you know how the common people are."

[Tel Aviv - The Dynamics of a Dream]

What might this venerable citizen have thought of the fact that one of the first events kicking off the 90th-anniversary celebrations was an open-air concert by American hip-hop singer Coolio ...



The colorful southern quarter of Tel Aviv combines the vibrance of Israel's cultural and commercial center with the exotica and history of thousands of years. With its port and ancient quarter, it is the second-oldest of the walled cities cited in the Bible and even figures in Greek mythology, Mishnaic history, and through to the present day.

Jaffa is mentioned as far back as the 16th century BCE, referred to as Yapou in an Egyptian source. It was probably Phoenician in origin, and Pliny attributed its name to Joppa, the daughter of Aliolos, about 4000 BCE. Jewish tradition, however, holds that it was founded by Yafet, one of the sons of Noah, after the flood. This gives it the name of Yafo, "the beautiful," while it also has been known, variously as Joppe (Greek), Joppa (Roman) and Yafa (Arabic).

During the First-Temple Period, Jaffa was a vibrant Jewish center. Its port, via which Jonah fled from his obligations to God, was the gateway through which the cedars of Lebanon passed, on their way to become part of the First Temple in Jerusalem, and the area was renowned for the fabulous vineyards of King Solomon. During the rebellion against the Romans, however, the Jewish population was largely wiped out, and its consequent history was filled by many peoples, from the Crusaders to Napoleon, followed by the Egyptians, the Turks, and the British.

Through the Talmudic and Mishnaic periods, notable sages made Jaffa their home. For years, though, the only Jewish presence in the city primarily consisted of those landing at the port, passing through it on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In 1820, however, with the construction of a new Sephardic synagogue, a Jewish community was re-established in the city. Eventually, this led to the establishment of the Neve Tzedek neighborhood in the late 1800s, which included the construction of schools and a hospital.

 The Old City of Jaffa now features artists studios, galleries, restaurants, and clubs.

The Jaffa quarter is a popular tourist destination, thanks to the refurbished Old City, archaeological sites, a famous flea market, myriad restaurants, and places of entertainment. Now, it also is becoming one of the most desirable areas of the city, with many moneyed professionals setting their sights on it and purchasing into the new apartment complexes under construction. They will be rounding out the rich human mosaic of Jaffa, which is home to veteran Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria, recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, veteran Israelis who, in recent years, have moved into old homes, remodeling them into beautiful new forms, and Israeli Arabs, both Moslem and Christian.




If someone asks you to name a beautiful cosmopolitan city on a hill with a spectacular view of the water, you'll probably say San Francisco. After you've been to Israel, however, your answer may change. One of the many jewels of Israel is the city of Haifa, a clean and green city that stretches from the shores of the Mediterranean up the slope of Mt. Carmel and is topped off by the high-rise University of Haifa. This is the site of Israel's major port, the place where both people and goods enter the country.



Although it does not appear in the Bible, Haifa is mentioned in Talmudic literature as a well-established Jewish community. Across from the National Maritime Museum on Allenby Road are steps to Elijahs Cave. According to a Byzantine tradition, this is where Elijah the Prophet hid to escape the wrath of King Ahab. The site is revered by Christians and Muslims, as well as Jews. The first Sunday after Tisha B'Av, Oriental Jews recite Isaiah 40 and ask the prophet to bless their children, cure their illnesses and better their lives.


Relics found within the city limits date from the Stone Age to the Ottoman period. During the Middle Ages, the Jewish settlement in Haifa grew into a shipping center. In 1099, the city was conquered by the Crusaders, who slaughtered all the Jewish inhabitants. The Carmelite Order was established in 1156 over Elijahs Cave. In 1265, Haifa fell to the Mamlukes, and in 1750 was captured by the Bedouin, Dahar al-Omar, who destroyed, then rebuilt and fortified it. From 1775 until World War I, Haifa was under Turkish control with two interruptions in 1799, it was conquered by Napoleon and, from 1831-1840, it was under Egyptian rule. In the case of Napoleon, when he retreated from Palestine, he left his wounded soldiers at the Carmelites' hospital at Stella Maris. As soon as the emperor was gone, the local Muslims murdered the Frenchmen he'd left behind.


Early in the 19th century, Jews from North Africa settled in Haifa. In 1868, German Templars established Haifa's German Colony and in 1879 European Jews settled in the city.


In 1905, a railroad was built from Constantinople to the Muslim shrines of Mecca and Medina in Arabia. The railway passed through Damascus and had a spur that connected with Haifa. That line is long dormant. Today, one of the few places Israelis travel by train is between Tel Aviv and Haifa.



In 1918, Haifa was taken from the Turks by the British. During the Mandate period, it was the scene of many dramatic confrontations between the British who sought to keep Jews from entering Palestine and the clandestine efforts of the Haganah to smuggle in immigrants and the survivors of the Holocaust. One of the ships used to run the British blockade, an old American tank-landing craft called the Af-Al-Pi-Chen is in the Clandestine Immigration and Maritime Museum.


The large Arab population had relatively good relations with the Jews, even during the British Mandate. After partition, however, a number of violent incidents created tensions, and the Arab decision to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state by force led to the evacuation of much of the Arab population in April 1948 when the Haganah took over the city.


Modern Haifa

The city is divided into four main areas. At sea level, you'll find the bay and port, beaches, some residential neighborhoods and one of the main centers of Israeli industry. Major products produced in Haifa include cement, chemicals, electronic equipment, glass, steel and textiles. Haifa is also where Israeli oil is refined.


As you make your way up the hill, you'll enter Hadar Hacarmel, the commercial center of the city and the home of some of the older neighborhoods. This is the location of City Hall and the old campus of the Technion, sometimes referred to as the MIT of Israel (or is MIT the Technion of the U.S.?). The Technion was founded in 1912, but didn't open for another 12 years because of the onset of World War I and an internal dispute over whether the school should teach in German, the native language of many of the scientists, or in newly revived Hebrew.



Higher still is the Mt. Carmel area, which has newer residential neighborhoods and is where you'll find most of the entertainment, cultural and tourist activities. A bit off the beaten path, beyond the commercial and residential section of the city is the University of Haifa.


You can walk around Haifa, and it's beautiful, but if you plan to move from area to area, consider public transportation, especially the cable car (Carmelit), since the hills can wear you out. If you prefer to walk, take the "path of the thousand stairs" that starts from the scenic lookout on Yefe Nof Street (Panorama) in Central Carmel and leads down the mountain past the Baha'i Shrine and the German Colony and ends downtown.


Israel Fact

The road running past the Baha'i Shrine to the top of Mt. Carmel is known as Sedorot Hatziyonut, Zionism Blvd. Originally the street was named U.N. Blvd. in honor of the international body's role in the creation of Israel. After the UN adopted its infamous resolution equating Zionism with racism in 1975 (which was revoked in 1991), the name was changed.


On Mt. Carmel, don't miss Panorama Road and its spectacular view of the sea. If you're in the neighborhood, why not stop by the USO office around the corner from the Dan Panorama Hotel. It's run by a one-woman whirlwind named Gila Gerzon, who has been helping U.S. sailors feel at home and giving them a taste of Israel since 1980. The U.S. Sixth Fleet and other naval vessels frequently come through Haifa, which is one of the sailors' favorite ports of call.


An Island of Tolerance


Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, with a population of approximately 250,000, and perhaps its most progressive. It has always had a large Arab population and, today, Haifa is one of the few places in Israel where Jews and Arabs are in regular contact and make genuine efforts to promote coexistence. Beit Hagefen is one of the organizations that runs programs in the city for Jews and Arabs.


Other minorities have also found Haifa a comfortable place to live. In fact, it is the world headquarters for the Bahai faith, whose spectacular golden-domed shrine of the Bab is one of the city's landmarks. The shrine, along with the fabulous gardens at the center, make the center a popular tourist attraction.


Haifa is a blue-collar town -- it is the place where the Histadrut was founded in 1920 -- that also has a reputation for having a more pluralist approach to Judaism. It is the only city in Israel where the buses run on Shabbat and where many businesses stay open. This has enhanced the citys image as a good party town. Moreover, the city is a cultural mecca with its own symphony orchestra, theaters, museums and a zoo.




Tel Aviv Restaurants



Hard Rock Cafe  Dizengoff Center  03 - 5251336 

America  1 Daniel Frish St.  03 - 6950721 

Dixey  120 Igal Alon St. 03 - 6966123 

Chicago Pizza Pie Factory  63 Hayarkon St.  03 - 5177505 

Planet Hollywood  86-88 Herbert Samuel St. 03 - 5177827 




Mifgash Habalcan  43 Jerusalem Blv., Jaffa 03 - 6830719 




Ascala Siach Besarim  15 Yad Haruzim St. 03 - 5374502 

Lilit  42 Mazeh'ah St. 03 - 6298772 




TAI CHI  71 Ibn Gvirol St., Gan Ha'ir 03 - 5279213 

FU SING  71 Ibn Gvirol St., Gan Ha'ir 03 - 5279119 

China Court  14 Shalom Alechem St. 03 - 5178454 

China Court  14 Shalom Alechem St. 03 - 5178454 

Hibachi  13 Noah Moses St. 03 - 6960514 

Lotus  12 Kehilat Venezia St., Neot Afeka 03 - 6497302 

Mongolia  69 Kosovsky St. 03 - 5465913 

Ming Ming  94 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5225636 

Pekin  265 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5462033 

The Red Chinese  326 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5466347 

Yin Yang  64 Rothschild Blv. 03 - 5606833 

Yo-Si Peking  32 Yirmiyahu St. 03 - 5443687 

Noodels  18 Yavne St. 03 - 5664634 

The Golden Duck  13 Openheimer St. 03 - 6426640 

Yoshi Yan  56 Herbert Samuel St. 03 - 5103348 




Classic  28 Yefet St. 03 - 6825911 

Croissant  32 Weizman St.  03 - 6950567 

Croissant  1 Ahimeir St. 03 - 6423220 



FISH & SEAFOOD        

Shle'ykes  1 Yirmiyahu St., Hayarkon crn. 03 - 6057025 

Fish 206  45 Moshe Sne St. 03 - 6483030 

Barbunia  163 Ben Yehuda St.  03 - 5276965 

Barbunia  192 Ben Yehuda St.  03 - 5240961 

Beni Hadayag  Jaffa port 03 - 6813894 

Bernard Shaw  10 Kikar Kdumim St., Jaffa  03 - 6813898 

The White Pergola  72 Keden St. 02 - 6826558 

Jacko Sea Food  6 Balfur St. 03 - 5259604 

Seabass  11 Yehuda Halevi St. 03 - 5100635 

Sea Dolfin  1 Yorday Hasira St. 03 - 5462235 

Tabun  Jaffa Harbor, on the deck 03 - 6811176 




GALEI GONDOLA  15 Ha'hashmona'im St.  03 - 5625711 

GOLDEN APPLE  40 Montefiore St.  03 - 5660931 

RUSSALKA  86 Herbert Samuel 03 - 5173530 

Alahmbra  30 Jerusalem Blv., Jaffa  03 - 6834453 

Cezanne  215 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5233445 

Hipopotam  12 Yirmiyahu St. 03 - 5466348 

Emporium  13 Yad Charustsim 03 - 6889696 

Ita  10 Pinkas St., Kiryat Ono 03 - 6350395 

Kaffee Lelo Shem  2 Vital St. 03 - 6813992 

Kapot Tmarim  60 Ehad Ha'am St. 03 - 5663166 

Keren  12 Eilat St. 03 - 6816565 

Kimel  6 Hashahar St. 03 - 5105204 

La Regens  99 Hayarkon St., Dan Hotel 03 - 5202525 

Le Relais Jaffa  13 Hadolfin St., Jaffa 03 - 6810637 

Mari Antoinette  6 Florentin St. 03 - 6823403 

Thymin  38 Tagor St., Ramat Aviv 03 - 6425508 

Tuton  1 Mazal Dagim Alley, Jaffa 03 - 6820693 




Thymin  38 Tagor St., Ramat Aviv 03 - 6425508 




Ha'hodit Shel Yirmiyahu  252 Ben Yehuda St.  03 - 6055377 

Ha'hodit Shel Yirmiyahu  Ezor Mishari, Ramat Ilan  03 - 5325501 

Indira  4 Shaul Hamelech Blv.  03 - 6954437 

Sitar  38 Shlomo Hamelech St. 03 - 5239856 

Taj Mahal  12 Kikar Kdumim St.  03 - 6811171 

Namasta-Indian Bar  4 Florentin St. 03 - 6818280 

Tarkary  68 Hakishon St.  03 - 6834702 




Mongolia  69 Kosovsky St. 03 - 5465913 

Tampadulo  1 Florentin St. 03 - 5180012 




Kapot Tmarim  60 Ehad Ha'am St. 03 - 5663166 

Tchelet  59 Shenkin St. 03 - 6854126 




IL PAZZO  114 Hayarkon St.  03 - 5241875 

GALEI GONDOLA  15 Ha'hashmona'im St.  03 - 5625711 

PRONTO  26 Nahmani St.  03 - 5660632 

MONTEFIORI'S  17 Montefiore St.  03 - 5608732 

PREGO  9 Rothschild Blv.  03 - 5179545 

Pastalina  16 Eliphelet St.  03 - 6836401 

Emporium  13 Yad Charustsim  03 - 6889696 

Bellini  6 Yechiely St. Suzanne Dallal center  03 - 5178486 

Boccoccio  106 Hayarkon St.  03 - 5246837 

Bolognia 2  21 De Piggoto St.  03 - 5602055 

Fellini  38 Tagor St.  03 - 6424687 

Dizengoff 99  99 Dizengoff St.  03 - 5274808 

Gnocchi's  12 Hillel Hazaken St.  03 - 5164243 

Ha'hashmonaim  100 Ha'hashmona'im St.  03 - 5614058 

Papa Leo  90 Igal Alon St.  03 - 5622074 

Paparachi  Rambam St.  03 - 5167770  

Pogo  9 Rothschild Blv.  03 - 5107319 

Tchelet  59 Shenkin St.  03 - 6854126 




Hibachi  13 Noah Moses St. 03 - 6960514 

Takamaru  10 Ha'arba'a St. 03 - 5621629 

Takamaru  118 Hayarkon St. 03 - 5273950 

Yakimono  5 Yordey Hasira St. 03 - 5443864 

Kyoto  32 Montefiore St.  03 -5663103 

Kyoto-Sushi Bar  145 Hayarkon St., Holiday Inn Hotel  03 - 5201169 





Babele  177 Ben Yehuda St. 03 - 5467486 

Bubes  21 Eilat St., Jaffa 03 - 5103243 




Shle'ykes  1 Yirmiyahu St., Hayarkon crn. 03 - 6057025 

Chicken Chips  73 Ben Yehuda St. 03 - 5243354 

Meat Bar  52 Chen Blv. 03 - 6956276 

Off Side  7 Ben Yehuda St. 03 - 5164905 

Zela Bar  14 Yad Haruzim St. 03 - 6888754 

Petruzilia  47 Rothschild Blv. 03 - 5162468 

Yeshurun  4 Mazeh St. 03 - 6298387 




Jerusalem Beach  51 Herbert Samuel St. 03 - 5106494 




Azteca  82 Hayarkon St.  03 - 5175160 

Cactus  66 Hayarkon St.  03 - 5105969 

Don Pollio - Mexican  39 Yehuda Halevi St.  03 - 5609523 




Gordon Beach  Gordon Beach 02 - 5240353 

Karlibach Al Gehalim  13 Karlibach St. 03 - 5614512 

The Boston Deli  Dizengoff Center 03 - 6200484 

The Boston Deli  The new Bus Station 03 - 6872346 

The Boston Deli  Ramat Aviv Mall 




Mongolian Grill Bar  62 Hayarkon St.  03 - 5174188 




Abu Salach  69 Kedem St.  03 - 6833339 

Ali Baba  10 Hashomer St. 03 - 5160995 

Avazi  54 Ezel St.  03 - 6879918 

Bernard Shaw  10 Kikar Kdumim St., Jaffa  03 - 6813898 

Bisle  177 Ibn Gvirol St.  03 - 6055925 

Busi Shlomo  41 Etzel St. 03 - 6882041 

Daivis  45 Itzhak Sade St.  03 - 5622738 

Dalas  68 Ezel St.  03 - 6874349 

Don Puyu  16 Homa Vemigdal St.  03 - 6391726 

Emza Htikva  47 Etzel St. 03 - 6390677 

Full Volume  114 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5272497 

Gamliel  47 Hakovshim St.  03 - 5178779 

Gerbanzo  2 Nehama St., Jaffa  03 -6819041 

Ha'avazim  3 Yordey Hasira St.  03 - 5443719 

Hatabun Vehamangal  65 Yehuda Hamacabi St.  03 - 5464313 

Hazan Brothers  30 Roslan St., Jaffa 03 - 6834683 

Hummus Asli  338 Dizengoff St.  03 - 6041965 

Kodesh  53 Ezel St., 2nd Floor 03 - 6394449 

Lisa's & Berta's Food House  32 Montefiore St.  03 - 5606767 

Lovely  61 Etzel St. 03 - 6889962 

Maganda  26 Rabi Meir St. 03 - 5179990 

Mifgash Hasteak  48 Derech Petach Tikva  03 - 5374712 

Pe Gadol  18 Lincolen St. 03 - 5612287 

Pundak Shaul  11 Elishav St. 03 - 5173303 

Pundak Ha'Steak  34 Derech Ben Zvi  03 - 6818048 

Pundakey Ayalon Limited  108 Igal Alon St.  03 - 5624743 

Rumia  85 Yehuda Halevi St. 03 - 5662050 




Nando's  23 Karlibach St. 03 - 5628496 




Haim Nelo  11 Eilat St.  03 - 5101919 

Mon Jardin  186 Ben Yehuda St.  03 - 5231792 




Russalka  86 Herbert Samuel 03 - 5173530 

Classic  28 Yefet St. 03 - 6825911 

Napoli  9 Ben Yehuda St.  03 - 5170694 




Shle'ykes  1 Yirmiyahu St., Hayarkon crn. 03 - 6057025 

Birnbaum & Mendelbaum  35 Rothschild Blvd. 03 - 5664949 

El Gaucho  57 Pinsker St.  03 - 5283788 

White Hall  6 Mendeley St.  03 - 5249282 

White Hall  44 Rothschild St.  03 - 5663747 

Zela Bar  14 Yad Haruzim St.  03 - 6888754 




Hibachi  13 Noah Moses St. 03 - 6960514 

The Red Chinese  326 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5466347 

Thai House  8 Bugrashov St. 03 - 5178568 

Bankok  267 Dizengoff St. 03 - 5467484 

Picasso  88 Hayarkon St. 03 - 5102785 

Shunargila  105 Hayarkon St. 03 - 5234763 

Thai Food  56 Shenkin St.  03 - 5661059 




Stambul  16 Uriel Akusta St. 03 - 6812588 




Namasta-Indian Bar  4 Florentin St. 03 - 6818280 




Haviage  16 Yirmiyahu St. 03 - 6053970 

Keysar  43 Ezel St. 03 - 6880847 

Zion Exclusive  28 Pedui'im St. 03 - 5178714 




Belgrad (Beograd)  7 Yirmiyahu St. 03 - 6052245 










Enter supporting content here