Neve Tzedek's Alleys Tel Aviv
A tour of Neve Tsedek and its sites A tour between stories and houses, between history and romance, between architecture and art.
Neve Tzedek History
The first Jewish neighborhood was built outside the Old City of Jaffa, when the neighborhood was established, it was a Jewish-Eastern and Yemeni neighborhood, and the few Ashkenazis were considered inferior among the residents of the neighborhood.
For years, the neighborhood prospered as its surroundings grew Tel Aviv, the first modern Hebrew city. From the 1950s until the 1980s, the neighborhood was abandoned and became an area not worth living in with houses that were about to collapse and these were years of neglect and disintegration. Since the early 1980s, Neve Tzedek has slowly become, thanks in large part to the establishment of the Suzanne Dellal Center, one of the most fashionable and expensive districts in Tel Aviv, with an artistic rural atmosphere. In the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, you can see a variety of architectural styles such as Bauhaus, eclectic, and more including signs of Freemasons who were among the founders.
The Neve Tzedek neighborhood was established before the establishment of Tel Aviv in 1909, by a group of Jewish families seeking to move outside of the overcrowded Jaffa. It should be noted that the Aaron Shlush family moved to the area as early as 1883 when 50 families followed them in the following years but the neighborhood was officially established in 1887.
Residents preferred to build the new quarter with low-rise buildings along narrow streets as these houses often incorporated design elements from the art and design movements Nouveau Or in its other name Art Nouveau And later Bauhaus And even built old-fashioned luxuries architectural style such as private bathrooms with air conditioning.
Suzanne Dallal Center
The Suzanne Dallal Center was founded in 1989, with two main goals: to create world-class dance productions and mixed educational activities. The multi-level campus was established on the site of the Yechieli Girls 'School and the Neve Tzedek Alliance Boys' School, which were established at the end of the 19th century, as well as the first residence of the Lewinsky Seminary, which was the first teaching academy in Tel Aviv since 1913. Suzanne Dallal Center Consists of four concert halls, rehearsal studios, a restaurant and a cafe, and a large plaza that hosts performances and events in the area. The center is home to the Batsheva Dance Company, the Annabell Dance Theater, and the Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Polak Dance Company.
In the 1980s, the Neve Tzedek neighborhood in general (as well as the nearby Yemenite vineyard) were deserted neighborhoods and most of the buildings were deserted and the Lewinsky Seminary building collapsed. The girls 'school was empty except for the second floor where a theater group operated by Oded Kotler and Miki Yerushalmi operated and a small building in the girls' school complex where the Annabell dance troupe, founded by Sara Levy-Tanai.
Made in Israel by David Tartakover
In front of the eastern wall of the Suzanne Dallal Center plaza, in 1989, in preparation for the center's inauguration, Haman's spectacular ceramic print work, winner of the Israel Prize and resident of the neighborhood, David Tartakover, was placed.
David Tartakover - Describing the history of the neighborhood in a colorful triptych, performed by artists Vera Davidson and Daphne Galia.
Artist Tartakover recounts: "I was asked to create a wall to commemorate the donors. With the thought of setting up some quiet corner with water. And I, who had my studio here, and whole groups would sit on the fence and get explanations about the neighborhood, I said - let's do the history of the place graphically. The wall was made in 30 days. Everything is made by hand cutting, gluing, and burning in the oven. This is a ceramic work done in a long and complicated process, day and night to be enough for the inauguration of the Suzanne Dallal Center.".
Artists in Neve Tzedek
In the early 1920s, several artists and writers made Neve Tzedek their place of residence. Nobel Laureate in Literature (Future) Shmuel Yosef (Shai) Agnon lived here from 1909-to 1912 and told about life here in his book "yesterday". It is said that the young Agnon coveted the daughter of the aristocratic family of three and the father of the family answered that he was not good enough for her.
The neighborhood was also inhabited by the author Deborah Baron, the author Yosef Chaim Brenner until his murder, the poet David Shimoni as well as the artist Nahum Gutman and of course the first Hebrew cinema - Cinema Eden.
The Small Details of Neve Tzedek
Mentchalach or Mentchalach means small people. These are small iron figurines placed under the wings of wooden shutters to keep the shutter wing open even when there is a strong wind that could slam the shutter and damage its integrity. The sling is built so that when it is facing upwards it looks like a male figure from the waist up and the head of the male figure is holding the shutter. When the shutter is closed and your sling is tilted down, a figure of a woman is seen.
Mentchalach is a technique known for centuries in houses in Europe and probably came to our provinces with the Templars from Germany, somewhere in the second half of the 19th century. In our country's Templar buildings, both in the German Colony in Haifa, Jerusalem, Jaffa, or Sharona and localities such as Aloni Abba and Bnei Atarot Templar. From here also came your home to the houses of Neve Tzedek.
The urban legend tells that when the husband went to work in the morning of a day, there were women who would drop their loincloths so that the figure of the woman would be visible to all and signify that the woman is alone at home and the way to milk or lover is free. during the evenings, when the husband would return from work, the wife would lift her mantle to the position of the male figure, thus signaling the lover not to approach.
Beit Aharon Shlush 32
The house of the Shlush families whose father Aaron was the one who purchased the land in the new neighborhood - is the "base" of Neve Tzedek. Next to the house was a factory that belonged to the sons of Aharon Shelush and a synagogue was built next to the residence, on the south side.
The Shlush family is one of the first families to move from the borders of Old Jaffa to the sands to the north and was among the founders of Neve Tzedek and later Tel Aviv. It was a family of disabled people who came to Palestine from North Africa. Moses Shlush was the eldest son of Joseph Elijah three and the grandson of Aaron Shlush. Moshe Shlush was a building contractor, one of the owners of a building materials floor factory on Shlush Street in Neve Tzedek, and in 1928 he was a member of the Tel Aviv City Council following the death of Meir Dizengoff in 1936 he was appointed acting mayor but after 10 days the British High Commissioner canceled his position.
Another member of the family was Zadok Shelush, about whom we spoke in connection with the beginning of Freemasonry in the Land of Israel. Zadok Shlosh was a Zionist activist and helped various organizations such as Maccabi, the Chamber of Commerce, and the labor parties and even established an association for the marketing of citrus fruit together with Yitzhak Rokach, the son of Shimon Rokach. Zadok Shlush established the Association of Chambers of Commerce with Romania and imported wood for the construction of crates in which they packed and sent the Jaffa oranges Through the port of Jaffa to Europe. As mentioned, he was a Freemason among the first in Israel.
All of these buildings, along with the family home, have undergone renovations and a meticulous preservation process in recent years. Today it is possible to stand and observe the conservation works.
The Shlush Bridge
The bridge, named after the Shlush family, connected the neighborhood with Jaffa to the south and passed over the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway. The bridge is considered the first bridge in Israeli territory of the modern era - entirely made of iron, and today the railway park stretches under it.
The reason for building the bridge is a bit prosaic. In 1892, Aharon Shlush, who was one of the Sephardic leaders of Jaffa, a land merchant and money changer in the city, moved to the Neve Tzedek neighborhood near his brother and nephews. Aaron used to ride a horse and carriage every morning from his house, across the railway that led to Jerusalem when he came to his business in Jaffa. One day the carriage in which Aaron Shlush was overturned and the occupants of the carriage were injured.
The Ottoman governor of Jaffa decided that it would not be appropriate for the Jewish man to risk his life on his way to his business, which puts a lot of tax in the Sultan's coffers, and decided to build a bridge that would connect the two slopes on both sides of the railway. The bridge underwent extensive renovation and upgrading in spring 2019.
Beit Abulafia or Agnon Vs Shalosh
Perpendicular to Shlush Street is Shimon Rokach Street, in the corner between which is a yellow house. This is the home of the Abulafia family - Shlomo and Rivka Abulafia, one of the first in the neighborhood. The Arab servant of the Abulafia family who lived here asked to adopt her name and later established a famous bakery that bears the family name to this day that is known to all of us as the Abulafia Bakery, on Yefet Street in Jaffa.
After the death of Shlomo Abulafia, his widow rented the attic of her house to the new immigrant Shmuel Yosef Chachkes (or Chachkes) who immediately merged with the neighborhood. He befriended the intellectuals of Neve Tzedek, including Yosef Chaim Brenner, S. Ben-Zion, and Rav Kook, and by their influence combined with the loneliness in the attic in front of the glorious home of the Shlosh family, began to sin by writing in the Hebrew language.
Shlush's residence hid from the Checks the whole view towards the Mediterranean Sea, but right in front of the balcony of Agnon's window stood a window of Rabbi Aharon Shlush's granddaughter, Margalit. Checheks falls in love with her, but the love story is interrupted! how can their daughter be married to someone who is engaged in writing, and seems to them a detached and not a groom worthy of their family, and also bears such a ridiculous name? Because Margalit's sister, Leah, married David Lubinski, who immigrated from Poland and founded the group of car importers, David Lubinski Ltd.
Checheks was hurt to the depths of his soul by the refusal and returned heartbroken to his attic room and wrote the book and following the plan, which was the first story that gave Checheks the status of a renowned Hebrew writer. Later, in the same attic, Checheks wrote the story "Agunot", from which he derived the Hebrew name he adopted and which we and the world know: Shay Agnon.
Years later, when Agnon already lived in Jerusalem, he wrote his masterpiece "yesterday", inspired by the days when he lived in Neve Tzedek. In the book, Agnon describes the view from his attic windows: "His love lives in his aliyah at the end of Neve Tzedek at the end of Jaffa… and has five windows: in one window you see the endless endless sea, and in another, you see the endless green orchards, and in another window, you see The valley through which the train passes, and from one window you can see the desert on which Tel Aviv was later built, and another window faces Neve Tzedek".
Prominent in this description in particular and also throughout the book is the complete disregard of the Shlush family because their huge house hid the sea view while in Agnon's story there is no Shlush house and there is a sea.
Nahum Gutman Museum
Nahum Gutman was born in Neve Tzedek, and used Neve Tzedek as a home and temple for his art. One of the houses in the neighborhood is a place where many intellectuals and writers met and today the old building that was declared in the 1990s is known as a building for preservation and survived its demolition. The building became the Nahum Gutman Museum, dedicated to the sculptures and paintings of the famous Israeli artist. Gutman Museum, 21 Shimon Rokach Street, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv.
Shimon Rokach residence
In the center of a few single houses from Beit Abulafia, at number 36, is the house of Shimon Rokach, one of the most well-known houses in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood. The house has a large copper dome and inside it, you can see a perfect reconstruction of the house, where Shimon Rokach established many associations, factories, and business and national initiatives. Beit Rokach, Shimon Rokach 36, Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv.
Pines Street is home to the first cinema in Eretz Israel, established in 1914 by Akiva Weiss, one of the founders of the neighborhood and later Tel Aviv. The first film screened here was the last days of Pompeii, and the last screening was 60 years later in July 1974. Since then, the amazing structure of cinema is no longer active. the complex is located on Pines and Lilienblum corner. A short film about the cinema can be found in the "kiosk" nearby that was established in Tel Aviv in 1920. the kiosk was built on Lilienblum Street in Neve Tzedek in front of the Eden cinema, the cinema was made from concrete and is located in a small square at the corner of Lillenblum and Rishonim Street next to one of the most beautiful houses in the city, designed by Tel Aviv's first city engineer Yehuda Magidovich, known for his penthouse with a Parisian-looking roof above the building.
The twin houses
At the corner of the street where the Eden Cinema is located, across the road, are the two twin houses of the Shlush Family. The houses were built for the first grandchildren of Aharon Shalosh, the founder of the neighborhood: Marco - the eldest son of Avraham Shlush, and Moshe - the eldest son of Yosef-Eliyahu Shlush. Moses was about to marry Rachel in 1912, while the older Marco had not yet found a mate. During these years, the children began to move out of their homes to their apartments, but the finances of the Shlush families remained a common fund, which often caused tension within the family. To maintain peace of mind and prevent unnecessary rivalry over the choice of houses, Aaron Shlush decided to build the houses identical. Despite this, it turned out that the area of one of the buildings turned out to be slightly larger and the solution was a lottery, and the large plot was given to Moshe. The facades of the buildings are identical but over the years the back and decency have become different from each other.
Lilienblum Street to Herzl Street, which gained world fame as the black market for money changers in the first years of the establishment of the state and until the 1980s, when there was a restriction on holding foreign currency and anyone who wanted to go abroad would come to Lilienblum Street to purchase Dollars from street changers who were equipped with deep pockets of Israeli pounds and green dollars. The black market is located on the street section between Herzl and Allenby.
Lilienblum 9: Only in 1913 was a decision in principle to allow the opening of hotels in Tel Aviv when obligatory for every five rooms, or ten people, to have one house. The hotel building was built in an eclectic style by the American contractor (Sam) and Wilson for the investor who immigrated to Israel from Russia with his family, Menachem Alkonin. After Elkanin's death, the hotel was renamed "Central hotel".
The hotel became a recreation center for Middle Eastern aristocrats and high-ranking figures from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The guests of the hotel were informed that Abarbanel was the founder of Eden Cinema near the hotel and that David Green was later one of Ben's Gurion's guests, but of all of them, the guest Emir Abdullah, who later became King of Jordan, received the most publicity, saying that the Emir came to the hotel because he had an affair with one of Menachem's daughters. on every visit of the Emir, Lilienblum Street was blocked to traffic, with crowds of people standing in the street watching Amir and his entourage.
An Irgun ammunition factory located at Lilienbaum 11
Gilad Hospital - Lilienblum 27: This is where the two-story house of Dr. Yehuda Leib Pochovsky is located and the building is also the first maternity hospital in Tel Aviv.
The "Irgun" headquarters were located at Lilienblum 41 just a few buildings nearby.
In general, the streets of Tel Aviv are numbered from the lowest number in the south and the highest number in the north of the street, except Herzl Street. Herzl Street starts from Ehad Ha'am Street and the numbers rise in a southerly direction because Ehad Ha'am's house is Herzl 1 and Akiva Weiss' house is Herzl 2 as a tribute and honor to the city's founders. On the same corner of the beginning of the street, the Herzliya Gymnasium, which was later demolished, was built, and on its ruins was the Shalom Meir Tower, which was from the day of its construction until the year 2000 the tallest building in the Middle East.
The first kiosk in Tel Aviv and Israel in general
The kiosk was established on Rothschild Boulevard on Herzl Street, as early as 1910. The Young City Council decided on the size of the kiosk, the size of 2X2 Meters in which they will sell only soft drinks and not alcohol. In the early years of the place, the corner kiosk served as a meeting point for the children of the neighborhoods around it, and many nostalgic stories circulated the kiosk. The place has been renovated and reopened and is a new tourist culinary attraction.