Tel Aviv and Jaffa have an unusual relationship. Jaffa is an ancient town with 3800 years of history, while Tel Aviv is one of the youngest towns in Israel, only founded 112 years ago. But while Tel Aviv developed and grew to become Israel's cultural and business center, Jaffa declined and struggled until the two towns merged in the year 1949. Our newsletter today will focus on the wonderful, vibrant, colorful town of Tel-Aviv Yaffo, a town that never sleeps.
Old Jaffa (Yaffo)
Jaffa was founded 3,800 years ago, on a hill adjacent to a shallow natural harbor, protected from the Mediterranean winter storms by a barrier of sea rocks. The hill's location attracted the locals and foreigners to establish a coastal stronghold for most of the Late Bronze age (18-12 centuries BCE). Jaffa is the nearest coastal harbor to Jerusalem and therefore is mentioned in the Bible (Chronicles 2, chapter 2) as the port that King Solomon used when he imported trees from Lebanon to build the Temple in Jerusalem. The most famous biblical reference is of Prophet Jonah who boarded the ship to Tarshish at the port of Jaffa. When planning your Jaffa tour make time to visit the harbor, the clock tower, the narrow alleys of the artists' section, and the flea market. Then climb the top of the hill for great views, make your wish at the wishing bridge and visit the Church of Saint Peter.
The birth of Tel Aviv
Old Jaffa became crowded, noisy, and lacked minimal sanitation and running water. In 1908, a group of Jewish families decided to purchase land and build new homes 2 km north of Old Jaffa. The land they purchased was no more than bare sand dunes. The 66 Jewish families with Akiva Aryeh Weiss and Meir Dizengoff as their leaders established a modern neighborhood and named it Tel Aviv. The founders of Tel Aviv had the initiative, the vision, and the resources to turn their model neighborhood into a success story. Homes were built, wide boulevards were decorated with gardens and trees, a Hebrew-speaking high school was inaugurated. The first Hebrew-speaking city was born. Click to watch my video tour of Tel-Aviv
Tel Aviv Today
When planning your Tel Aviv tour, I would recommend that you start at the information booth, in front of Independence Hall on Rothchild Boulevard number 16. Ask for a city map and follow the Independence Trail tour. The path is marked on the pavement and leads you through the miraculous story of Israel's independence. Then visit one of the markets either Carmel market or Levinsky market. Bike or walk along the brand new railway park (Park HaMesila) and then stroll along Shabazi street through picturesque Neve Tzedek. If you have time take a cab to Rabin Square and follow my video tour as I share my thoughts about the tragic final hours of our late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
Israel is back on track and we are expecting visitors to return during the summer. Please contact me to book your Israel tour at firstname.lastname@example.org