Interesting Facts About Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv
Are you familiar with the colourful history behind the beautiful neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek? The neighbourhood, thought to be one of the most beautiful and oldest neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv, translates to “Oasis of Justice” in Hebrew. Located southeast of Carmel Market Neve Tezdek was the first Jewish neighbourhood to be built outside the walls of Jaffa in 1887. The idea for establishing this neighbourhood originated when a group of families decided to leave Jaffa’s overpopulated confines and create their own community, it was only a matter of time before other Jewish families joined them and by 1909 the neighbourhood expanded into the Tel Aviv known today.
The neighbourhood was initially built with low rising buildings and narrow streets featuring the art nouveau and touches of Bauhaus architecture were later added. The building of new developments drove a large number of people away from Neve Tzedek causing the area to become neglected. But in the sixties, thanks to the municipality investing in restoring and the preservation of key historic buildings the area was soon back to its original glory. This new injection of wealth gave the newly restored buildings a lease of life that attracted the likes of chic boutiques, trendy eateries and art galleries.
A walk down the cobbled streets takes you through an impressive array of colourful window boxes blooming with flowers. Whilst you wander underneath the green canopy created by the trees you can marvel at the historic architecture, each house as unique as the next with elements of Bauhaus or Art Nouveau (Jugendstil).
Neve Tzedek boasts of having a village-within-a-city feel, its cultural legacy and unique architecture make the neighbourhood the perfect destination for walking tours.
Visitors looking for a cultural trip with an appetite for literature and art will find plenty of appeal in Neve Tzedek’s history. As early as the 1900s the neighbourhood birthed many great writers and artists including names such as Brenner; Nobel Prize winner Agnon and the artist Nachum Gutman. The neighbourhood keeps this colour cultural history alive as many more artists, writers and public figures are drawn in, wanting to live alongside the greats who once walked the cobbled streets.
What is there to see and do in Neve Tzedek?
Taking a leisurely stroll through streets of Neve Tzedek is serene enough but there are some buildings to look out for that will make that walk much more special. If you find yourself on Simon Rokach Street, look for number 36 Rokach House, it happens to be one of the first houses built in the neighbourhood. Adding to its historical importance is the fact that this house was built by Shimon Rokach whose son Israel Rokach later went on to become Tel Aviv’s second Mayor. A walk down Yehieli Street will bring you to the Suzanne Dellal Centre, this is the city’s official dance centre. The building itself was constructed in 1908 using the famous Bauhuas style and used to be a former school building. If you are looking for a break from the heat you will be able to enjoy a lunch at the café next the centre located in a piazza which is shaded by trees.
If you are interested in art history, a visit to the Chelouche House at 32 Shlush Street is a must, this bustling art gallery was the first ever house built in Neve Tzedek by the artist Aharon Chelouche. Don’t forget to take a trip up to the house’s rooftop terrace to marvel at the spectacular views it has to offer. Other historical houses of interest include the Nachum Gutman Museum located in the artist’s former home and Samy D ceramic studio.
For a spot of retail therapy Neve Tzedek offers you it’s main street Shabazi Street, it houses an array of designer stores, chic boutiques and art galleries. A wander down the small lanes that branch off the main street after having your fill of architecture, shopping and culture, will see you uncover many hidden gems such as local eateries with sidewalk seating or restaurants located in historical buildings on serene courtyards. You will discover there is something to satiate everyone’s appetite in Neve Tzedek.