“Telaviv. Sea. Light. Sand, scaffolding, kiosks on the avenues, a brand new white Hebrew city, with simple lines, growing up among the citrus groves and the dunes. Not just a place that you buy a ticket for and travel to on an Egged bus, but a different continent altogether.” Amos Oz
Where are we? In history? In this City? So very old and so very new.
Today we started the day on the spot where the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was made on May 14, 1948. A new state established in the birthplace of the Jewish people thousands of years before. You could almost still hear the sound of Hatikva in the air of Independence Hall.
We walked through Neve Tzedek , the first neighborhood, created decades before the founding of the City of Tel Aviv, by a group of Jewish families in 1887. As time went on other neighborhoods sprung up around Neve Tzedek where new colorful homes were built along the narrow streets. While Tel Aviv grew up all around and moved north, Neve Tzedek fell into disrepair and neglect by the 1960’s. But today, after efforts at preserving these century old structures, Neve Tzedek is a trendy area which maintains the look and feel of those early and pivotal days.
Our day ended with a walk around Old Jaffa—a city that is 4000 years old (Remember that Jonah left to be swallowed by the whale from the port of Jaffa. We spent a wonderful couple of hours watching a demonstration by an artisan about making jewelry in the Yemenite tradition passed down through the generations.
We rolled in to the hotel with aching feet, a few purchases and great anticipation about visiting Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran rehabilitative village which CBJ has “adopted” for support.