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February 24, 2022

Tel Aviv Neighborhoods

Little Known Tel Aviv Neighborhood

The Ajami neighborhood of South Jaffa is not a typical tourist site, but it aims to be a haven of peace and of cultural coexistence between Jews and Arabs, home to both a Jewish Arab Community Center and the Peres Center for Peace.

Ori  CC BY-SA 3.0 View of Ajami

Ori  CC BY-SA 3.0
View of Ajami

This was not always the case. Although for centuries Jews and Arabs lived alongside each other peacefully in Jaffa, at the time of the Arab riots in 1921, most Jews fled to the safety of the newly built neighboring Jewish town, which by default helped build up the fledgling city of Tel Aviv.

Over the ensuing years Ajami turned into a rundown, economically disadvantaged neighborhood; when the municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa took on the redevelopment of the port area, Ajami underwent a transformation as well.

Neve Shalom

צילום:ד"ר אבישי טייכר  CC BY 3.0 A Small Street in Neve Shalom, Tel Aviv

צילום:ד”ר אבישי טייכר  CC BY 3.0
A Small Street in Neve Shalom

This attractive collection of hidden streets was established just a few years after Neve Tzedek to attract Jewish settlers from nearby Jaffa. It suffered when Tel Aviv spread northwards, and as the  residents’  wealth increased, the original tenants abandoned their homes in favor of the higher-class new Tel Aviv neighborhoods.

Like Neve Tzedek, Neve Shalom was slated for demolition but the two twin neighborhoods were both granted a reprieve and given a total refurbishing which turned them into the delightful, chic, attractive popular areas they are today.

Florentin Tel Aviv

This Tel Aviv neighborhood is named after David Florentin, a Greek Jew who established the area in the early 20th century to help Greek Jews settle in the brave new Jewish city of Tel Aviv that was just being established. It was modeled on the Jewish Quarter of the Greek city of Salonika, with owners typically living above their shops and businesses.

Florentin is known as Neve Tzedek’s poorer sister, as it never warranted the full scale makeover that Neve Tzedek received. It is essentially a somewhat neglected, shabby collection of narrow streets, with pedestrians jostling for space on the sidewalks and coffee shop tables and chairs on the pavement. However once you enter the colorful galleries, it’s easy to forget what the exterior looks like.  The area has become a favorite with the hipper element of Tel Aviv and inevitably its popularity amongst the yuppie population has pushed up the price of property.

Yoav Dothan  CC BY-SA 3.0 Decorative Window on Ajami

Yoav Dothan  CC BY-SA 3.0
Decorative Window on Ajami

Carmel Market

The Tel Aviv neighborhood known as Kerem Hateimanim (the Vineyards of Yemen), was founded by Yemenite Jews, mostly devoutly religious people, who came to Israel for spiritual rather than political reasons in the early 20th century.

Ideally situated in the center of Tel Aviv close to Allenby Street and the Carmel Market and the sea, the area has always maintained its popularity.

Recently it underent extensive re-gentrification. Despite the passage of time, however, and the increase in the value of homes here, the area is still essentially a Yemenite neighborhood, as the small popular local family restaurants serving homemade Yemenite specialties testify to.

Ramat Hachayal

Ramat Hachayal is a new/old neighborhood in north-east Tel Aviv that was originally known as Shikun Shanghai (the Shanghai Neighborhood), as it was set up to absorb many of the Chinese Jews who fled  communist China after the Chinese Civil War. Today, Ramat Hachayal is the center of the sleek hi-tech world of Tel Aviv with many research and development companies setting up offices in the area.

Tel Aviv Neighborhoods: Did You Know?

Neve Tzedek was the first neighborhood built outside Jaffa, before Tel Aviv had even been conceived. Its recent renovation has turned it into one of Tel Aviv’s most sought-after areas in which to reside.

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