Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fact Sheet for Classic Tour from Haifa Port - Christian Oriented

TOUR FROM HAIFA PORT FACT SHEET Haifa - 266,000 population; 90% Jewish 700,000 Metropolitan area. 8% Arab most Muslim) Largest port in Israel. Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel. Home to the Baha'i World Center. The port has been mentioned in recorded history for over 3400 years. Home to two major universities - Haifa University and the Technion. Wonderful Museum at Haifa University – the Hecht Archeological Museum Bahai Terrace and Gardens- UNESCO World Heritage Site. “The Hanging Garden's of Haifa”. Situated on Mount Carmel Surrounds the Shrine of the Bab. The faith starts in Persia/Iran in mid 19th Century – much persecution. The 18 Terraces represent the first 18 disciples of of the Bab. With the level of the Shrine of the Bab there are 19 terraces – very important number in the faith. Fariborz Sahba began work in 1987 designing the gardens and oversaw construction. Gardens completed in 2001. Bahai believe in the unity of all religions – Moses, Jesus and ohters were messengers of God The most recent of these heavenly teachers, according to Baha'is, was Baha'u'llah (1817-92), whose arrival was heralded by the Bab. Baha'u'llah was exiled by the Turkish authorities to Acre (Akko), where he wrote his doctrines and died a peaceful death in Bahji House. The Bab's remains were hidden for years after he died a martyr's death in front of a firing squad in 1850. Eventually, the Bab's remains were secretly carried to the Holy Land. During one of his visits to Haifa in 1890, Baha'u'llah pointed out to his son the spot on Mount Carmel where the remains of the Bab should be laid to rest in a befitting tomb. Mount of Beatitudes Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7; Antonio Barluzzi 1939. Catholic/Franciscan Tabgha – SEVEN SPRINGS. Church of the Multiplication of Fish and Loaves Catholic/Benedictine – Current church built in the 1980s on foundation of Byzantine church and mosaic. It is possible to identify lotus, oleander and lily; also duck, snipe, heron, goose, dove, swan, cormorant, flamingo and stork. A tower marked with bands bearing Greek letters, probably for measuring the water level of the Sea of Galilee (known as a "nilometer"), is also depicted. “And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men”. (Mark 6: 30-44) Church of the Primacy of St. Peter - Catholic/Franciscan: 1933 built on foundation of 4th century church. The church of St. Peter’s Primacy was built by Franciscans in 1933 to remember the place where Jesus bestowed church leadership on Peter in Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The church is built over a flat rock that Byzantine pilgrims believed was the Mensa Christi where Jesus ate fish with his disciples after the resurrection. Capernaum Capernaum was the center of Jesus activities in the Galilee and his town during that time. Jesus taught in the local synagogue. It was also the home town of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew and John, and the tax collector Matthew. The Synagogue was built at the end of the 4th century CE. This building was built from white limestone, which is in contrast with the local black basalt buildings. It had a roof, which stood over the pillars that are seen in the hall. This earlier synagogue was the center of activities of Jesus, where he taught (Mark 1:21: "And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.") Luke 4:31 "And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days." Mathew 4:13, 18:22 According to Mathew , Capernaum is "in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim". "And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim" The text continues to tells us that here in Capernaum Jesus chooses the fishermen as disciples: "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him." Nazareth – Basilica of the Annunciation 1969 Giavanni Munzio Roman Catholic/Franciscan Built over Byzantine and Crusader churches. Has the childhood home of Mary in the Grotto. The angel Gabriel to a virgin called Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "Saviour". Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, nine full months before Christmas. According to the Bible (Luke 1:26), the Annunciation occurred "in the sixth month" of Elisabeth's pregnancy with the child later called John the Baptist. St. Joseph's Church, Joseph's Work Shop Church of the Nutrition (Luke 2: 39-40).Built in 1914, on the foundations of a Crusader church, with Romanesque influences. Mount Precipice Luke 4 (16-30) Mary's Well The structure seen today was is a 1960s reconstruction of a well-house from the 19th century and stands over the ancient public well possibly used by Mary. Today, water no longer flows to Mary's Well. Recent excavations have uncovered possible Byzantine and especially Crusader-era tunnels running from the well to houses in the area. Pottery from the 2nd century AD was also found here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Expression of Gratitude

Marilyn and I want to express of sincere gratitude to all of our recent guests. We have had the honor to guide. We have been blessed with the opportunity to show many guests who have visited Israel on their cruises on the Celebrity Silhouette. Leslie and Morley, Meryle, Cheryl, Martin and Linda, Zeke and Barbara, Denny and Barbara etc. have organized groups and arranged private tours. Each was customized to meet unique needs. We are humbled by their organizing skills (it is not easy to form groups of strangers and convert them to harmonious groups.) We look forward to showing Denny on Sunday and Zeke and Barbara and their group on Monday around the country. We have learned some important lessons. Listening to the needs of our guests is essential. We remain very flexible when circumstances change. In one case the ship did not dock in the the scheduled port. We had to change drivers and our personal schedules to make this work. Another lesson deals with pace. Some groups have a great desire for adventure. Last week were one of the very first groups to visit the City of David and walk from Shiloam Pool through the ancient sewage drain, where the Jewish fled from the Roman soldiers on hte 9th of Av (July 30) 70 CE at the end of a dramatic revolt. While this was a very strenuous adventure - everyone made up to the top! HOWEVER, there are other groups and individuals who want a less challenging tour. The advantage of working with two tour guides (Marilyn usually is part of the tour), we can divide our groups into those with differing interests. We also have learned that the best way to visit is a private tour for a couple. It permits a lot more flexibility and we can meet many more needs. However this is a bit more expensive for our guests. Again thank you all. We have more land excursions ahead in October and November - there are some open dates still available if you are interested.

The Byzantine Church on Masada

When visiting Masada I suggest that you take the path less traveled up to the Guard Tower to the left of the entrance to the palace area. From this watch towner you get a wonderful 360 degree view of Masada. Looking south you see the Roman army barracks followed by the Byzantine Church and Western Palace. Below is a quote from the Monk John Moschus who visited and wrote about this church in 600 CE. "Near the Dead Sea is a mountain called Marda. On this mountain live hermits who have a vegitable garden six miles away near the seashore Whenever the hermits wish to send out to the garden for vegetables. they harness a donkey and tell it, "'go to the garden and bring us vegetables.' and it goes down quite alone to the gardener. Every day one can see the donkey ascending and decending on its own and serving the elders."wa Why did the monks settle in the ruins of a fortress in the heart of the desert? In the desert they sought the tranqulity that would bring them closer to the Creator. The cells of the monks who lived on Masada in the 5th to 7th centuriesCE were scattered all over the mountain in small buildings , in caves and in cisterns that had gone out of use. There they communicated with the Creator in isolation, and here, in the church, they gathered to worship together. The courtyard of the chruch, in whichsome domestic installations were found, was walled. Water was brought here the cisterns on the slopes and from renovated cisterns on the summit.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Timeline Jaffa Israel

Timeline Early Bronze Age Earliest evidence of occupation in Jaffa Middle Bronze Age 1900-1530 BCE Jaffa established and fortified as Canaanite seaport Late Bronze Age 1530-1200 Jaffa thrives as Canaanite port Early 15th cent. Jaffa taken by Thutmose III 14th cent. Egyptian fort established by Ramesses II Iron Age 12th-11th cent. Canaanite port with contact with Philistia 10th cent. Jaffa continues as Canaanite port and served ancient Israel Late 8th cent. Jaffa fortified but besieged by Sennacherib of Assyria Late 4th cent. Jaffa and Dor given to Eshmunazzar of Sidon Hellenistic Period 330 Coins minted in Joppa under Alexander 318 Ptolemy (I) placed garrison in Joppa 315 Antigonus besieged and captured Joppa 301 Joppa fell under Ptolemaic rule 200 Joppa fell under Seleucid rule 176 Antiochus IV Epiphanes lands at Joppa to march to Jerusalem 143 Jaffa occupied by Simon; improves port (1 Macc. 11:1-6; 12:33-34; 13:11; also Ant. XIII.6.4) 139 Antiochus VII Sidetes attempts to receive payment from Simon for Joppa and Gezer but fails (1 Macc. 15:28-31) 134 Sidetes retakes Joppa after death of Simon and besieged Jerusalem; Hyrcanus ransoms Joppa 113 Joppa taken by Antiochus IX Kyzikenos and duties placed on trade Romans decree that Joppa be returned to the Hasmoneans (Ant. XIV.10.22) 104 Alexander Jannaeus dug trench from Antipatris (Kefar Saba) to sea near Joppa, and raised wall near Joppa (Ant. XIII.15.1) Roman Period 66 CE Cestius Gallus sent army from Caesarea to take Joppa (Wars II.18.10) 68 Vespasian used cavalry to retake Joppa (Wars III.9.2) 270-272 Jaffa under Palmyrene rule Byzantine Period Jaffa served as seaport for Christian pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. Medieval Period 636 Amr Ibn al-As captured Joppa for Arab tribes led by Omar 971 Fatimid army takes refuge from Arab army 1016 Earthquake hit region 1033 Dec. 5: Yafa devastated with other sites after earthquake and tsunami 1064-5 French Norman pilgrims visit and depart through Yafa 1099 Yafa razed by Fatimids and abandoned before being taken by Franks Yafa made a county and overseen by Rodger, seigneur of Rosay, as count Bishopric re-established under authority of Caesarea 1100 One-fourth of Yafa given to Pisans in treaty with Godfrey June: Venetian fleet arrived in Yafa July 18: Godfrey died in Yafa hospital Fortification rebuilt 1101 Egyptian army of 20,000 besieged Yafa but abandoned effort April 16: 32 ships of Genoese fleet arrived in Jaffa Genoese receive a street in Jaffa as part of treaty with Baldwin 1102 Baldwin sought refuge following a failed siege of Fatimid held Ascalon Oct. 13: heavy storm took one thousand lives and numerous ships 1103 Baldwin rebuilt city; defends against two attempted sieges by Fatimids Patriarch Arnulf granted land for the building of cemetery for St. Peter's church 1105 Fatimids besieged Yafa again 1106/1107 Russian Abbot, Daniel (Daniel 1888), passed through Yafa 1110 Fleet of sixty ships brings 10,000 Norwegians and English to Yafa 1113 Fatimids from Ashkelon fail again in a siege of Yafa 1114 Church of St. Peter given to patriarch of church of Holy Sepulcher 1115 Fatimids from Ashkelon fail again in a siege of Yafa but burn gates 1121 Fatimid siege of Jaffa was abandoned when relief force arrived 1123 Egyptian fleet destroyed by Venetians in a failed siege of Yafa; Venetians granted a street, bath, and oven 1133 Yafa rebelled against king Fulke 1187 Oct. 2: Yafa surrendered to al-Melek al-Adel Seif ed-Din, brother of Saladin 1191 Walls (and those of other coastal towns) destroyed when abandoned by Saladin 1192 July 28-August: Saladin besieges Yafa 1193 el-Melek el-Adel besieged Yafa, but it was reoccupied by Crusaders several months later 1198 Nov. 11: Small contingent of Crusaders holding Yafa massacred 1228 Walls rebuilt by Crusaders but stopped due to peace negotiations (see Crusader inscription) 1244 Yafa besieged following failed Crusader battle against Kharezmians, but he withdrew 1250 Saint Louis seeks to rebuild Yafa fortifications 1268 Mar. 7: Yafa besieged by Bibars, expelled Christians, and razed city 1334 Rabbi Issac Chelo visits Yafa 1336 Sultan en-Nasir Nasir-ed-Din Mohammed destroyed quay to prevent new Crusade form landing Ottoman Period 1642 Franciscan monks start settlement to accommodate pilgrims 1654 Latin Hospice founded (on place of Simon the Tanner's house) 1733 Soap industry revived in Jaffa 1770 Mameluke Ali Bey took Yafa from Osman Pasha 1772 Yafa returned to Ottomans 1772 July: Mameluke ruler Ali Bey besieged Yafa until Feb. 1773 and took it 1775 Mohammed Bey Abu-l-Dhahab besieged Yafa to retake it from Ali Bey's supporter; ends May 1776 1799 March 3rd-6th Bonaparte besieged Jaffa; plague follows day after Yafa besieged by el-Jazzar after dispute with Grand Wezir 1804 Yafa again besieged by Suleiman Pasha 1810-1820 Walls rebuilt around city by Abu-Nabbut 1815 Large mosque rebuilt; fountain built by Abu-Nabbut 1816 Eastern gate rebuilt 1831 Yafa surrendered to Ibrahim el-Ajami and Ibrahim Pasha 1839 Ashkenazi Jews settle in Yafa 1866 Foundation of The Jaffa American Colony by George Adams 1867 Mark Twain passes through Jaffa and comments on the "fiasco" of the American colony 1879 City walls demolished to accommodate growth of city 1892 Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway commenced 1909 Tel Aviv founded British Mandate 1917 British arrived in Jaffa 1945 Excavations begun by P. L. O. Guy State of Israel 1947-1950 Excavations by P. L. O. Guy (Israel Dept. of Antiquities and Museums) 1952 Excavations by John Bowman and B. S. J. Isserlin (University of Leeds) 1955-1981 Excavations by Jacob Kaplan and Haya-Ritter Kaplan 1961 Jaffa Museum opened by Kaplan 1994 Israel Antiquities Authority excavations commences under Martin Peilstocker 1997, 1999 Excavations in Kaplan's Area A by Tel Aviv University under direction of Ze'ev Herzog 2007 Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project (IAA-UCLA) established

Monday, September 12, 2011


It was in 1267 that Rabbi Moshe Ben-Nakhman (known as Nachmanides or by his initial, as the RaMBaN) arrived in Jerusalem from Gerona in Catalonia, Spain, to bring new life and organization to the city’s Jews. He quickly set up a synagogue in a “half-ruined house with marble pillars and a fine dome” (as he wrote to his son, Nakhman)and for centuries after it continued to serve all the city’s Jews, whatever community they owed allegiances to. Until that is, in 1586 the Turkish city governor (known as Abu Seifin) ordered it closed, on the pretext that a hundred years before the building had been sanctified as a mosque. Jerusalem’s Jews had not choice but to manage again as separate communities. The Sephardim built their new center to the south of the Ramban synagogue, at a spot where tradition say, in the time of the Second Temple, had stood the study house of no less then Rabban Yokhanan be-Zakai himself, the renowned tanna (scholar-judge) who took over leadership of the people after the Temple’s destruction and the uprooting of the Sanhedrin from Jerusalem to Yavneh.
The need to build new synagogues coincided wth a marked with a marked growth in the numbers of Jews in the city, for the rulers of the Ottoman empire allowed Jews who had settled in their territory after the expulsion from Spain (1492) to move freely within the empire and when the Ottomans captured Jerusalem in December, 1516, a steady influx of their Jews into the city had begun. However, under the prohibitions decreed by Islam, no “infidel” prayer house could stand higher than a neighboring Muslim holy place. Jews got round the difficulty by starting their synagogues’ ground floors 3 meters below street level, adorning the necessity by quoting Psalm 130, “Out of the depths, O Lord, I call you.”
By the beginning of the 19th Century the four synagogues were derelict and tottering, with the rain dripping through holes and cracks. At last, in 1835, the Sephardi community’s notables succeeded in obtaining from the Governor of the Holy Land, Ibrahim Pasha (son of Muhammad Ali, the famous governor of Egypt who had conquered the land in 1831) a permit for the synagogues’ renovation and repair. The lay-out of the areas containing the four synagogues was at the same time reshaped to make it a single compound, which now encompassed- because of the different periods of synagogue construction – a uniquely rich variety of architectural styles and features.

This period of physical reconstruction also marked a turning point in the status of the Jewish community in Palestine-Eretz Yisrael. In 1840 the Ottoman authorities restored their direct rule over the land. In consequence of this and of other changes that had taken place (for instance, the great European powers had began asserting their interests by opening foreign consulates in Jerusalem), Istanbul made Jerusalem an independent Sanjaq (district), answering directly to Istanbul an not, as before, to the governor of Damascus, and as a result, the standing of the community and its notables underwent a very positive change. Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi, a Sephardi, who had hitherto borne the traditional Jewish title of “First in Zion” (Rishon LeTzion) was now officially designated Hakham Bashi, that is, head of the Jerusalem Jewish community and all its rabbis, and as such enjoyed official status under the Ottoman system of government.

The four, now structurally linked, synagogues, together with their study houses and charitable institutions (Bet HaRashal, the Sephardi Talmud Torah (study house), the Tifferet Yerushalayim yeshiva, the widows’ alms-house) now made up the center of the Jerusalem Sephardi community’s spiritual and cultural life, a community which until the 1870s was by far the largest Jewish community in the city and the only one to enjoy official recognition by the authorities and the non-Jewish population throughout the whole period of Ottoman rule.

The Qahal Qadosh Gadol (Great Congregation) Rabban Yokhanan ben Zakai This synagogue, built in the late 16th – early 17th Centuries, held pride of place among the four synagogue, to the extent that the whole compoundwas sometimes called the Rabban Yokhanan ben Zakai compound. The synagogue, oriented west-east, had an elongated interior leading up to not one but two Holy Arks, both with Gothic-style fronts and symmetrically placed against the eastern wall. The high stone-built prayer dais (bima) in the center was also elongated, with a decorative wrought-iron railing on all four sides. It was in this synagogue that, from 1893 on, the Rishon LeTzion and Kakham Bashi, was ceremonially “enthroned” and where public meetings and assemblies were held and where important communal events such as the official ceremony in 1870 to welcome Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, took place.
Until the destruction of 1948, the congregation cherished an old sofar (ram’s horn trumpet) and oil jug in a niche in one of the synagogue walls. Tradition whispered from generation to generation that with this very shofar the prophet Elijah would announce the coming of the Messiah and with oil poured from this ancient juglet the Messiah would be anointed.
The Eliahu HaNavi Talmud Torah Congregation Expert opinion is that this synagogue (it also served as a study house) was the first of the four built. The ceiling of the main prayer hall was domed in the Turkish style and its large stone prayer dais was railed and furnished in wood. In the north-west corner is a large alcove, from which steps lead down to “Elijah’s Cave”. There people came to place lighted oil lamps , each flame imploring the Prophet to make a special wish come true.

How did the synagogue come to be named after the great Elijah? Well, the time-honored story goes that the community of Jews in the city was once so small they could not even make up a minyan (the 10 men required for holding public prayer). This was very distressing to the 9 available men, and even more so when the holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement, arrived There they were and the time had come to say the Kol Nidrei prayer that opens the Day, when an old man joined them and , wonderfully, made himself one of them. To commemorate the miracle they added the name of the Prophet to the name of the synagogue.

The Istanbuli Synagogue This synagogue is both the largest and last to be built, having been constructed in the 1760s by immigrants from Istanbul; hence its name. Its windows are very distinctive, they are large and deeply recessed in the thick walls, each one made up of three long vertical panes surmounted by a single, wide horizontal one. Flanking the Holy Ark stood two Corinthian columns carved around the arabesques. Like the other four synagogues, it had a high prayer dais. The Istanbuli also had a geniza, a space or chamber where books of scripture, too worn or damaged for use but too holy to be thrown out or destroyed, were stored. Every so often the geniza was emptied and the old books and scrolls carried in public procession to be reverently buried in a cave in the ancient Sambuski Sephardi cemetery at the foot of Mount Zion.

The Emtza’I (Middle) Synagogue Zion Congregation This is the smallest of the four synagogues called the “middle” one for the simple reason that it was built on a plot of land between the other three, a plot which apparently had, till then, been an outside courtyard of the Rabban Yokhanan ben Zakai synagogue, accommodating its women’s enclosure. The origin of the synagogue’s official name, Zion Congregation, goes back to a tradition that an underground passage once connected the synagogue to the grave-site of the kings of the House of David. Like the Rabban Yokhanan ben Zakai synagogue, it has an elongated interior and a groin-vaulted ceiling.

During Israel’s War of Independence (1947-48), all four synagogues provided shelter to the inhabitants of the Old City, it was from them that the Quarter’s defenders filed out to captivity in Jordan. All four were then devastated: they were plundered, burnt and the skeletal remains used as stalls for horses, goats and sheep.

On the liberation of the Old City in 1967 Six Day War, the four synagogues were found in the ruinous state described earlier, and piled high with rubble and manure. But to our great fortune at least the outer walls stood intact. The Council of Sephardi Communities and the Jerusalem Fund, with assistance from the Israeli government, the Yad Avei HaYishuv organization and donations from other funds and individuals in Israel and around the world, took on the task of restoration. It was not until the Hundreds of tons of accumulated refuse has been removed and the basic structure of walls and roof repaired and rebuilt, that it was possible to restore the structures to their former, beauty and glory.

The National Parks Authority had charge of the work, with practical direction in the hands of the architect, Dan Tannai, whose first concern at all times was to restore the original lay-out and reconstruct each synagogue’s outstanding former characteristics and features. Before the destruction, the splendor of the buildings had been their interior furnishings, especially the prayer dais and Holy Arks. Antique dais, arks and lamps were now brought from Spain and Italy and their dimensions precisely altered to fit the new settings. Item by item, the atmosphere and appearance of the synagogues of that past age was recreated.

Finally, in the intermediate days of Succot, 1972, al four synagogues were reinaugurated and rededicated in a solemn and moving ceremony, attended by the State’s leaders and high officials.
- Text: Dania Haim

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finding Your Way around Tel Aviv

Although Tel Aviv was not really built as a planned city, but rather had neighborhoods added in what often seem haphazard patches, it is still possible to easily get around the city – if you know the basics (as outlined in Geddes’ plan).
Four main streets run parallel to the coast. They are:

North to South

Hayarkon Street (near the beach, where most of the hotels are located)

Ben Yehuda Street (which merges into Allenby Street in the south)

Dizengoff Strret

Even G’virol Street

East to West

The following streets intersect the streets listed above:

Nordau Boulevard (in the north)

Zabotinsky Street

Arlozorov Street

Ben Gurion Boulevard

Gordon Street

Frishman Street

Bugrashov Street

While getting around Tel Aviv may not be as easy as in cities that were built according to a comprehensive urban plan – if you know which streets run from north to south and which intersect them from east to west, you should find getting around the city, much easier.

[Souce: Gems in Israel, April 2001]

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bauhaus International Style Architecture in Tel Aviv - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

#5 Frug St.

Whether you call it Bauhaus or International Style architecture, Tel Aviv is still the only city in the world that houses such a large collection of buildings designed in this style. It evolved in Germany in the 1920's, came to an abrupt end (in Germany) with the Nazi's rise to power and continued to develop in the U.S. and elsewhere. In Tel Aviv of the 1930's, Bauhaus architecture flourished, as is evidenced by many of the wonderful buildings that line the city's streets. Since the initial publication of this issue, the "White City of Tel Aviv" has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

Central Tel Aviv has the world's largest collection of Bauhaus style buildings. The International Modern Style of architecture appeared in Europe in the years immediately following World War One. Its greatest exponent was the Bauhaus School of Arts, Design and Architecture, founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar Germany in 1919. The Bauhaus School later moved to Berlin and was closed by the Nazis in 1933. Over the years many have come to regard the terms Bauhaus and International Modern Style as synonymous.

The rise of Nazism and successive waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine brought many new immigrants from Germany, including several prominent Bauhaus architects, to Tel Aviv in the 1930's. In Israel these architects had to adapt their style to different environmental, especially climatic, conditions. Tel Aviv's tremendous urban growth at this time provided them with ample work. The results can be seen through the approximately 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings that were built in Tel Aviv in the 1930's and 40's.

So what is Bauhaus Architecture?
Bauhaus style architecture favored functionality for the benefit of the residents over decoration. In building design, the organization of space took prominence over mass. Architects strove to optimize light and ventilation, an especially important challenge as they moved from central Europe to Middle East. Bauhaus buildings standout for neat flowing lines, both vertically and horizontally. Decorative elements were avoided. Construction favored the use of modern materials and relied on an internal shell rather than being supported by external walls. In Tel Aviv many Bauhaus buildings were built standing on pillars with dangling corners to provide for greater ventilation and shady areas outdoors.

Where to Find Bauhaus Style Buildings in Tel Aviv
Since there are roughly 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings in Tel Aviv, as you begin to notice their defining features, you will start to see a lot of them. Try the northern end of Rothschild Boulevard, especially on the east side of the street in the 80's. Personal favorites include 87 Rothschild Blvd and Beit Rabinsky at 1 Gilboa St. Other good areas for viewing Bauhaus style buildings include Dizengoff Square and nearby Beilinson, Ben Ami and Frug Streets, along with the area of Yael and Shlomo Hamelech Streets north of Dizengoff Sq. Additional good examples can be seen on Mazeh and Nachmani Streets off the middle of Rothschild Blvd.

Remember to bring your camera to capture these special buildings.

There are a number of characteristics to the Bauhaus/International Style of architecture:
1) It shuns ornamentation and favors functionality
2) Uses asymmetry and regularity versus symmetry
3) It grasps architecture in terms of space versus mass

Bauhaus architecture was concerned with the social aspects of design and with the creation of a new form of social housing for workers. This may be just another one of the reasons it was embraced in the newly evolving city of Tel-Aviv, at a time when socialist ideas were so prevalent. This style of architecture came about (in part) because of new engineering developments that allowed the walls to be built around steel or iron frames. This meant that walls no longer had to support the structure, but only enveloped it – from the outside.

Bauhaus buildings are usually cubic, favor right angles, (although some feature rounded corners and balconies); they have smooth facades and an open floor plan.

The Bauhaus buildings are all on the street and so they are accessible as a normal street.

The building featured on the Bauhaus Center Walking Tour (Self Guided with map and headphones or on Friday 10 AM guided tour)

1. Bauhaus Center, 99 Dizengoff (opens 10 AM week days) has a very good video on history of Tel Aviv with emphasis on architecture from Eclectic to Art Nouveau to International Style.

2. 6/8 Yael St.

3. 3 Yael St.

4. 5 Yael St.

5. 20 Shlomo HaMelech St.

6. 21/23 Shlomo HaMelech St.

7. 14 Shlomo HaMelech St.

8. 12 Shlomo HaMelech St.

9. 11 Shlomo HaMelech St. (12 Tel Hai St.)

10. Dizengoff Circle

11. 5 Frug St.

12. 33/35 Frishman St.

13. 32/34/36 Frug St.

Other noted buildingsd:

21 Lord Melchett St.

49 Ahad Haam Street, architect Zachi Shlush

Other touring areas are:

Rothschild Blvd. (and the surrounding area of Shenkin)
Dizengoff St.
Bialik St.
Mazeh and Kalisher St.

Tel Aviv has the largest number of cooperative workers’ apartments in the country. The aim was to provide residents with as much equality in living quarters. These blocks of apartments, operated almost as self-contained units. Residents had a variety of services right in the buildings, including kindergarten, post office, convenience store, laundry etc. Additionally, a plot of land was set aside, so that residents could grow their own vegetables. Having a ‘connection to the land’ was viewed as extremely important. An example of such a cooperative unit can be seen at the corner of Frishman, Dov Hoz and Frug streets. This block of buildings also served as headquarters of the Haganah.

There are over 1500 International Style buildings in Tel Aviv, slated for preservation/restoration. Looking at some of the buildings already restored, one can only imagine how beautiful and modern the city must have looked in the 1930’s.

Some Local Bauhaus Adaptations

Smaller Windows

Some of the key elements of Bauhaus architecture had to be adapted to the local environment, primarily because of the climate. One of the key elements of the International Style in Europe was a large window. However, in a hot climate – large windows that let great amounts of light shine into the rooms – do not make sense. Locally, glass was used sparingly and long, narrow, horizontal windows are visible on many of the Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv. On some buildings, you can also see long narrow balconies, which in many cases have now been enclosed. This was an adaptation of the long narrow windows.

The horizontal ‘strip window’ was a signature characteristic of Le Corbusier. A number of local architects worked in Le Corbusier’s office in Paris and were greatly influenced by his style.

Stilt Columns (Pilotis)

Another element used by Le Corbusier was stilt-type columns (pilotis), which raised the buildings off street level thereby creating room for a green garden area while providing greater airflow.

The first building built in this manner in Tel Aviv, was Beit Engel. It was built in 1933, by Zeev Rechter, and is located at 84 Rothschild Boulevard, and the corner of Ma’zeh Street. Rothschild Boulevard is an excellent area to see a great variety of Bauhaus buildings (although quite a few are in dire need of restoration). If you go to see the Engel building today you will notice that the ‘open’ area created by the stilt columns has been enclosed. Rechter fought for two years to get approval to build on these stilt columns. This type of building became quite common, in Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities, although by the 1940’s fewer buildings were being built in this manner in Tel Aviv.

Flat Roofs

Another of the local features of the Bauhaus buildings, are the flat roofs, as opposed to the typical shingled and slanted roofs, prevalent in the European buidlings. The roofs served all of a buidlings’ residents. While roofs in most cases did not feature gardens, (as envisioned by Le Corbusier), they were a place where social events were held and where the laundry room was often located as well.

Reinforced Concrete

The local building technology of the time was not advanced. Reinforced concrete was first used (in Tel Aviv) in 1912. Later it became widely used, because it was easy to work with and did not require skilled workers.

Bauhaus architecture became common in Tel Aviv of the 1930’s for a variety of reasons. There was a strong tendency toward modernization. Architects, who worked locally, had strong ties to the European architectural developments of the day. There was also a need to build cheaply and quickly because of the growing metropolis.

Tel Aviv is the only city in the world, built mostly, in the International Style. In fact, over the years a kind of reactionary ‘anti-Bauhaus’ sentiment, developed.

Saving and restoring many of the city’s wonderful old buildings is fraught with legal and economic constraints that often make conservation, less than desirable for the building’s owners. One can only hope that the coming years will bring solutions that will enable the preservation of more of Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus architecture.

The unofficial international style site from Israel
(The site started as an eMail address gift to a friend who loves Bauhaus)
English אנגלית, Hebrew עברית
Home, eCards, Posters, The School, BauHauses, Caricatures, Architects, Store
Bauhauses List and some pictures

The links are to where you can find much more details on each house and the architects

Architect Usage Address City Year
Architect Name House name Address City Year
Arieh Sharon 1900-1980 Chen Cinema 16 Ben Ami st. Tel-Aviv 1945
Carl Rubin 1899-1955 Dizengoff House 16 Rotschild Blvd. Tel-Aviv 1934
Carl Rubin 1899-1955 Hadar House 19 Derech Petach Tikva Tel-Aviv 1935
Dov Carmi 1905-1962 Zlotopolsky House 9 Gordon St. Tel-Aviv 1935
Dov Kutchinsky 1883-1966 Credit Bank 69 Nachalat Binyamin st. Tel-Aviv 1930
Friedman brothers ? Peltzman House 18 Bialik st. Tel-Aviv 1934
Genia Averbouch 1909-1977 Mirenbourg, Ya'avetz House 13 Ben Amy/ 11 Kikar Dizingoff Tel-Aviv 1936
Hayim Sokolinsky BarBag Corp. House Rothschild Blvd/Nahmani st. Tel-Aviv 1933
Jacob Pinkerfeld 1897-1956 Beit Hannah 75 Ben Gurion Blvd. Tel-Aviv 1934
Joseph & Ze'ev Berlin Rubinsky & Braun House 82 Rotschild Blvd. Tel-Aviv 1932
Joseph & Ze'ev Berlin Ha'aretz Print House 56 Ma'ze st. Tel-Aviv 1935
Joseph Neufeld 1898- Kupat Cholim House 14 Ben Ami st. Tel-Aviv 1937
Joseph Neufeld 1898- Assuta Hospital 80 Jabotinsky st. Tel-Aviv 1934
Lucian Korngold 1897-1972 Rubinsky House 1 Hagilboa st. Tel-Aviv 1936
Pinchas (Philip) Huett 1888-1949 Ogen House 23 Pinsker st. Tel-Aviv 1936
Pinchas (Philip) Huett 1888-1949 Mirenburg House 65 Hovevey Zion st. Tel-Aviv 1936
Richard Kaufmann 1877-1958 Kruskal House 21 Hess st. Tel-Aviv 1936
Salomon Liaskovssky, Jecob Orenshtein The Elephant - Polishuck House Tel-Aviv 1934
Sam Barkai ? Aginsky House 5 Engel st. Tel-Aviv 1934
Sharon, Neufeld Diker, Rubin Meonot Ovdim Z Workers flats 64-66 Ben Gurion Blvd. Tel-Aviv 1936
Shim'on Hamadi Levi The Boat House 56 Levanda st. Tel-Aviv 1934
Shlomo Bernstein 1907-1969 Efroni House 95 Achad Ha'am st. Tel-Aviv 1934
Shmuel mestiechkin 1908- The White Gallery House 12-14 Rupin st. Tel-Aviv 1937
Zaki Chelouche 1894-1975 Braun Hause 49 Achad Ha'am st. Tel-Aviv 1934
Ze'ev (Wilhelm) Haller 1882-1956 Hornstein House 54 King George/48 Dizingoff Tel-Aviv 1936
Ze'ev (Wilhelm) Haller 1882-1956 Bruno Hause 3 Strauss st. Tel-Aviv 1935
Ze'ev Rechter 19xx-1960 Engle House 84 Rotschild Blvd. Tel-Aviv 1933
Ze'ev Rechter 19xx-1960 Dvoletzky House 70 Hayarkon st. Tel-Aviv 1934

On Monday,June 7/2/2003 the UNESCO declared the inner- city of Tel-Aviv a WORLD HERITAGE SITE,saving the 4,500 Bauhaus-buildings(and the buildings designed from 1909)for their destruction.

It is proper to thank a few people for their never ending fight for the survival of Historic buildings in Tel-Aviv.
First of all:]

It was Dr.Levin who with his exhibition " THE WHITE CITY"(1984) opened the eyes of the inhabitants of Tel-Aviv about their BAUHAUS buildings. In 1994 he cooperated in the INTERNATIONAL STYLE CONFERENCE( May22-28) in Tel-Aviv.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Half Day Tour of Tel Aviv Jaffa from Ashdod Port (Sunday thru Thursday)

We pick you up at Ashdod port at 1:30 PM at the exit gate and

Drive directly to Jaffa where we will take a walk along the Mediterranean promenade and go up to a lovely view point and the Wishing Bridge.

We then take a short drive to Newe Tzedek, a trendy section of south Tel Aviv, to have coffee a the well known and popular Suzana Cafe at #9 Shabazi St..

From here we drive to Rothschild St to view the "White City" UNESCO Historic site Bauhaus buildings.

We end our day with a tour of the Palmach Museum - for this 1 1/2 hour guided tour.

We return to Ashdod port arriving @6:45 PM.

While we are experiencing a number of wonderful sites in a relatively short period of time, we will keep up a relaxed, pleasant pace.

I look forward to meeting you in Ashdod on the 18th.

The cost is $500 USD payable in dollars or equivalent New Israel Shekels. This does not include Coffee at Suzana.