Jewish Heritage Waking Route in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is an exciting, vibrant city with stunning beaches, shopping, café culture and many historic landmarks and brilliant museums. You can see Tel Aviv with Israeli day tours run by several companies in Israel like the Touryourway Israel day tours which focus on top attractions and unique experiences. If you are a Jewish travelers interested in discovering some of the Jewish landmarks and culture of Tel Aviv then this suggested walking route will give you a great overview of Jewish Tel Aviv past and present. In fact you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the landmarks along this route.

Rothschild Boulevard

The route begins on one of Tel Aviv’s most vibrant streets, Rothschild Blvd. which is lined with trees and has chic eateries and trendy cafes. The boulevard is named in honor of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a strong supporter of Zionism and the State of Israel. Where Rothschild Blvd meets Herzl Street you can see a house built in 1909 for one of the city’s 60 founding families. Many of the buildings along Rothschild Blvd. are in the Bauhaus style which has earned Tel Aviv UNESCO status and the title of the “White City.” Also see the 1925 Lederberg House on the corner of Allenby Street. This building features ceramic mural. While here spot the historic kiosks and pop in to some of the many art galleries along the boulevard. For Jewish travelers the highlight of Rothschild Blvd is Independence Hall. It was here that 66 Jewish families gathered in 1909 and drew lots for plots of land where they were to establish a neighborhood called Ahuzat Bayit which was renamed the following year – Tel Aviv. It was also in this building that the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed on May 14th 1948 and where Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. Today the room where the Declaration was signed is preserved and on the upper floor of the building is a Bible Museum with art and archaeological artifacts related to the Bible. The building holds exhibits relating to Tel Aviv and the history of the building. At the bottom of Rothschild Blvd you will reach Herzl Street where you can turn left and then first right into Lilienblum Street. Follow Lilienblum into Tel Aviv’s oldest Jewish neighborhood, Neve Tzedek.

Neve Tzedek

Neve Tzedek was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of Jaffa in 1887. In the 1980s many buildings in Neve Tsedek were restored and today it is a fashionable, village-like neighborhood with tree-lined streets and many historic buildings. Architectural styles in this part of the city include Bauhaus, Art-nouveau and Jugendstil. The neighborhood has been home to several notable figures including artist Nachum Gutman, Nobel Prize laureate Shy Agnon and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. From Lilienblum turn left into Pines Street and immediate right into Kfar Saba Street then left into Akiva Street and sharp right down a small street which will bring you to Aharon Chelouche Street. Straight ahead of you will be the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre.

Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre

This arts complex is home to the famous Bat Sheva Dance Company. The building began as a girls’ school built in 1908; the façade of the original building has been preserved although the interior has been completely modernized. Today the building has four performance venues, rehearsal facilities, a restaurant and outside in the front courtyard is a great café beneath the shade of large trees. Take a break her to enjoy the surroundings as you have a coffee and snack. If you’re lucky there may be some street performers or outdoor event in the courtyard. From the Center follow signs across the open green space to the Aharon Chelouche House.

Aharon Chelouche House

Aharon Chelouche (1840-1920) was the founder of the Neve Tzedek neighborhood. Chelouche was of French Algerian origin and a landowner, moneychanger, jeweler and active in the Jewish community. He bought the first parcel of land which became Neve Tzedek and his home was one of the largest at the time. Notice the door to a small synagogue on the side of the house. Turn right onto Amzaleg Street so that you are facing the sea and walk down towards Barnet Street where you can turn into Yeshivat Volozhin Street. From here you can see the Israel Defense Forces History Museum.

Israel Defense Forces History Museum

This impressive museum is surrounded by green lawns on the edge of the sea between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Looking in both directions you can see up and down the coast. The museum is dedicated to the Israeli military including the early underground organizations which fought against the British Mandate and modern-day IDF. The museum is not far from HaTachana which can be reached via Kaumann Street (follow the signs).

HaTachana

HaTachana was the first railway station in the Middle East and the end of the line for the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway. The station was opened in 1891 and today has been restored and repurposed into a trendy shopping and entertainment venue. Here you can relax and enjoy a meal at Greg Café; Itakia or Vicky Cristina. To learn more about Tel Aviv take one of the Israel day tours.