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Tel Aviv

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Tel Aviv-Yafo
  • תל אביב-יפו (Hebrew)
  • تل أَبيب-يافا (Arabic)
From upper left: Panorama of North-Eastern Tel Aviv from Azrieli Center, the Azrieli Center, Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv City Hall, Jaffa Clock Tower, White City and Panorama of South-Western Tel Aviv from Azrieli Center
From upper left: Panorama of North-Eastern Tel Aviv from Azrieli Center, the Azrieli Center, Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv City Hall, Jaffa Clock Tower, White City and Panorama of South-Western Tel Aviv from Azrieli Center
Flag of Tel Aviv-Yafo
Flag
TelAvivEmblem.svg
Coat of arms
Nickname(s):
  • 'The White City'
  • 'Non-Stop City'
  • 'The City That Never Sleeps'
  • 'The Bubble'
  • 'TLV'
  • 'The Big Orange'
Tel Aviv-Yafo is located in Israel
Tel Aviv-Yafo
Tel Aviv-Yafo
Location of Tel Aviv-Yafo in Israel.
Coordinates: 32°4′N 34°47′E / 32.067°N 34.783°E / 32.067; 34.783Coordinates: 32°4′N 34°47′E / 32.067°N 34.783°E / 32.067; 34.783
Country  Israel
District Tel Aviv
Metropolitan Area Gush Dan
Founded April 11, 1909 (1909-04-11)
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Body Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality
 • Mayor Ron Huldai
Area
 • City 52 km2 (20 sq mi)
 • Urban 176 km2 (68 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,516 km2 (585 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2015)[1]
 • City 432,892
 • Rank 2nd in Israel
 • Density 8,354.3/km2 (21,638/sq mi)
 • Density rank 12th in Israel
 • Urban 1,368,800
 • Urban density 7,777.2/km2 (20,143/sq mi)
 • Metro 3,785,000
 • Metro density 2,245.8/km2 (5,817/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Tel Avivian[2][3][4]
Time zone IST (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) IDT (UTC+3)
Postal code 61XXXXX
Area code +972-3
ISO 3166 code IL-TA
GDP US$ 153.3 billion [5]
GDP per capita US$ 42,614 [5]
Website tel-aviv.gov.il
Official name White City of Tel Aviv
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Designated 2003
Reference no. [2]
State Party Israel
Region Israel

Tel Aviv-Yafo (Hebrew: תֵּל אָבִיב-יָפוֹ‎, [tel a'viv jafo], Arabic: تل أَبيب-يافا‎‎) is a major city in Israel, located on the country's Mediterranean coastline. It is known to be the financial center and the technology hub of Israel, with a population of 432,892 within city limits. Tel Aviv is the largest city in the Gush Dan region of Israel. Tel Aviv is also a focal point in the high-tech concentration known as the "Silicon Wadi".

Tel Aviv is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, headed by Ron Huldai, and is home to many foreign embassies.[6] Tel Aviv is a global city, and is the thirty eighth most important financial center in the world.[7] Tel Aviv is known to have the third-largest economy of any city in the Middle East after Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City,[8] and has the 31st highest cost of living in the world.[9] The city receives over a million international visitors annually.[10][11] Known as "The City that Never Sleeps" and a "party capital", it has a lively nightlife, dynamic atmosphere and a famous 24-hour culture.[12][13]

The city was founded in 1909 by Jewish immigrants on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹYafo). The modern city's first neighbourhoods had already been established in 1886, the first being Neve Tzedek.[14] Immigration by mostly Jewish refugees meant that the growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa's, which had a majority Arab population at the time.[15] Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of International Style buildings (Bauhaus and other related modernist architectural styles).[16][17]

Etymology

Tel Aviv is the Hebrew title of Theodor Herzl's Altneuland ("Old New Land"), translated from German by Nahum Sokolow. Sokolow had adopted the name of a Mesopotamian site near the city of Babylon mentioned in Ezekiel: "Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Abib, that lived by the river Chebar, and to where they lived; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days."[18] The name was chosen in 1910 from several suggestions, including "Herzliya". It was found fitting as it embraced the idea of a renaissance in the ancient Jewish homeland. Aviv is Hebrew for "spring", symbolizing renewal, and tel is a man-made mound accumulating layers of civilization built one over the other and symbolizing the ancient.

Theories vary about the etymology of Jaffa or Yafo in Hebrew. Some believe that the name derives from yafah or yofi, Hebrew for "beautiful" or "beauty".[citation needed] Another tradition is that Japheth, son of Noah, founded the city and that it was named after him.[19]

History

Bronze age Jaffa

The ancient port of Jaffa—where, according to the Bible, Jonah set sail into the Mediterranean Sea before being swallowed by a fish[20]

The ancient port of Jaffa changed hands many times in the course of history. Archeological excavations from 1955 to 1974 unearthed towers and gates from the Middle Bronze Age.[21] Subsequent excavations, from 1997 onwards, helped date earlier discoveries.[21] They also exposed sections of a packed-sandstone glacis and a massive brick wall, dating from the Late Bronze Age, as well as a temple attributed to the Sea Peoples and dwellings from the Iron Age.[21] Remnants of buildings from the Persian and Hellenistic periods were also discovered.[21]

The city, Jaffa, is first mentioned in letters from 1470 BC that record its conquest by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III.[22] Jaffa is mentioned several times in the Bible, as the port from which Jonah set sail for Tarshish;[23] as bordering on the territory of the Tribe of Dan;[24] and as the Jaffa Port at which the wood for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem arrived from Lebanon.[25] According to some sources it has been a port for at least 4,000 years.[19]

Classic Jaffa

Jaffa is also mentioned as the place where the Apostle Peter raised Tabitha and visited Simon the Tanner.[26]

In the early state of the Great Revolt in Judea, Cestius Gallus, the Roman legate of Syria, assembled the Syrian legion XII Fulminata reinforced with units of III Gallica, IIII Scythica, and VI Ferrata, plus auxiliaries and allies (a total of approximately 30,000 soldiers) in order to restore order in the neighbouring province. In late 66, The Syrian legion captured Narbata and also took Sipporis, which surrendered with no fight. Gallus later reached Acre in Western Galilee, and then marched on Caesarea and Jaffa, where he massacred some 8,400 people, razing the city to the ground.

In mid-67, Jews, who were driven out of Galilee rebuilt Jaffa, which had been destroyed earlier by Cestius Gallus. Surrounded and cut off by the Romans, they rebuilt the city walls, and used a light flotilla to demoralize commerce and interrupt the grain supply to Rome from Alexandria.[27]

In his The Jewish War Josephus wrote:

They also built themselves a great many piratical ships, and turned pirates upon the seas near to Syria, and Phoenicia, and Egypt, and made those seas unnavigable to all men.[28]

Crusades and Caliphates

In 1099, the Catholic armies of the First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, occupied Jaffa, which had been abandoned by the Muslims, fortified the town and improved its harbor.[29] As the County of Jaffa, the town soon became important as the main sea supply route for the Kingdom of Jerusalem.[30] Jaffa was captured by Saladin in 1187 but swiftly re-taken by Richard the Lionheart in 1191, who added to its defenses.[31] In 1223, Emperor Frederick II added further fortifications.[31] Crusader domination ended in 1268, when the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the town, destroyed its harbor and razed its fortifications.[31][32] In 1336, when a new Crusade was being planned, Al-Nasir Muhammad had the harbor destroyed to prevent the Franks from landing there.[33] For the same reason, both the town and the harbor were destroyed in 1345.[33] In the 16th century, Jaffa was conquered by the Ottomans and was administered as a village in the Sanjak of Gaza.[32]

Ottoman Era

Napoleon besieged the city in 1799 and killed scores of inhabitants; a plague epidemic followed, decimating the remaining population.[32] The surrendering garrison of several thousand Muslims was massacred.[34]

Builder in Tel Aviv, 1920s

Jaffa began to grow as an urban center in the early 18th century, when the Ottoman government in Istanbul intervened to guard the port and reduce attacks by Bedouins and pirates.[32] However, the real expansion came during the 19th century, when the population grew from 2,500 in 1806 to 17,000 in 1886.[35]

From 1800 to 1870, many of Jaffa's old walls and towers were torn down to allow for expansion.[36] The sea wall, 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) high, remained intact until the 1930s, when it was built over during a renovation of the port by the British Mandatory authorities.[36] Trade with Europe began to develop in the mid-19th century.[37] In the 1860s Jaffa's Jewish community was consisted mainly of Jews from Morocco and Turkey, and small numbers of Ashkenazi Jews.

Pre-Tel Aviv neighborhoods

Since 1886, Jewish settlers had founded new neighborhoods outside Jaffa on the current territory of Tel Aviv. The first was Neve Tzedek, built on lands owned by Aharon Chelouche.[14] Other neighborhoods were Neve Shalom (1890), Yafa Nof (1896), Achva (1899), Ohel Moshe (1904), Kerem HaTeimanim (1906), and others. Once Tel Aviv received city status in the 1920s, those neighborhoods joined the newly formed municipality, now becoming separated from Jaffa.

Ahuzat Bayit

Sarona, Tel Aviv

The Second Aliyah led to further expansion. In 1906, a group of Jews, among them residents of Jaffa, followed the initiative of Akiva Aryeh Weiss and banded together to form the Ahuzat Bayit (lit. "homestead") society. The society's goal was to form a "Hebrew urban centre in a healthy environment, planned according to the rules of aesthetics and modern hygiene."[38] The urban planning for the new city was influenced by the Garden city movement.[39] The first 60 plots were purchased in Kerem Djebali near Jaffa by Jacobus Kann, a Dutch citizen, who registered them in his name to circumvent the Turkish prohibition on Jewish land acquisition.[40] Meir Dizengoff, later Tel Aviv's first mayor, also joined the Ahuzat Bayit society.[41][42] His vision for Tel Aviv involved peaceful co-existence with Arabs.[35][unreliable source]

On 11 April 1909, 66 Jewish families gathered on a desolate sand dune to parcel out the land by lottery using seashells. This gathering is considered the official date of the establishment of Tel Aviv. The lottery was organised by Akiva Aryeh Weiss, president of the building society.[43][44] Weiss collected 120 sea shells on the beach, half of them white and half of them grey. The members' names were written on the white shells and the plot numbers on the grey shells. A boy drew names from one box of shells and a girl drew plot numbers from the second box. A photographer, Avraham Soskin, documented the event. The first water well was later dug at this site (today Rothschild Boulevard, across from Dizengoff House).[45] Within a year, Herzl, Ahad Ha'am, Yehuda Halevi, Lilienblum, and Rothschild streets were built; a water system was installed; and 66 houses (including some on six subdivided plots) were completed.[39] At the end of Herzl Street, a plot was allocated for a new building for the Herzliya Hebrew High School, founded in Jaffa in 1906.[39] On 21 May 1910, the name Tel Aviv was adopted.[39] The flag and city arms of Tel Aviv (see above) contain under the red Star of David 2 words from the biblical book of Jeremiah: "I (God) will build You up again and you will be rebuilt." (Jer 31:4) Tel Aviv was planned as an independent Hebrew city with wide streets and boulevards, running water at each house, and street lights.[46]

By 1914, Tel Aviv had grown to more than 1 square kilometre (247 acres).[39] However, growth halted in 1917 when the Ottoman authorities expelled the residents of Jaffa and Tel Aviv.[39] A report published in The New York Times by United States Consul Garrels in Alexandria, Egypt described the Jaffa deportation of early April 1917. The orders of evacuation were aimed chiefly at the Jewish population.[47] Jews were free to return to their homes in Tel Aviv at the end of the following year when, with the end of World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans, the British took control of Palestine.

Under the British Mandate

Master plan for Tel Aviv by Patrick Geddes, 1925
The British pavilion in the Levant Fair, 1934
Rothschild Boulevard, circa 1930
Nahalat Binyamin Street in 1936

Tel Aviv, established as suburb of Jaffa, received township or local council status in 1921, and city status in 1934.[48][49]

According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Tel Aviv had a population of 15,185 inhabitants, consisting of 15,065 Jews, 78 Muslims and 42 Christians.[50] Increasing in the 1931 census to 46,101, in 12,545 houses.[51] With increasing Jewish immigration during the British administration, friction between Arabs and Jews in Palestine increased. On 1 May 1921, the Jaffa Riots resulted in the deaths of 48 Arabs and 47 Jews and injuries to 146 Jews and 73 Arabs.[52] In the wake of this violence, many Jews left Jaffa for Tel Aviv, increasing the population of Tel Aviv from 2,000 in 1920 to around 34,000 by 1925.[16][53]

Tel Aviv began to develop as a commercial center.[54] In 1923, Tel Aviv was the first town to be wired to electricity in Palestine, followed by Jaffa later in the same year. The opening ceremony of the Jaffa Electric Company powerhouse, on 10 June 1923, celebrated the lighting of the two main streets of Tel Aviv.[55]

In 1925, the Scottish biologist, sociologist, philanthropist and pioneering town planner Patrick Geddes drew up a master plan for Tel Aviv which was adopted by the city council led by Meir Dizengoff. Geddes's plan for developing the northern part of the district was based on Ebenezer Howard's garden city movement.[56] The plan consisted of four main features: a hierarchical system of streets laid out in a grid, large blocks consisting of small-scale domestic dwellings, the organization of these blocks around central open spaces, and the concentration of cultural institutions to form a civic center.[57] While most of the northern area of Tel Aviv was built according to this plan, the influx of European refugees in the 1930s necessitated the construction of taller apartment buildings on a larger footprint in the city.[58]

Ben Gurion House was built in 1930–31, part of a new workers' housing development. At the same time, Jewish cultural life was given a boost by the establishment of the Ohel Theatre and the decision of Habima Theatre to make Tel Aviv its permanent base in 1931.[39]

Tel Aviv beach in 1942

Tel Aviv was granted municipal status in 1934.[39] The Jewish population rose dramatically during the Fifth Aliyah after the Nazis came to power in Germany.[39] By 1937 the Jewish population of Tel Aviv had risen to 150,000, compared to Jaffa's mainly Arab 69,000 residents. Within two years, it had reached 160,000, which was over a third of Palestine's total Jewish population.[39] Many new Jewish immigrants to Palestine disembarked in Jaffa, and remained in Tel Aviv, turning the city into a center of urban life. Friction during the 1936–39 Arab revolt, led to the opening of a local Jewish port, Tel Aviv Port, independent of Jaffa, in 1938, (it closed on 25 October 1965). Lydda Airport (later Ben Gurion Airport) and Sde Dov Airport opened between 1937 and 1938.[35][unreliable source]

The restored Jaffa train station

Many German Jewish architects trained at the Bauhaus, the Modernist school of architecture in Germany, and left Germany during the 1930s. Some, like Arieh Sharon, came to Palestine and adapted the architectural outlook of the Bauhaus and similar schools to the local conditions there, creating what is recognized as the largest concentration of buildings in the International Style in the world.[16][35][unreliable source] Tel Aviv's White City emerged in the 1930s, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.[59] Tel Aviv was hit during the Italian Bombing of Palestine in World War II. On 9 September 1940, 137 were killed in the bombing of Tel Aviv.[60]

According to the 1947 UN Partition Plan for dividing Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Tel Aviv, by then a city of 230,000, was to be included in the proposed Jewish state. Jaffa with, as of 1945, a population of 101,580 people—53,930 Muslims, 30,820 Jews and 16,800 Christians—was designated as part of the Arab state. Civil War broke out in the country and in particular between the neighbouring cities of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, which had been assigned to the Jewish and Arab states respectively. After several months of siege, on 13 May 1948, Jaffa fell and the Arab population fled en masse.

After Israeli independence

Crowd outside Dizengoff House (now Independence Hall) to witness the proclamation and signing of Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948

When Israel declared Independence on 14 May 1948, the population of Tel Aviv was over 200,000.[61] Tel Aviv was the temporary government center of the State of Israel until the government moved to Jerusalem in December, 1949. Due to the international dispute over the status of Jerusalem, most embassies remained in or near Tel Aviv.[62] In the early 1980s, 13 embassies in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv as part of the UN's measures responding to Israel's 1980 Jerusalem Law.[63] Today, all national embassies are in Tel Aviv or environs.[64]

The boundaries of Tel Aviv and Jaffa became a matter of contention between the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli government in 1948.[65] The former wished to incorporate only the northern Jewish suburbs of Jaffa, while the latter wanted a more complete unification.[65] The issue also had international sensitivity, since the main part of Jaffa was in the Arab portion of the United Nations Partition Plan, whereas Tel Aviv was not, and no armistice agreements had yet been signed.[65] On 10 December 1948, the government announced the annexation to Tel Aviv of Jaffa's Jewish suburbs, the Palestinian neighborhood of Abu Kabir, the Palestinian village of Salama and some of its agricultural land, and the Jewish 'Hatikva' slum.[65] On 25 February 1949, the depopulated Palestinian village of al-Shaykh Muwannis was also annexed to Tel Aviv.[65] On 18 May 1949, Manshiya and part of Jaffa's central zone were added, for the first time including land that had been in the Arab portion of the UN partition plan.[65] The government voted on the unification of Tel Aviv and Jaffa on 4 October 1949, but the decision was not implemented until 24 April 1950 due to the opposition of Tel Aviv mayor Israel Rokach.[65] The name of the unified city was Tel Aviv until 19 August 1950, when it was renamed Tel Aviv-Yafo in order to preserve the historical name Jaffa.[65]

Tel Aviv thus grew to 42 square kilometers (16.2 sq mi). In 1949, a memorial to the 60 founders of Tel Aviv was constructed.[66] Over the past 60 years, Tel Aviv has developed into a secular, liberal-minded center with a vibrant nightlife and café culture.[35][unreliable source]

In the 1960s, some of the older buildings were demolished, making way for the country's first high-rises. The Shalom Meir Tower, which was completed in 1965. was Israel's tallest building until 1999. Tel Aviv's population peaked in the early 1960s at 390,000, representing 16 percent of the country's total.[67] A long period of steady decline followed, however, and by the late 1980s the city had an aging population of 317,000.[67] High property prices pushed families out and deterred young people from moving in.[67] At this time, gentrification began in the poor neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv, and the old port in the north was renewed.[35][unreliable source] New laws were introduced to protect Modernist buildings, and efforts to preserve them were aided by UNESCO recognition of the Tel Aviv's White City as a world heritage site. In the early 1990s, the decline in population was reversed, partly due to the large wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.[67] Tel Aviv also began to emerge as a high-tech center.[35][unreliable source] The construction of many skyscrapers and high-tech office buildings followed. In 1993, Tel Aviv was categorized as a world city.[68] The city is regarded as a strong candidate for global city status.[69]

A street café in Florentin, Tel Aviv

In the Gulf War in 1991, Tel Aviv was attacked by Scud missiles from Iraq. Iraq hoped to provoke an Israeli military response, which could have destroyed the US–Arab alliance. The United States pressured Israel not to retaliate, and after Israel acquiesced, the US and Netherlands rushed Patriot missiles to defend against the attacks, but they proved largely ineffective. Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities continued to be hit by Scuds throughout the war, and every city in the Tel Aviv area except for Bnei Brak was hit. A total of 74 Israelis died as a result of the Iraqi attacks, mostly from suffocation and heart attacks,[70] while approximately 230 Israelis were injured.[71] Extensive property damage was also caused, and some 4,000 Israelis were left homeless. It was feared that Iraq would fire missiles filled with nerve agents or sarin. As a result, the Israeli government issued gas masks to its citizens. When the first Iraqi missiles hit Israel, some people injected themselves with an antidote for nerve gas. The inhabitants of the southeastern suburb of HaTikva erected an angel-monument as a sign of their gratitude that "it was through a great miracle, that many people were preserved from being killed by a direct hit of a Scud rocket."[72]

On 4 November 1995, Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated at a rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo peace accord. The outdoor plaza where this occurred, formerly known as Kikar Malchei Yisrael, was renamed Rabin Square.[35][unreliable source]

In 2009, Tel Aviv celebrated its official centennial.[73] In addition to city- and country-wide celebrations, digital collections of historical materials were assembled. These include the History section of the official Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Year website;[73] the Ahuzat Bayit collection, which focuses on the founding families of Tel Aviv, and includes photographs and biographies;[74] and Stanford University's Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection,[75] documenting the history of the city.

Arab–Israeli conflict

Since the First Intifada, Tel Aviv has suffered from Palestinian political violence. The first suicide attack in Tel Aviv occurred on 19 October 1994, on the Line 5 bus, when a bomber killed 22 civilians and injured 50 as part of a Hamas suicide campaign.[76] On 6 March 1996, another Hamas suicide bomber killed 13 people (12 civilians and 1 soldier) in the Dizengoff Center suicide bombing.[77][78] Three women were killed by a Hamas terrorist in the Café Apropo bombing on 27 March 1997.[79][80][81]

Tel Aviv Dolphinarium, site of the 2001 Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing, in which 21 Israelis, mostly teenagers, were killed.

One of the most deadly attacks occurred on 1 June 2001, during the Second Intifada, when a suicide bomber exploded at the entrance to the Dolphinarium discothèque, killing 21, mostly teenagers, and injuring 132.[82][83][84][85] Another Hamas suicide bomber killed six civilians and injured 70 in the Allenby Street bus bombing.[86][87][88][89][90] Twenty-three civilians were killed and over 100 injured in the Tel Aviv central bus station massacre.[91][92] Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. In the Mike's Place suicide bombing, an attack on a bar by a British Muslim suicide bomber resulted in the deaths of three civilians and wounded over 50.[93] Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility. An Islamic Jihad bomber killed five and wounded over 50 in the 25 February 2005 Stage Club bombing.[94] The most recent suicide attack in the city occurred on 17 April 2006, when 11 people were killed and at least 70 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station.[95]

Another attack took place on 29 August 2011 in which a Palestinian attacker stole an Israeli taxi cab and rammed it into a police checkpoint guarding the popular Haoman 17 nightclub in Tel Aviv which was filled with 2,000[96] Israeli teenagers. After crashing, the assailant went on a stabbing spree, injuring eight people.[94] Due to an Israel Border Police roadblock at the entrance and immediate response of the Border Police team during the subsequent stabbings, a much larger and fatal mass-casualty incident was avoided.[97]

On 21 November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Tel Aviv area was targeted by rockets, and air raid sirens were sounded in the city for the first time since the Gulf War. All of the rockets either missed populated areas or were shot down by an Iron Dome rocket defense battery stationed near the city. During the operation, a bomb blast on a bus wounded at least 28 civilians, three seriously.[98][99][100][101] This was described as a terrorist attack by Israel, Russia, and the United States and was condemned by the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia, whilst Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri declared that the organisation "blesses" the attack.[102]

Geography

Tel Aviv seen from space in 2003

Tel Aviv is located around 32°5′N 34°48′E / 32.083°N 34.800°E / 32.083; 34.800 on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, in central Israel, the historic land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Immediately north of the ancient port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv lies on land that used to be sand dunes and as such has relatively poor soil fertility. The land has been flattened and has no important gradients; its most notable geographical features are bluffs above the Mediterranean coastline and the Yarkon River mouth.[103] Because of the expansion of Tel Aviv and the Gush Dan region, absolute borders between Tel Aviv and Jaffa and between the city's neighborhoods do not exist.

The city is located 60 kilometers (37 mi) northwest of Jerusalem and 90 kilometers (56 mi) south of the city of Haifa.[104] Neighboring cities and towns include Herzliya to the north, Ramat HaSharon to the northeast, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Giv'atayim to the east, Holon to the southeast, and Bat Yam to the south.[105] The city is economically stratified between the north and south. Southern Tel Aviv is considered less affluent than Northern Tel Aviv with the exception of Neve Tzedek and some recent development on Jaffa beach. Central Tel Aviv is home to Azrieli Center and the important financial and commerce district along Ayalon Highway. The northern side of Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, Hayarkon Park, and upscale residential neighborhoods such as Ramat Aviv and Afeka.[106]

Climate

A winter thunderstorm in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa),[107] characterised by hot, humid yet rainless summers and mild, wet winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between October and May. The average annual temperature is 20.9 °C (69.6 °F), and the average sea temperature is 18–20 °C (64–68 °F) during the winter, and 24–29 °C (75–84 °F) during the summer. The city averages 528 millimeters (20.8 in) of precipitation annually.

Summers in Tel Aviv last about five months, from June to October. Precipitation during the summer is rare, although light drizzles may occur in some early mornings. August, the warmest month, averages a high of 30.6 °C (87.1 °F), and a low of 25 °C (77 °F). The high relative humidity due to the location of the city by the Mediterranean Sea, in a combination with the high temperatures, creates a thermal discomfort during the summer. Summer low temperatures in Tel Aviv seldom drop below 20 °C (68 °F).

Winters are mild and wet, with most of the annual precipitation falling within the months of December, January and February as intense rainfall and thunderstorms. In January, the coolest month, the average maximum temperature is 17.6 °C (63.7 °F), the mimimum temperature averages 10.2 °C (50.4 °F). During the colder days of winter, temperatures may reach a low of 6 °C (43 °F).

Autumns and springs are characterized by sharp temperature changes, with heat waves that might be created due to hot and dry air masses that arrive from the nearby deserts. During heatwaves in autumn and springs, temperatures usually climb up to 35 °C (95 °F) and even up to 40 °C (104 °F), accompanied with exceptionally low humidity. An average day during autumn and spring has a high of 23 °C (73 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F), and a low of 15 °C (59 °F) to 18 °C (64 °F).

The highest recorded temperature in Tel Aviv was 46.5 °C (115.7 °F) on 17 May 1916, and the lowest is −1.9 °C (28.6 °F) on 7 February 1950, during a cold wave that brought the only recorded snowfall in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv mean sea temperature[108]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
18.8 °C (65.8 °F) 17.6 °C (63.7 °F) 17.8 °C (64.0 °F) 18.6 °C (65.5 °F) 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) 24.9 °C (76.8 °F) 27.4 °C (81.3 °F) 28.6 °C (83.5 °F) 28.2 °C (82.8 °F) 26.3 °C (79.3 °F) 23.2 °C (73.8 °F) 20.6 °C (69.1 °F)
Climate data for Tel Aviv (Temperature: 1987–2010, Precipitation: 1980–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.0
(86)
33.2
(91.8)
38.3
(100.9)
43.9
(111)
46.5
(115.7)
44.4
(111.9)
37.4
(99.3)
41.4
(106.5)
42.0
(107.6)
44.4
(111.9)
35.6
(96.1)
33.5
(92.3)
46.5
(115.7)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 23.6
(74.5)
25.0
(77)
30.4
(86.7)
35.5
(95.9)
32.4
(90.3)
30.8
(87.4)
31.6
(88.9)
31.8
(89.2)
32.0
(89.6)
32.9
(91.2)
29.2
(84.6)
23.8
(74.8)
35.5
(95.9)
Average high °C (°F) 17.6
(63.7)
18.1
(64.6)
20.2
(68.4)
23.0
(73.4)
25.2
(77.4)
27.9
(82.2)
29.9
(85.8)
30.6
(87.1)
29.7
(85.5)
27.2
(81)
23.7
(74.7)
19.7
(67.5)
24.4
(75.94)
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.9
(57)
14.4
(57.9)
16.4
(61.5)
19.2
(66.6)
21.8
(71.2)
24.8
(76.6)
27.0
(80.6)
27.8
(82)
26.5
(79.7)
23.7
(74.7)
19.6
(67.3)
15.9
(60.6)
20.92
(69.64)
Average low °C (°F) 10.2
(50.4)
10.7
(51.3)
12.6
(54.7)
15.3
(59.5)
18.3
(64.9)
21.8
(71.2)
24.2
(75.6)
25.0
(77)
23.4
(74.1)
20.1
(68.2)
15.5
(59.9)
12.2
(54)
17.44
(63.4)
Mean minimum °C (°F) 6.6
(43.9)
7.3
(45.1)
8.3
(46.9)
10.7
(51.3)
14.0
(57.2)
18.3
(64.9)
22.2
(72)
23.3
(73.9)
20.6
(69.1)
16.2
(61.2)
10.9
(51.6)
7.8
(46)
6.6
(43.9)
Record low °C (°F) −1.5
(29.3)
−1.9
(28.6)
1.0
(33.8)
2.5
(36.5)
4.4
(39.9)
10.0
(50)
13.9
(57)
15.0
(59)
10.0
(50)
7.2
(45)
3.3
(37.9)
−1.1
(30)
−1.9
(28.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 147
(5.79)
111
(4.37)
62
(2.44)
16
(0.63)
3.6
(0.142)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.7
(0.028)
34
(1.34)
81
(3.19)
127
(5)
582.3
(22.93)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 13 11 8 2 0.8 0 0 0 0.3 4 7 10 56.1
Average relative humidity (%) 66 64.5 64 62 65.5 67 67 66 62.5 61.5 60.5 65 64.29
Mean monthly sunshine hours 192.2 200.1 235.6 270 328.6 357 368.9 356.5 300 279 234 189.1 3,311
Source #1: Israel Meteorological Service[109][110][111][112]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory for data of sunshine hours[113]
Climate data for Tel Aviv the West Coast (2005–2014)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.7
(81.9)
31.8
(89.2)
38.3
(100.9)
39.1
(102.4)
38.4
(101.1)
36.7
(98.1)
31.7
(89.1)
32.5
(90.5)
34.1
(93.4)
39.5
(103.1)
34.0
(93.2)
29.5
(85.1)
39.5
(103.1)
Average high °C (°F) 18.3
(64.9)
18.9
(66)
20.7
(69.3)
22.6
(72.7)
24.4
(75.9)
27.1
(80.8)
29.0
(84.2)
29.9
(85.8)
29.0
(84.2)
26.9
(80.4)
23.9
(75)
20.3
(68.5)
24.25
(75.64)
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.7
(58.5)
15.4
(59.7)
17.2
(63)
19.3
(66.7)
21.7
(71.1)
24.7
(76.5)
26.9
(80.4)
27.6
(81.7)
26.5
(79.7)
23.8
(74.8)
20.2
(68.4)
16.6
(61.9)
21.22
(70.2)
Average low °C (°F) 11.1
(52)
11.9
(53.4)
13.6
(56.5)
16.0
(60.8)
18.9
(66)
22.4
(72.3)
24.7
(76.5)
25.4
(77.7)
24.1
(75.4)
20.7
(69.3)
16.5
(61.7)
12.8
(55)
18.18
(64.72)
Record low °C (°F) 4.2
(39.6)
5.2
(41.4)
7.2
(45)
10.3
(50.5)
13.1
(55.6)
18.8
(65.8)
21.6
(70.9)
22.5
(72.5)
20.1
(68.2)
15.1
(59.2)
10.2
(50.4)
4.0
(39.2)
4
(39.2)
Source: Israel Meteorological Service databases[114][115]

Local government

Rabin Square and Tel Aviv City Hall looking northwest

Tel Aviv is governed by a 31-member city council elected for a five-year term in direct proportional elections.[116]

All Israeli citizens over the age of 18 with at least one year of residence in Tel Aviv are eligible to vote in municipal elections. The municipality is responsible for social services, community programs, public infrastructure, urban planning, tourism and other local affairs.[117][118][119] The Tel Aviv City Hall is located at Rabin Square. Ron Huldai has been mayor of Tel Aviv since 1998.[116] Huldai was reelected for a fourth term in the 2013 municipal elections, defeating Nitzan Horowitz who ran at the head of the Meretz list.[120] The longest serving mayor was Shlomo Lahat, who was in office for 19 years. The shortest serving was David Bloch, in office for two years, 1925–27.

Tel Aviv is known to be a stronghold for the left. This is especially true for the city's mostly affluent central and northern neighborhoods, though not the case for its working-class southeastern neighborhoods.[121] Outside the kibbutzim, Meretz receives more votes in Tel Aviv than in any other city in Israel.[122]

List of Mayors of Tel Aviv

Mandatory Palestine (1920–1948)

Name Term start Term end Party
1 Meir Dizengoff 1920 1925 General Zionists
2 David Bloch-Blumenfeld 1925 1928 Ahdut HaAvoda
(1) Meir Dizengoff 1928 1936 General Zionists
3 Moshe Chelouche 1936 1936 Unaffiliated
4 Israel Rokach 1936 1948 General Zionists

State of Israel (1948–present)


Mayor of Tel Aviv Took office Left office Party
1 Israel Rokach 1950.jpg Israel Rokach 1948 1953 General Zionists
2 Chaim Levanon president Ben Zvi.jpg Chaim Levanon 1953 1959 General Zionists
3 Mordechai Namir 1947.jpg Mordechai Namir 1959 1969 Mapai
4 Yehoshua rabinovitz.JPG Yehoshua Rabinovitz 1969 1974 Labor Party
5 Centennial IMG 3750.JPG Shlomo Lahat 1974 1993 Likud
6 Roni Milo 1.jpg Roni Milo 1993 1998 Likud
7 Ron Huldai.jpg Ron Huldai 1998 Incumbent Labor Party

City council

Following the 2013 municipal elections, Meretz gain an unprecedented 6 seats on the council. However, having been reelected as mayor, Huldai and the Tel Aviv 1 list lead the coalition, which controls 29 of 31 seats.

Tel Aviv City Council, 2013–2018 Term
Party Seats Coalition Member
Meretz 6 Yes
Tel Aviv 1 5 Yes
Rov Ha'ir (City Majority) 4 Yes
Ir Le'kulanu (City for All) 3 Partial (2 of 3 seats, Shelley Dvir remained in the Opposition)
Segev-Beyachad Tel Aviv (Shas, Jewish Home, Torah Judaism) 3 Yes
Ko'ach Le'gimla'im (Power to Pensioners) 2 Yes
Halikud Beiteinu 2 Yes
Drom Ha'ir (South Tel Aviv) 1 Yes
Yesh Atid 1 Yes
Tel Aviv B'tucha (Safe Tel Aviv) 1 Yes
Aseifat Horim (Parents List) 1 No
Tzedek Hevrati (Social Justice) 1 Yes
Mahapach Yarok (Green Revolution) 1 Yes

Education

The Vladimir Schreiber Institute of Mathematics at Tel Aviv University

In 2006, 51,359 children attended school in Tel Aviv, of whom 8,977 were in municipal kindergartens, 23,573 in municipal elementary schools, and 18,809 in high schools.[123] Sixty-four percent of students in the city are entitled to matriculation, more than 5 percent higher than the national average.[123] About 4,000 children are in first grade at schools in the city, and population growth is expected to raise this number to 6,000 by 2012.[124] As a result, 20 additional kindergarten classes were opened in 2008–09 in the city. A new elementary school is planned north of Sde Dov as well as a new high school in northern Tel Aviv.[124]

The first Hebrew high school, called Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium, was built in 1905 on Herzl Street.

Tel Aviv University, the largest university in Israel, is known internationally for its physics, computer science, chemistry and linguistics departments. Together with Bar-Ilan University in neighboring Ramat Gan, the student population numbers over 50,000, including a sizeable international community.[125][126] Its campus is located in the neighborhood of Ramat Aviv.[127] Tel Aviv also has several colleges.[128] The Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium moved from Jaffa to Tel Aviv in 1909. The school continues to operate, although it has moved to Jabotinsky Street.[129] Other notable schools in Tel Aviv include Shevah Mofet, the second Hebrew school in the city, Ironi Alef High School for Arts and Alliance.

Demographics

Sarona, Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv has a population of 426,138 spread over a land area of 52,000 dunams (52.0 km2) (20 mi²), yielding a population density of 7,606 people per square km (19,699 per square mile). According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), as of 2009 Tel Aviv's population is growing at an annual rate of 0.5 percent. Jews of all backgrounds form 91.8 percent of the population, Muslims and Arab Christians make up 4.2 percent, and the remainder belong to other groups (including various Christian and Asian communities).[130] As Tel Aviv is a multicultural city, many languages are spoken in addition to Hebrew. According to some estimates, about 50,000 unregistered Asian foreign workers live in the city.[131] Compared with Westernised cities, crime in Tel Aviv is relatively low.[132]

According to Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the average income in the city, which has an Unemployment Rate of 4.6%,[133] is 20% above the National Average.[123] The city's education standards are above the national average: of its 12th-grade students, 64.4 percent are eligible for matriculation certificates.[123] The age profile is relatively even, with 22.2 percent aged under 20, 18.5 percent aged 20–29, 24 percent aged 30–44, 16.2 percent aged between 45 and 59, and 19.1 percent older than 60.[134]

Tel Aviv's population reached a peak in the early 1960s at around 390,000, falling to 317,000 in the late 1980s as high property prices forced families out and deterred young couples from moving in.[67] Since the mass immigration from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, population has steadily grown.[67] Today, the city's population is young and growing.[124] In 2006, 22,000 people moved to the city, while only 18,500 left,[124] and many of the new families had young children. The population is expected to reach 450,000 by 2025; meanwhile, the average age of residents fell from 35.8 in 1983 to 34 in 2008.[124] The population over age 65 stands at 14.6 percent compared with 19% in 1983.[124]

Religion

Tel Aviv has 544 active synagogues,[135] including historic buildings such as the Great Synagogue, established in the 1930s.[136] In 2008, a center for secular Jewish Studies and a secular yeshiva opened in the city.[137] Tensions between religious and secular Jews before the gay pride parade ended in vandalism of a synagogue.[138] The number of churches has grown to accommodate the religious needs of diplomats and foreign workers.[139] The population was 93% Jewish, 1% Muslim, and 1% Christian. The remaining 5 percent were not classified by religion.[140] Israel Meir Lau is chief rabbi of the city.[141]

The restored Immanuel Church, Jaffa

Tel Aviv is an ethnically diverse city. The Jewish population, which forms the majority group in Tel Aviv consists of immigrants from all parts of the world and their descendants, including Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, North America, South America, Australia and South Africa, as well as Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews from Southern Europe, North Africa, India, Central Asia, West Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula. There are also a sizable number of Ethiopian Jews and their descendants living in Tel Aviv. In addition to Muslim and Arab Christian minorities in the city, several hundred Armenian Christians who reside in the city are concentrated mainly in Jaffa and some Christians from the former Soviet Union who immigrated to Israel with Jewish spouses and relatives. In recent years, Tel Aviv has received many non-Jewish migrants, students, foreign workers (documented and undocumented) and refugees. There are many refugees from African countries located in the southern part of the city.[142]

Neighborhoods

Kerem HaTeimanim is a predominantly Yemenite Jewish neighborhood in the center of Tel Aviv
Further information: Neighborhoods of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is divided into nine districts that have formed naturally over the city's short history. The oldest of these is Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv grew. This area is traditionally made up demographically of a greater percentage of Arabs, but recent gentrification is replacing them with a young professional and artist population. Similar processes are occurring in nearby Neve Tzedek, the original Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa. Ramat Aviv, a district in the northern part of the city that is largely made up of luxury apartments and includes Tel Aviv University, is currently undergoing extensive expansion and is set to absorb the beachfront property of Sde Dov Airport after its decommissioning.[143] The area known as HaKirya is the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) headquarters and a large military base.[106]

Moreover, in the past few years, Rothschild Boulevard which is located at beginning in Neve Tzedek had become an attraction both of tourist, businesses and startups. It features a wide, tree-lined central strip with pedestrian and bike lanes. Historically, there was a demographic split between the Ashkenazi northern side of the city, including the district of Ramat Aviv, and the southern, more Sephardi and Mizrahi neighborhoods including Neve Tzedek and Florentin.[35][unreliable source]

Since the 1980s, major restoration and gentrification projects have been implemented in southern Tel Aviv.[35][unreliable source] Baruch Yoscovitz, city planner for Tel Aviv beginning in 2001, reworked old British plans for the Florentin neighborhood from the 1920s, adding green areas, pedestrian malls, and housing. The municipality invested two million shekels in the project. The goal was to make Florentin the Soho of Tel Aviv, and attract artists and young professionals to the neighborhood. Indeed, street artists, such as Dede, installation artists such as Sigalit Landau, and many others made the upbeat neighborhood their home base.[144][145] Florentin is now known as a hip, "cool" place to be in Tel Aviv with coffeehouses, markets, bars, galleries and parties.[146]

Cityscape

View of Tel Aviv from the Azrieli Center

Architecture

1930s Bauhaus (left) and 1920s Eclectic (right) architecture styles

Tel Aviv is home to different architectural styles that represent influential periods in its history. The early architecture of Tel Aviv consisted largely of European-style single-story houses with red-tiled roofs.[147] Neve Tzedek, the first neighborhood to be constructed outside of Jaffa is characterised by two-story sandstone buildings.[16] By the 1920s, a new eclectic Orientalist style came into vogue, combining European architecture with Eastern features such as arches, domes and ornamental tiles.[147] Municipal construction followed the "garden city" master plan drawn up by Patrick Geddes. Two- and three-story buildings were interspersed with boulevards and public parks.[147] Various architectural styles, such as Art Deco, classical and modernist also exist in Tel Aviv.

Bauhaus

Main article: Bauhaus
Bauhaus Museum

Bauhaus architecture was introduced in the 1920s and 1930s by German Jewish architects who settled in Palestine after the rise of the Nazis. Tel Aviv's White City, around the city center, contains more than 5,000 Modernist-style buildings inspired by the Bauhaus school and Le Corbusier.[16][17] Construction of these buildings, later declared protected landmarks and, collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, continued until the 1950s in the area around Rothschild Boulevard.[17][148] Some 3,000 buildings were created in this style between 1931 and 1939 alone.[147] In the 1960s, this architectural style gave way to office towers and a chain of waterfront hotels and commercial skyscrapers.[35] Some of the city's Modernist buildings were neglected to the point of ruin. Before legislation to preserve this landmark architecture, many of the old buildings were demolished. Efforts are under way to refurbish Bauhaus buildings and restore them to their original condition.[149]

High-rise construction and towers

The Azrieli Center complex contains some of the tallest skyscrapers in Tel Aviv.

The Shalom Meir Tower, Israel's first skyscraper, was built in Tel Aviv in 1965 and remained the country's tallest building until 1999. At the time of its construction, the building rivaled Europe's tallest buildings in height, and was the tallest in the Middle East.

In the mid-1990s, the construction of skyscrapers began throughout the entire city, altering its skyline. Before that, Tel Aviv had had a generally low-rise skyline.[150] However, the towers were not concentrated in certain areas, and were scattered at random locations throughout the city, creating a disjointed skyline.

Nehoshtan Tower, Neve Tzedek

New neighborhoods, such as Park Tzameret, have been constructed to house apartment towers such as YOO Tel Aviv towers, designed by Philippe Starck. Other districts, such as Sarona, have been developed with office towers. Other recent additions to Tel Aviv's skyline include the 1 Rothschild Tower and First International Bank Tower.[151][152] As Tel Aviv celebrated its centennial in 2009,[153] the city attracted a number of architects and developers, including I. M. Pei, Donald Trump, and Richard Meier.[154] American journalist David Kaufman reported in New York magazine that since Tel Aviv "was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, gorgeous historic buildings from the Ottoman and Bauhaus era have been repurposed as fabulous hotels, eateries, boutiques, and design museums."[155] In November 2009, Haaretz reported that Tel Aviv had 59 skyscrapers more than 100 meters tall.[156] Currently, dozens of skyscrapers have been approved or are under construction throughout the city, and many more are planned. The tallest building approved is the Egged Tower, which would become Israel's tallest building upon completion.[157] According to current plans, the tower is planned to have 80 floors, rise to a height of 270 meters, and will have a 50-meter spire.[158]

In 2010, the Tel Aviv Municipality's Planning and Construction Committee launched a new master plan for the city for 2025. It decided not to allow the construction of any additional skyscrapers in the city center, while at the same time greatly increasing the construction of skyscrapers in the east. The ban extends to an area between the coast and Ibn Gabirol Street, and also between the Yarkon River and Eilat Street. It did not extend to towers already under construction or approved. One final proposed skyscraper project was approved, while dozens of others had to be scrapped. Any new buildings there will usually not be allowed to rise above six and a half stories. However, hotel towers along almost the entire beachfront will be allowed to rise up to 25 stories. According to the plan, large numbers of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings at least 18 stories tall would be built in the entire area between Ibn Gabirol Street and the eastern city limits, as part of the master plan's goal of doubling the city's office space to cement Tel Aviv as the business capital of Israel. Under the plan, "forests" of corporate skyscrapers will line both sides of the Ayalon Highway. Further south, skyscrapers rising up to 40 stories will be built along the old Ottoman railway between Neve Tzedek and Florentine, with the first such tower there being the Neve Tzedek Tower. Along nearby Shlavim Street, passing between Jaffa and south Tel Aviv, office buildings up to 25 stories will line both sides of the street, which will be widened to accommodate traffic from the city's southern entrance to the center.[159][160]

In November 2012, it was announced that to encourage investment in the city's architecture, residential towers throughout Tel Aviv would be extended in height. Buildings in Jaffa and the southern and eastern districts may have two and a half stories added, while those on Ibn Gabirol Street might be extended by seven and a half stories.[161]

The "First International Bank Tower" in Tel Aviv's financial district

Economy

Tel Aviv has been ranked as the twenty-fifth most important financial center in the world.[7] It was built on sand dunes in an area unsuitable for farming. Instead, it developed as a hub of business and scientific research.[35][unreliable source] In 1926, the country's first shopping arcade, Passage Pensak, was built there.[162] By 1936, as tens of thousands of middle class immigrants arrived from Europe, Tel Aviv was already the largest city in Palestine. A small port was built at the Yarkon estuary, and many cafes, clubs and cinemas opened. Herzl Street became a commercial thoroughfare at this time.[163]

Economic activities account for 17 percent of the GDP.[67] In 2011, Tel Aviv had an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.[164]

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Its building is optimized for computer trading. Its computer systems are located in an underground bunker in case of emergencies, in which there is space for personnel to keep the exchange active during emergencies.[165]

The city has been described as a "flourishing technological center" by Newsweek and a "miniature Los Angeles" by The Economist.[166][167] In 1998, the city was described by Newsweek as one of the 10 most technologically influential cities in the world. Since then, high-tech industry in the Tel Aviv area has continued to develop.[167] The Tel Aviv metropolitan area (including satellite cities such as Herzliya and Petah Tikva) is Israel's center of high-tech, sometimes referred to as Silicon Wadi.[167][168]

Tel Aviv is home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Israel's only stock exchange, which has reached record heights since the 1990s.[169] The Tel Aviv Stock exchange has also gained attention for its resilience and ability to recover from war and disasters. For example, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was higher on the last day of both the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2009 Operation in Gaza than on the first day of fighting[170] Many international venture-capital firms, scientific research institutes and high-tech companies are headquartered in the city. Industries in Tel Aviv include chemical processing, textile plants and food manufacturers.[35][unreliable source] The city's nightlife, cultural attractions and architecture attract tourists whose spending benefits the local economy.[171]

Shops at the Dizengoff Center

In 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) at Loughborough University reissued an inventory of world cities based on their level of advanced producer services. Tel Aviv was ranked as a beta+ world city.[172]

The Kiryat Atidim high tech zone opened in 1972 and the city has become a major world high tech hub. In December 2012, the city was ranked second on a list of top places to found a high tech startup company, just behind Silicon Valley.[173] In 2013, Tel Aviv had more than 700 startup companies and research and development centers, and was ranked the second-most innovative city in the world, behind Medellín and ahead of New York City.[174]

According to Forbes, nine of its fifteen Israeli-born billionaires live in Israel; four live in Tel Aviv and its suburbs.[175][176] The cost of living in Israel is high, with Tel Aviv being its most expensive city to live in. According to Mercer, a human resources consulting firm based in New York, as of 2010 Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East and the 19th most expensive in the world.[168]

Shopping malls in Tel Aviv include Dizengoff Center, Ramat Aviv Mall and Azrieli Shopping Mall and markets such as Carmel Market, Ha'Tikva Market, and Bezalel Market.

Culture and contemporary life

Entertainment and performing arts

Tel Aviv is a major center of culture and entertainment.[177] Eighteen of Israel's 35 major centers for the performing arts are located in the city, including five of the country's nine large theatres, where 55% of all performances in the country and 75 percent of all attendance occurs.[67][178] The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center is home of the Israeli Opera, where Plácido Domingo was house tenor between 1962 and 1965, and the Cameri Theatre.[179] With 2,482 seats, the Tel Aviv Culture Palace is the city's largest theatre and home to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.[180]

The Tel Aviv Culture Palace

Habima Theatre, Israel's national theatre, was closed down for renovations in early 2008, and reopened in November 2011 after major remodeling. Enav Cultural Center is one of the newer additions to the cultural scene.[178] Other theatres in Tel Aviv are the Gesher Theatre and Beit Lessin Theater; Tzavta and Tmuna are smaller theatres that host musical performances and fringe productions. In Jaffa, the Simta and Notzar theatres specialize in fringe as well. Tel Aviv is home to the Batsheva Dance Company, a world-famous contemporary dance troupe. The Israeli Ballet is also based in Tel Aviv.[178] Tel Aviv's center for modern and classical dance is the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre in Neve Tzedek.[181]

The city often hosts global musical acts such as Paul McCartney, Madonna and The Rolling Stones in venues such as Hayarkon Park, the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center, the Barby Club and the Zappa Club.[182][183][184] Opera and classical music performances are held daily in Tel Aviv, with many of the world's leading classical conductors and soloists performing on Tel Aviv stages over the years.[178]

The Tel Aviv Cinematheque screens art movies, premieres of short and full-length Israeli films, and hosts a variety of film festivals, among them the Festival of Animation, Comics and Caricatures, "Icon" Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, the Student Film Festival, the Jazz, Film and Videotape Festival and Salute to Israeli Cinema. The city has several multiplex cinemas.[178]

Tourism and recreation

Hayarkon Park is the largest city park in Tel Aviv
Early evening at the beach

Tel Aviv attracts over a million international visitors annually. In 2010, Knight Frank's world city survey ranked it 34th globally.[185] Tel Aviv has been named the third "hottest city for 2011" (behind only New York City and Tangier) by Lonely Planet, third-best in the Middle East and Africa by Travel + Leisure magazine (behind only Cape Town and Jerusalem), and the ninth-best beach city in the world by National Geographic.[186][187][188] Tel Aviv is consistently ranked as one of the top LGBT destinations in the world.[189][190]

Tel Aviv is the fifth-most-visited city in the Middle East & Africa.[10][11] It is known as "the city that never sleeps" and a "party capital" due to its thriving nightlife, young atmosphere and famous 24-hour culture.[12][13][191] Tel Aviv has branches of some of the world's leading hotels, including the Crowne Plaza, Sheraton, Dan, Isrotel and Hilton. It is home to many museums, architectural and cultural sites, with city tours available in different languages.[192] Apart from bus tours, architectural tours, Segway tours, and walking tours are also popular.[193][194][195] Tel Aviv has 44 hotels with more than 6,500 rooms.[123]

The beaches of Tel Aviv and the city's promenade play a major role in the city's cultural and touristic scene, often ranked as some of the best beaches in the world.[188] Hayarkon Park is the most visited urban park in Israel, with 16 million visitors annually. Other parks within city limits include Charles Clore Park, Independence Park, Meir Park and Dubnow Park. About 19% of the city land are green spaces.[196]

Nightlife

Tel Aviv by night

Tel Aviv is an international hub of highly active and diverse nightlife with bars, dance bars and nightclubs staying open well past midnight. The largest area for nightclubs is the Tel Aviv port, where the city's large, commercial clubs and bars draw big crowds of young clubbers from both Tel Aviv and neighboring cities. The South of Tel Aviv is known for the popular Haoman 17 club, as well as for being the city's main hub of alternative clubbing, with underground venues including established clubs like the Block Club, Comfort 13 and Paradise Garage, as well as various warehouse and loft party venues. The Allenby/Rothschild area is another popular nightlife hub, featuring such clubs as the Pasaz, Radio EPGB and the Penguin. In 2013, Absolut Vodka introduced a specially designed bottle dedicated to Tel Aviv as part of its international cities series.[197]

Fashion

Tel Aviv has become an international center of fashion and design.[198] It has been called the "next hot destination" for fashion.[199] Israeli designers, such as swimwear company Gottex show their collections at leading fashion shows, including New York's Bryant Park fashion show.[200] In 2011, Tel Aviv hosted its first Fashion Week since the 1980s, with Italian designer Roberto Cavalli as a guest of honor.[201]

LGBT culture

Tel Aviv Pride is the largest annual pride parade in the Middle East and Asia.

Named "the best gay city in the world" by American Airlines, Tel Aviv is one of the most popular destinations for LGBT tourists internationally, with a large LGBT community.[202][203] American journalist David Kaufman has described the city as a place "packed with the kind of ‘we're here, we're queer’ vibe more typically found in Sydney and San Francisco. The city hosts its well-known pride parade, the biggest in Asia, attracting over 100,000 people yearly.[204] In January 2008, Tel Aviv's municipality established the city's LGBT Community centre, providing all of the municipal and cultural services to the LGBT community under one roof. In December 2008, Tel Aviv began putting together a team of gay athletes for the 2009 World Outgames in Copenhagen.[205] In addition, Tel Aviv hosts an annual LGBT Film Festival.

Tel Aviv's LGBT community is the subject of Eytan Fox's 2006 film The Bubble.

Cuisine

Tel Aviv is famous for its wide variety of world-class restaurants, offering traditional Israeli dishes as well as international fare.[206] More than 100 sushi restaurants, the third highest concentration in the world, do business in the city.[207] In Tel Aviv there are some dessert specialties, the most known is the Halva ice cream traditionally topped with date syrup and pistachios

Museums

The Herta and Paul Amir Building in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Israel has the highest number of museums per capita of any country, with three of the largest located in Tel Aviv.[208][209] Among these are the Eretz Israel Museum, known for its collection of archaeology and history exhibits dealing with the Land of Israel, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Housed on the campus of Tel Aviv University is Beth Hatefutsoth, a museum of the international Jewish diaspora that tells the story of Jewish prosperity and persecution throughout the centuries of exile. Batey Haosef Museum specializes in Israel Defense Forces military history. The Palmach Museum near Tel Aviv University offers a multimedia experience of the history of the Palmach. Right next to Charles Clore Park is a museum of the Etzel. The Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center, located in the northern part of the city, hosts more than 60 major events annually. Many offbeat museums and galleries operate in the southern areas, including the Tel Aviv Raw Art contemporary art gallery.[210][211]

Sports

Tel Aviv is the only city with three clubs in Israeli Premier League, the country's top football league. Maccabi Tel Aviv Sports Club was founded in 1906 and competes in more than 10 sport fields. Its basketball team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, is a world-known professional team, that holds 50 Israeli titles, has won 39 editions of the Israel cup, and has six European Championships, and its football team has won 21 Israeli league titles and has won 23 State Cups, four Toto Cups and two Asian Club Championships. Yael Arad, an athlete in Maccabi's judo club, won a silver medal in the 1992 Olympic Games.[212]

The Tel Aviv Marathon going through Hayarkon Park

National Sport Center – Tel Aviv (also Hadar Yosef Sports Center) is a compound of stadiums and sports facilities. It also houses the Olympic Committee of Israel and the National Athletics Stadium with the Israeli Athletic Association.

Hapoel Tel Aviv Sports Club, founded in 1923, comprises more than 11 sports clubs,[213] including Hapoel Tel Aviv Football Club (13 championships, 16 State Cups, one Toto Cup and once Asian champions) which plays in Bloomfield Stadium, men's and women's basketball clubs.

Bnei Yehuda (once Israeli champion, twice State Cup winners and twice Toto Cup winner) is the only Israeli football team in the top division that represents a neighborhood, the Hatikva Quarter in Tel Aviv, and not a city.

Shimshon Tel Aviv and Beitar Tel Aviv both formerly played in the top division, but dropped into the lower leagues, and merged in 2000, the new club now playing in Liga Artzit, the third tier. Another former first division team, Maccabi Jaffa, is now defunct, as are Maccabi HaTzefon Tel Aviv, Hapoel HaTzefon Tel Aviv and Hakoah Tel Aviv, who merged with Maccabi Ramat Gan and moved to Ramat Gan in 1959.

Bloomfield Stadium before its demolition in August 2016[214]

Two rowing clubs operate in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv Rowing Club, established in 1935 on the banks of the Yarkon River, is the largest rowing club in Israel.[215] Meanwhile, the beaches of Tel Aviv provide a vibrant Matkot (beach paddleball) scene.[216] Tel Aviv Lightning represent Tel Aviv in the Israel Baseball League.[217] Tel Aviv also has an annual half marathon, run in 2008 by 10,000 athletes with runners coming from around the world.[218]

In 2009, the Tel Aviv Marathon was revived after a fifteen-year hiatus, and is run annually since, attracting a field of over 18,000 runners.[219]

Tel Aviv is also ranked to be 10th best to-skateboarding city by Transworld Skateboarding.

Media

The three largest newspaper companies in Israel – Yedioth Ahronoth, Maariv and Haaretz – are all based within the city limits.[220] Several radio stations cover the Tel Aviv area, including the city-based Radio Tel Aviv.[221]

The three major Israeli television networks, Israel Broadcasting Authority, Keshet, Reshet, and Channel 10, are based in the city, as well as two of the most popular radio stations in Israel: Galatz and Galgalatz, which are both based in Jaffa. Studios of the international news channel i24news is located at Jaffa Port Customs House. An English language radio station, TLV1, is based at Kikar Hamedina.

Environment and urban restoration

IDF soldiers cleaning the beaches at Tel Aviv, which have scored highly in environmental tests.[222]

Tel Aviv is ranked as the greenest city in Israel.[223] Since 2008, City lights are turned off annually in support of Earth Hour.[224] In February 2009, the municipality launched a water saving campaign, including competition granting free parking for a year to the household that is found to have consumed the least amount of water per person.[225]

In the early 21st century, Tel Aviv's municipality transformed a derelict power station into a public park, now named "Gan HaHashmal" ("Electricity Park"), paving the way for eco-friendly and environmentally conscious designs.[226] In October 2008, Martin Weyl turned an old garbage dump near Ben Gurion International Airport, called Hiriya, into an attraction by building an arc of plastic bottles.[227] The site, which was renamed Ariel Sharon Park to honor Israel's former prime minister, will serve as the centerpiece in what is to become a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) urban wilderness on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, designed by German landscape architect, Peter Latz.[227]

At the end of the 20th century, the city began restoring historical neighborhoods such as Neve Tzedek and many buildings from the 1920s and 1930s. Since 2007, the city hosts its well-known, annual Open House Tel Aviv weekend, which offers the general public free entrance to the city's famous landmarks, private houses and public buildings. In 2010, the design of the renovated Tel Aviv Port (Nemal Tel Aviv) won the award for outstanding landscape architecture at the European Biennial for Landscape Architecture in Barcelona.[228]

Transportation

Main article: Transport in Tel Aviv
Ayalon Highway which runs through Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a major transportation hub, served by a comprehensive public transport network, with many major routes of the national transportation network running through the city.

Short video about Tel Aviv from the Israeli News Company

Bus and taxi

As with the rest of Israel, bus transport is the most common form of public transport and is very widely used. The Tel Aviv Central Bus Station is located in the southern part of the city. The main bus network in Tel Aviv metropolitan area operated by Dan Bus Company, Metropoline and Kavim. the Egged Bus Cooperative, Israels's largest bus company, provides intercity transportation.[229]

The city is also served by local and inter-city share taxis. Many local and inter-city bus routes also have sherut taxis that follow the same route and display the same route number in their window. Fares are standardised within the region and are comparable to or less expensive than bus fares. Unlike other forms of public transport, these taxis also operate on Fridays and Saturdays (the Jewish sabbath "Shabbat"). Private taxis are white with a yellow sign on top. Fares are standardised and metered, but may be negotiated ahead of time with the driver.

Rail

The Tel Aviv Central railway station is the main railway station of the city, and the busiest station in Israel. The city has three additional railway stations along the Ayalon Highway: Tel Aviv University, HaShalom (adjacent to Azrieli Center) and HaHagana (near the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station), Tel Aviv Mercaz. It is estimated that over a million passengers travel by rail to Tel Aviv monthly. The trains do not run on Saturday and holidays.

Jaffa Railway Station was the first railway station in the Middle East. It served as the terminus for the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway. The station opened in 1891 and closed in 1948. In 2005–2009, the station was restored and converted into an entertainment and leisure venue marketed as "HaTachana", Hebrew for "the station" (see homepage here:[230]).

Roads

The main highway leading to the city is the Ayalon Highway (Highway 20), which runs along the eastern side of the city from north to south along the Ayalon River riverbed, dividing for the most part Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. Driving south on the Ayalon gives access to Highway 1, leading to Ben Gurion International Airport and Jerusalem. Within the city, main routes include Kaplan Street, Allenby Street, Ibn Gabirol Street, Dizengoff Street, Rothschild Boulevard, and in Jaffa the main route is Jerusalem Boulevard. Namir Road connects the city to Highway 2, Israel's main north–south highway, and Begin/Jabotinsky Road, which provides access from the east through Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Petah Tikva. Tel Aviv, accommodating about 500,000 commuter cars daily, suffers from increasing congestion. In 2007, the Sadan Report recommended the introduction of a congestion charge similar to that of London in Tel Aviv as well as other Israeli cities. Under this plan, road users traveling into the city would pay a fixed fee.[231]

Air

The main airport serving Greater Tel Aviv is Ben Gurion Airport. Located in the neighboring city of Lod, it is a main international airport handling over 14 million passengers in 2013. The airport serves both international flights and domestic flights, and is the main hub of El Al, Arkia, Israir Airlines and Sun D'Or. The airport is 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv, on Highway 1 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Another airport in the Tel Aviv area, Sde Dov (IATA: SDV), in northwestern Tel Aviv close to Tel Aviv Port, serves mainly domestic flights and may be closed in favor of real-estate development.[232] In the future all services to Sde Dov will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport.

Light rail

Main article: Tel Aviv Light Rail

The first line of a light rail system is under construction and scheduled to open in 2020.[233] The Red Line starts at Petah Tikva's Central Bus Station, east of Tel Aviv and follows the Jabotinsky Road (Route 481) westwards at street level. At the point where Jabotinsky Road and Highway 4 intersect the line drops into an underground tunnel for 10 km (6.21 mi) through Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv and emerges again to street level just before Jaffa, where it turns southwards towards Bat Yam.

The underground section will include 10 stations, including an interchange with Israel Railways services at Tel Aviv Central Railway Station and the nearby 2000 Terminal. A maintenance depot, connected via a branch line and tunnel to the main section of the line, will be constructed in Kiryat Arye, across from the existing Kiryat Arye suburban railway station. The intended builder and operator of the first line, MTS, has had financial difficulties that postponed the line's opening. In May 2010, the ministry of finance decided to cancel the agreement with MTS due to the difficulties and the agreement was cancelled in August 2010.[234] The line is being built instead by NTA – The Tel Aviv region's mass transit development authority. Initially, the line's targeted opening was in 2012 and today the target is 2016 after several postponements due to the disagreements with MTS and NTA's takeover of the project.

The second line is scheduled to open in 2021.

SkyTran

See also: SkyTran

The Tel Aviv municipality is currently working on building a SkyTran system across the city, under which light, two-person cars will be transported along elevated magnetic levitation tracks. Initially, a SkyTran loop will be built around the campus of Israel Aerospace Industries, followed by a commercial network around the city. This will be the pilot project of the SkyTran system, which is planning other such projects around the world.[235]

Cycling

Tel-O-Fun bicycle rental system

Tel Aviv Municipality encourages the use of bicycles in the city. Plans called for expansion of the paths to 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) by 2009.[236] As of April 2011 the municipality has completed construction of the planned 100 kilometres (62 miles) of bicycle paths.

In April 2011, Tel Aviv municipality launched Tel-O-Fun, a bicycle sharing system, in which 150 stations of bicycles for rent were installed within the city limits.[237] As of October 2011, there are 125 active stations, providing more than 1,000 bicycles.

Twin towns and sister cities

People born in Tel Aviv

Main category: People from Tel Aviv

In alphabetical order by surname; stage names are treated as single names:

Notes

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Bibliography

  • Michael Turner, Catherine Weill-Rochant, Geneviève Blondiau, Silvina Sosnovsky, Philippe Brandeis, Sur les traces du modernisme, Tel-Aviv-Haïfa-Jérusalem, CIVA (ed.), Bruxelles 2004. (Hebrew and French)
  • Catherine Weill-Rochant, L'Atlas de Tel-Aviv 1908–2008, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2008. (Historical maps and photos, French, soon in Hebrew and English)
  • Catherine Weill-Rochant, Bauhaus " – Architektur in Tel-Aviv, L’architecture " Bauhaus " à Tel- Aviv, Rita Gans (éd.), Zürich, Yad Yearim, 2008. (German and French)
  • Catherine Weill-Rochant, 'The Tel-Aviv School: a constrained rationalism', DOCOMOMO journal (Documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement), April 2009.
  • Catherine Weill-Rochant (2006). Le plan de Patrick Geddes pour la " ville blanche " de Tel Aviv : une part d’ombre et de lumière. Volume 1 (PDF) (PhD thesis). Paris: Université Paris 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2010.  And: Catherine Weill-Rochant (2006). Le plan de Patrick Geddes pour la " ville blanche " de Tel Aviv : une part d’ombre et de lumière. Volume 2 (PDF) (PhD thesis). Paris: Université Paris 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  • Catherine Weill-Rochant, Le travail de Patrick Geddes à Tel-Aviv, un plan d'ombre et de lumière, Saarbrücken, ةditions Universitaires Européennes, May 2010.
  • Jochen Visscher (ed.): Tel Aviv The White City, Photographs by Stefan Boness, JOVIS Verlag Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-939633-75-4

External links