Neve Tzedek Now
Located on Shabazi Street, the main road through the heart of Neve Tzedek, Yosefi Jewellery is making its mark on the area’s long history. Neve Tzedek was officially founded in 1887, making it Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhood.
Based in the south east of the Yemenite quarter, Neve Tzedek today, is a hub for artists, trendy stores, restaurants and cafes. With its breezy side roads lined with amazing architecture and village like atmosphere, it has become one of Tel Aviv’s most fashionable and expensive districts.
Although now a cultural hotspot, it has not always been this way.
Neve Tzedek Beginnings
The story of Neve Tzedek starts some 22 years before the modern metropolis Tel Aviv, in which it is located, even existed. Aharon Chelouche is considered one of the founders of the area now known as Neve Tzedek. Born in the port town of Oran in what was known at the time as French Algeria or Colonial Algeria. Sometime around 1840, Aharon's parents and family boarded a ship to the port of Haifa, which at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire, but is now part of the State of Israel.
In 1883 Aharon a goldsmith by trade and by then a major figure in Jaffa's Jewish community, decided to buy some land outside the walls of Jaffa, building a house on the northern edge of Manshiya. As the house was completely isolated and he could not convince his family to move there, it sat empty until 1887, the same year Neve Tzedek was founded.
In 1892 the family moved to a newly built house ‘Beit Chelouche’ a few dozen meters away, on a road named after him at 32 Chelouche Street. This house still stands and is an important landmark in Neve Tzedek.
Aharon Chelouche passed away on the 7th of April 1920. One of his sons, Yosef Eliahu Chelouche, named after Aharon’s brothers who died making the journey from Algeria, continued his pioneering work and was instrumental in the founding of Tel Aviv.
Neve Tzedek History
The residents of Neve Tzedek were families searching for a peaceful place outside an overcrowded Jaffa. They built colourful low rise buildings, taking influence from Art Nouveau and later Bauhaus , keeping the area open wide and full of fresh air. By 1904 the neighbourhood had more than 100 families with no separation of nationalities. The brand new architecture was clean and organised , it had a vibrant artistic culture giving a European vibe in the middle east. Many artists such as Nahum Gutman and writers including the future Nobel prize Laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon made Neve Tzedek their home.
As the city of Tel Aviv began to be developed the more affluential families started to move to the newer northern areas. Buildings were left abandoned and Neve Tzedek fell into disrepair. As with the rest of Southern Tel Aviv it became a predominantly Mizrahi area.
By 1960 the city deemed the neighbourhood which was now almost a slum, incompatible with the modern bustling North . There were plans to demolish the neighbourhood and construct high rise buildings however many buildings were placed on preservation lists and the neighbourhood began to be appreciated once more, as an oasis amongst the modern development of the city centre.
Restoration began in the 1980’s and Neve Tzedek has become one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv for living and as a much loved tourist destination.
It is now home to places like the Suzanne Dellal Center, which hosts Israel’s most famous troupe, the Batsheva Dance Company, and also invites many international dance groups to perform there. The Hatachana Compound, Jaffa’s old train station, is also a big attraction for people who want to stroll through its pedestrianised sector, enjoying the atmosphere, restaurants and shops.
Come and enjoy the amazing atmosphere of Neve Tzedek for yourself and stop by Yosefi Jewellery on 30 Shabazi Street and say hello.