Jaffa Tel Aviv

| July 24, 2012 | 1 Comment
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Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedView of Tel Aviv from Jaffa

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa

Old Jaffa

Old Jaffa is the exact opposite of its modern, bustling sister-city Tel Aviv, with its white buildings reflecting the sun’s glare and its straight symmetrical streets. Old Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest cities, is a delightful collection of narrow jumbled alleyways and paths, stairways that come out of nowhere, beautiful shady courtyards, and stairs which lead down to the sea.

Jaffa History

Its 4,000-year plus history includes, not surprisingly, references in the Bible.  It is from Old Jaffa that Jonah the Prophet set out when trying to flee from his prophetic duty before being swallowed by the whale.

It was at the ancient Jaffa port that cedars of Lebanon for the Second Jewish Temple arrived, and it is this city which marked the territorial border of the Tribe of Dan in the Book of Joshua.

Until recently, Jaffa Tel Aviv had barely changed since its ancient claim to fame; however in 2007 its restoration and redevelopment began in earnest.  The ancient port which had become decidedly seedy over the years has now been transformed into a modern, attractive  business center, while still retaining the areas where local fisherman continue to ply their trade and small boats bob along the shoreline eager to take visitors on a local trip.

Old Jaffa: Ben Zion David’s Yemenite Silverwork

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Ben Zion David’s Yemenite Silverwork

Visiting Tel Aviv Jaffa

There is no end of what to see and do in Jaffa Tel Aviv Israel. As you wander slowly along the alleyways, explore the paths to the side. You might come across an artist such as Ben Zion David, the Yemenite silver filigree artisan, or the artist and sculptor Frank Meisler working in his studio.

A unique find is the Illana Goor Museum, which is actually the artist’s own home and houses much of her own work as well as works of art she has acquired over the years. Here you will find everything from jewelry to lighting items.

Jaffa Restaurants

Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedJaffa Nalaga’at Center

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Jaffa Nalaga’at Center

Scattered amongst the jewelry studios and art galleries are a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. If you want to try something completely different, walk down Jaffa Port to the Na-laga’at Center ( Hebrew for please touch) for the hearing and sight impaired where you can dine in the Blackout Restaurant served by blind waiters in the pitch dark. You can also check out Café Kapish where you will learn how to communicate with the deaf waiters and waitresses. Both are experiences you won’t soon forget.

For more about  restaurants in Tel Aviv and around Israel see the Baruch Haba Restaurant site.

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved The famous Suspended Orange Tree

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
The famous Suspended Orange Tree

Jaffa Port

For more Jaffa Port info, visit the Tourist Information Office where you can view a film of Jaffa’s history and see archaeological excavations at the Museum of Antiquities  (Old Jaffa Museum), which displays finds from numerous sites around Tel Aviv.  The square also boasts a new beautiful zodiac fountain, several restaurants which overlook the sea, and churches which have undergone careful restoration.

Of course, no Tel Aviv Jaffa visit would be complete without a picture-taking session at the famous Suspended Orange Tree sculpture constructed in 1993.  Designed by Ron Morin, this suspended orange tree continues to grow in a pot hung above the ground, a fascinating comment on the “roots” of modern civilization.

Jaffa Tel Aviv: Did You Know?

Every Wednesday at 10 am there is a free guided walking tour of Old Jaffa which leaves from the Tourist Information Center at 2 Marzuk Ve’Azar Street  ( not far from the Ottoman Clock Tower).

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Category: Food, Tel Aviv

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