Neve Tzedek is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas in Tel Aviv.
Neve Tzedek was established in 1887, 22 years before the City of Tel Aviv in 1909, by a group of Jewish families seeking to move outside of over-crowded Jaffa. The idea was to construct the new quarter with low-rise buildings often incorporating contemprary designs from the Jugendstil/Art Nouveau and Bauhaus. They also featured ‘modern’ luxuries such as private bathrooms.
At the beginning of the 1900s, artists and writers made Neve Tzedek their home. Poet Laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon, and artist Nachum Gutman were among the most famous. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was the first Rabbi of Neve Tzedek and was Rosh Yeshiva there. During his time in Neve Tzedek Rav Kook became very close friends with many of the writers, especially Agnon.
As time went on, Tel Aviv began to develop northwards encouraging the more affluent people to move into the newly-developing northern areas. The buildings became abandoned and neglected and the corrosive effects of the shore atmosphere upon concrete and stucco resulted in Neve Tzedek degeneration into disrepair and urban decay. With the mass aliya from Mizrachi countries after 1948, it became a predominantly Mizrahi area and by the 1960s, almost a slum.
By the end of the 1980s, it was decided to preserve and renovate Neve Tzedek's historic structures. The old buildings became home to new ideas, such as the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre and the Nachum Gutman Museum, which is located in the artist's home.
Neve Tzedek once again finds itself a fashionable and popular upmarket residence for Tel Avivians. The main streets are again lined with artists' studios, trendy cafés and bars, and more recently boutique hotels and shops selling hand-made goods. The streets are not only home to many beautiful individual houses restored to their full glory, but you can also spend hours in boutiques, galleries and various craft shops.
Neve Tzedek’s main thoroughfare is Shabazi Street but be sure to visit the side lanes to uncover some surprising little shops and buildings. The most dominating building is The Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater which uses the former Yechiely Girls School, one of the original educational establishments in the very young Neve Tzedek in 1908.
One of the highlights of visiting Neve Tzedek is the food experience and you should find time to spend in one of many Neve Tzedek eateries. With pavement cafés, street take-aways, trendy bistros and restaurants with shaded courtyards, the neighborhood eateries are a varied bunch boasting a wide range of cuisines.
A visit to Nave Tzedek is one of the delightful ways of spending a day in Tel Aviv .