Neve Tzedek may well be one of Tel Aviv’s oldest districts, but it’s still young at heart! Newe Tzedek or Neve Tsedek, is another district of Tel Aviv which has become increasingly fashionable in recent years. Renovation works have taken place to restore it to its former glory. Built in 1887, Neve Tzedek was the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the old port city of Jaffa. It’s the city’s first suburb. Its Oriental architectural style, combines with quaint, narrow streets with boutiques. All of this makes Neve Tzedek a retreat the modern city. The name means “Oasis of Justice”, and it really is a great escape.
A Brief History
Neve Tzedek was established in 1887, over 20 years before the City of Tel Aviv was created. Similarly, though, it was created by a group of families seeking a peaceful life outside of overcrowded Jaffa. They built low-slung and colorful buildings with expansive gardens and winding alleyways. It was long a bohemian escape. By the start of the 1900’s Neve Tzedek became an oasis for many artists and writers. This includes future Nobel prize laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon, and the famous Israeli artist Nahum Gutman.
As time went on, though, and the City of Tel Aviv developed, Neve Tzedek fell into decay. The North of the city, developed by the wealthier Ashkenazi (European Jews) attracted many of the richer residents of the south. As they left, buildings began to fall into neglect. By the 1960’s, city officials deemed Neve Tzedek, which was now part of the city of Tel Aviv, a rundown slum-like area, incompatible with the bustling North. They planned to demolish the neighborhood and construct high-rise apartment blocks. Thankfully, however, these plans never came to fruition. As many buildings were placed on preservation lists, a new breath of life came into the area as restoration works began in the 1980’s. The result has been that now it is an oasis of tranquility in the bustling city. It’s also a real estate and cultural hotspot.
Exploring the Area
This area is today a real escape from the bustle of Tel Aviv. The magnificent buildings are all individual, and a relaxing stroll through the neighborhood is a great way to spend some time. Shabazi Street is the main street that runs through the center of all of the action. Like many of the smaller side passages is lined with boutiques, galleries, and craft shops. The Suzanne Dallal Center is Tel Aviv’s dance center with a superb piazza and interesting gardens. The nearby popular café Suzanna is always a good idea.
The boutiques here are unique. The small, narrow streets are home to small unique boutiques, design shops and other fascinating spots which you could even think are not shops. Many sell homemade designer items and high-end food goods.
Restaurants and Cafes
This stunning region offers the full range of food that Tel Aviv has become known for. There is something magical about sitting out in the shaded courtyard of an Oriental style building with the sea breeze cooling you, enjoying a great light meal.
What’s Near Neve Tzedek
- HaTachana, Tel Aviv’s Old Railway station is a short stroll from Neve Tzedek on the Mediterranean Coast
- The neighborhood of Florentin offers one the chance to see a less regenerated version of Neve Tzedek which is now the hottest Tel Aviv nightlife area.
- Also, be sure to check out our introduction to Tel Aviv and our guide to other things to do in Tel Aviv