The First Neighborhood
By Markel YacovWe are standing outside the site of ancient Jaffa. This entire area
was built in the 1880's. In the distance, we can see Jaffa. Up until 1860, walls surrounded Jaffa, and then people started building outside the walls. The trade between Israel and Europe was increasing, and since Jaffa was the main harbor of the country, the city started to develop and increase in population. It’s not clear why, but all the Christians chose to live in the south, the Moslems in the north, along the sea, and the Jews had no choice but to go to the northeast. On the east side no one could live since the area was used for plantations. More and more Jews came every year. In the 1880’s over a thousand Jews lived in Jaffa. The rent rose, and life was hard on the Jaffa Jews. So, a small group of Jews from the middle class decided to build themselves a separate neighborhood. The only possible area was northeast of Jaffa. The area for the neighborhood was purchased from a rich Jew named Aharon Shlush. An architect divided The area to 48 units – one for each member. Each of them was asked to build a small house, containing two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The residents strictly kept the neighborhood clean and orderly.
Since the 1920’s, the area was neglected, and in the 1970’s a man named Mr. Dalal came from England, and offered to donate money for restoring the area, if it would be named after his daughter Suzan, who died at a very young age.
Both buildings were schools. In 1896 the Hebrew School was founded in Jaffa, and after ten years the school moved to the Neve-Shalom neighborhood, not far away from here. The school was maintained by two organizations – Aliance and the Zion Lovers. In 1911 an argument started between the two organizations, over what language the teaching should be – Alliance decided with French, while the “Zion Lovers” wanted the students to learn in Hebrew. In 1913 the organizations separated, and each founded its own school. To the left, the Alliance school, and the right the “Zion Lovers school”. In the Alliance building, on April 1948, the ETZEL organization had its headquarters, and from here the people left to take over Jaffa. The second building was the headquarters of the HAGANA organization.
The whole area was designed by the architect Shlomo Aharonson. In the square, we have an example of an orange plantation, And we can see the watering system used by the Arabs in the last century.
Mosaic on the wall.
The Mosaic was designed in 3 parts show the development of life, from Jaffa to Tel Aviv.
The first picture –
On the horizon we can see the Jaffa Harbor and its ships, and we can see the harbor’s Light Tower. We can also see the orange tree – the symbol of Jaffa.
In the left side of the picture we can see a palm tree – the symbol of the east.
In the center of the picture we can see the important Jewish people of Jaffa. Shimon Rokach – the founder of “Neve Zedek”.
Zerach Barnett, the founder of “Neve Shalom”, and also the founder of the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of Jerusalem – "Mea Shearim". He also founded the first colony in the country – “Petach Tikva”.
Haim Amzaleg – The British vice consul in Jaffa, we can see him with his uniform. He was so proud of his position that he always wore his uniforms.
Second Picture –
In the horizon we can see the foundation of Tel Aviv, which took place on April 1909. In the center, you can see the first train that was built in the middle east in 1892. It went from Jaffa to Jerusalem. When the British took over the land in 1918 they changed the track so it would fit to European trains. That’s why they had to lift the bridge a little higher.