“Then I came to them… at Tel Aviv…” (Ezekiel 3:15)
Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel and is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Origin of the Name
In Hebrew, Tel Aviv means “Hill (tell) of Spring (aviv)”. This is the Hebrew translation of the title of Theodor Herzl’s book Altneuland (German: Old New Land). The title “Tel Aviv” alludes to the destruction of the ancient Jewish state and its hoped-for restoration: Aviv, “spring”, to symbolize renewal; and Tel to symbolize the end of the ancient state.
Tel Aviv is the first all-Jewish city in modern times. During the 19th century, substantial Jewish immigration caused overcrowding in the ancient port city of Jaffa. As a result, a group of Jewish families, seeking to improve their living conditions and live an independent Jewish life, established a new town in 1909. This was the first Jewish city since biblical times, built on the sand dunes north of Jaffa. The town was originally named Ahuzat Bayit (“The House Estate”) and in 1910, the common name Tel Aviv was adopted.
At the time it was founded, Tel Aviv was intended to be only a suburb, a commuter town, with the workers commuting to Jaffa. However, disputes between the Jews of Tel Aviv and the Arabs of Jaffa led the inhabitants of Tel Aviv to create a new central business district, based on a framework of central routes and boulevards. In 1948, prior to the War of Independence, Arabs in Jaffa constantly attacked Tel Aviv and its dwellers. Jewish forces responded by capturing the city two days before the Declaration of Independence. The declaration was made in the home of the city’s mayor, Meir Dizengoff, which had been built on the first lot to be auctioned.
Because of its proximity to the Jaffa Port and its status as the first Jewish community that
greeted immigrants coming into the country, Tel Aviv quickly grew to become the center of
Israeli urban life, which it remains to this day.
For more information, please fill out our online contact form or call 1.800.2.ISRAEL (1.800.247.7235).