Posted by LW Ben Yechezkiel
Yes there is Shabbat in Tel Aviv you do have to look for it…and yes most people simply hit the beach.
As shabbat approaches one definitely feels the pace of the city slow down, traffic thins,most stores and many cafes restaurants slow down…and the hours when one would assume people are having Friday gnight dinner the streets are quite empty, Things pick up later particularly long after I am asleep as clubs get going around midnight.
As for synagogues in my experience they are divided into two types:
The older synagogues which are pretty much inactive, they get more people on Friday night maybe 50 and far fewer shabbat morning. I have attended some of these, like the synagogue established in the 1930s on rechov borgashov on a couple Friday nights. If you are looking for a daily minyan you will find it in these places/
The other type are a small number of younger minyanim at a few spots in the city. I have attended a few and they are a bit similar. They certainly are orthodox and share much in common. Tel Aviv orthodox are looser than those in most other places. The minyanim have a mix of Israelis, British, French and American often fewer Americans than the other non Israeli nationalities. Many times I have attendedwomen have given the dvar torah and the general approach in my view is more open than most places. The attendees are definitely Tel Avivi and in most cases could not imagine living elsehwere. They are single or with young children, Several are working to establish the first joing dati/cheloni religious secular school in Tel Aviv…more on that in another post.
Heres a rundown
On Frishman just off Dzengoff is a synagogue with an young American rabbi who attracts an eclectc crowd including, tourists, non native Israelis,and Israelis orthodox and otherwise.
Ichud Olan all the way downstairs at 86 Ben Yehuda (the rest of the synagogue) is a typical Tel Aviv synagogue, mostly singles and couples with younf children. This is my main Tel Aviv synagogue with a nice Kiddush as welll (!). People are friendly and by all means as is always the case in my opinion if they announce hospitality take them up on the offer…you will meet some interesting people..I have.
Further up Ben Yehuda at 128 is a very lively minyan that gets quite a crowd. Attention single women interested in meeting some nice Israeli guys..this is probably the spot. It’s almost entirely singles with a great male femaile ratio for the females . Unlike Ichud Olam they do meet Friday nights.
Yakar…this is a very active synagogue with lots of young singles and others, classes during the week and a pretty interesting Rabbi.. I’ve only been once on A Friday night because it is a bit far from where I usually stay.6 Yericho Street. Friday night and shabbat morning
Zeitlin Minyan in the Zeitlin school 5 Leonardo Da Vinci, there is a good deal of overlap with the Ichud Olam crowd. I have yet to make it. Since I am writing in the LA Jewish Journal I guess I should mention Joseph Cedar, director of the Oscar nominated Footnotes film attends here. I have yet to make it here. I believe it meets Friday nights.
I dont have much experience with any Reform or Conservative congregations in Tel Aviv. I have attended the summer tefillot at the “non orthodox, non conservative, non reform” beit tefilla which holds very well attended (with Israelis) kabbalat shabbat with music at the Nemal along the beach in Tel Aviv. More on Beit Tefilla in a later post.
Whether you spend shabbat on the beach or in tefillot or both yaish shabbat b tel aviv.
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May 25, 2012 | 1:42 am
Posted by LW Ben Yechezkiel
I arrived in Israel May 4 and have been a bit derelict in getting going with my postings. Although I’m Off to Machon Ein Prat for Shavuot since I just completed my stay in Tel Aviv, I’ll post some blogs on Tel Aviv before I blog about Jerusalem and other places and groups.
My Friday routine in Tel Aviv. I wont give exact directions, you can always find someone to help you and google maps even has biking and walking instructions.
Tel Aviv is a bustle of activity on Friday. Here are things I try to fit in, they can easily be done in one day particularly in the summer when shabbat starts lane.
First thing an early morning walk or ride on one of the use it here leave it there bikes a daily subscription is 14 shekel weekly is 60 more than worth it, You can fuller desciption to come. Ride up to the tayelet /promenade allong the beach uo to the nemal (port),grab a coffee with the morning bikers/joggers at the Aroma. There is a goumet food maket in an old warehouse furhter north with gourmet food insiide and a farmers market outside on Fridays.. You can return your bike at a station at the end of the nemal (you can use it for half and hour and then return one and wait 1/2 hour to take another one.
You can take another bike for the return or walk to where you are staying. If you are furher south and dont want to walk it, for a change of pace you might want to walk down dzeingoff to get a feel of the area, North dzeingoff has the high end fashionable stores
.... or if you are stay ing much further south (near gordon/dzeingoff) travel like the Tel Avivans there are mini vans running up and down ben yehuda (#4) and dzeingoff (#5) that go all the way up and down those streets all the way to the central bus station. They will stop and pick you up anywhere along the route and let you off anywhere you want fare is 6 shekel around $1.50. Faster than a bus cheaper ,faster than a cab and you’re travelling like the locals. Someone on the van will also be on the van and help you out with directions.
Depending how early you started and whether you wanted to take a break you can embark on the rest of your rounds . Better not to star before close to 10 am so that things are active.you can always grab coffee and breakfast at the endless coffee shops. I recommend rechov borgashov, rechov ben gurion/dzeingoff and rechov dzeingoff/arlosov for more of a local non touristy feel. Breakfast is always served all day and the big israeli breakfasts are enough for breakfast and lunch .
From there I would recommend walking down dzeingoff to dzeingof circle or from Borgashov. until you get to dzeingoff circle.
There you will find one of my favorite spots. On Tuesdays and Fridays (it seems to be better on Fridays) is the flea market “shuk ha pishpeeshim”. There is alot of stuff that would be found at any flea market in the states. But the big draw for me are the vendors selling material from the early days of the state or even from the pre state Yishuv. Remember how recent all this history is: if one cleans out grandpas old stuff that he held on or even if you are middle aged and held onto things you have material that would be equivalent to materials from the 1750s -1780s in the states.
One can find incredible stuff for ridiculously low prices: Some thinks I have bought/almost bought
Board games from the 1950s
Copies of deeds from the 1920s.
Coins, paper money from earliest days of the state.
Shana Tova Cards (kitschy and not) again going back to the 1930s.
Blue boxes from the keren kayemet (later the jewish national fund) from the pre state era.
A commemorative book from an Israeli delegation to the World Socialist Sports games in Moscow.
I am partial to collecting first day covers. Some those I have picked up:
First post office from maabara (tent village) of Holon 1954
First post office in rafiach (now Palestinian Gaza), Neot Midbar (now Egyptian Sina), united Jerusalem,, commemoration of Sadat’s visit to Israel, first El Al flight to Egypt and many others from the 1950s.
Lots of other interesting ads, books,postcars, booklets, and other tchotkes going back to the 1920s
$25 and you will go home with some incredible stuff if you are a fan of this material.
Proceed down dzaingoff to the dzeingoff center. Nothing special in terms of stops here unless you are interested in buying some Israeli music. The disk center is in the mall on one of the lower floors. They have great inventory, good prices and a very knowledgeable staff that will give you recommendations and let you listen and sample pretty much as much as you want (within reason of course).
Beginning around 11 is the real fun in the mall. A food fair of “ochel moochan” prepaared food of every type that people eat on the spot and/or take home for shabbat. The dim sum is a big favorite of the crowd, there is bedouin food, chinese, italian, sushi, baked goods and just about everything else. I am partial to picking up the tradional mizrachi shabbat foods: kuba, schnitzels. stuffed grape leaves, borekas, chamim (mizrachi cholent ) and more. Most of the vendors do not have a teudat kashrut (kosher certification) but many do. Others do not have a teuda (remember if you are open on shabbat or even do not close early enough on Friday you cannot get a teuda). The vendors of the mizrachi food without a teuda will tell you they woud never sell you anything non kosher all the meat is kosher and all the products are meat or parve…I ll leave it to others to make their food choices. The food festival is even more active later in the afternoon.
I’ll stop here with part one. Some may want to take a break or save the rest for another Friday. For those with more energy…more in part 2