Vintage Photos Showing Street Scenes of Tel Aviv in the Late 1930s and Early 1940s

Tel Aviv-Yafo, often referred to as just Tel Aviv, is the most populous city in the Gush Dan metropolitan area of Israel. Located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline and with a population of 460,613, it is the economic and technological center of the country. If East Jerusalem is considered part of Israel, Tel Aviv is the country’s second most populous city after Jerusalem; if not, Tel Aviv is the most populous city ahead of West Jerusalem.

Tel Aviv is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, headed by Mayor Ron Huldai, and is home to many foreign embassies. It is a beta+ world city and is ranked 41st in the Global Financial Centres Index. Tel Aviv has the third- or fourth-largest economy and the largest economy per capita in the Middle East. The city currently has the highest cost of living in the world. Tel Aviv receives over 2.5 million international visitors annually. A “party capital” in the Middle East, it has a lively nightlife and 24-hour culture. Tel Aviv has been called The World’s Vegan Food Capital, as it possesses the highest per capita population of vegans in the world, with many vegan eateries throughout the city. Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, the largest university in the country with more than 30,000 students.

The city was founded in 1909 by the Yishuv (Jewish residents) as a modern housing estate on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa, then part of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem within the Ottoman Empire. It was at first called ‘Ahuzat Bayit’ (lit. “House Estate” or “Homestead”), the name of the association which established the neighbourhood. Its name was changed the following year to ‘Tel Aviv’, after the biblical name Tel Abib adopted by Nahum Sokolow as the title for his Hebrew translation of Theodor Herzl’s 1902 novel Altneuland (“Old New Land”). Other Jewish suburbs of Jaffa established before Tel Aviv eventually became part of Tel Aviv, the oldest among them being Neve Tzedek (est. 1886). Tel Aviv was given “township” status within the Jaffa Municipality in 1921, and became independent from Jaffa in 1934. After the 1947–1949 Palestine war Tel Aviv began the municipal annexation of parts of Jaffa, fully unified with Jaffa under the name “Tel Aviv” in April 1950, and was renamed to “Tel Aviv-Yafo” in August 1950.

Immigration by mostly Jewish refugees meant that the growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced that of Jaffa, which had a majority Arab population at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were later merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which was proclaimed in the city. Tel Aviv’s White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world’s largest concentration of International Style buildings, including Bauhaus and other related modernist architectural styles. (Wikipedia)

Here below is a set of rare photos that shows street scenes of Tel Aviv from the late 1930s to early 1940s.

Looking south along Allenby Road (now Allenby Street) at the intersection with King George Street, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
Great Synagogue looking south on Allenby Road (now Allenby Street), Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
Looking east along Boulevard Rothschild (now Rothschild Boulevard) near the intersection with Herzl Street, Tel-Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
Looking north along Ben Jehuda Road (now a street) from the intersection with what is now Sderot Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
Looking north along Ben Jehuda Road (now Ben Yehuda Street) near the intersection with Allenby Road, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
Looking north along Bialik Street, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937. The historic Bialik House is on the right. The old Town Hall (aka City Hall) is in the centre of the image
Looking south-west across the old Tel Aviv port facility as dock workers wait next to a port crane, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
On the seaside. Commercial sign for “Cafe Semadar” can be seen on the multi-storey building at far right of the pic, along with some more advertising in Hebrew. Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
The Bialik School in Tel Aviv was built in the 1930s in the Modernist style, by Yaacov Shiffman (Ben Sira), Tel-Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
The Zina Dizengoff Square, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1937
Mugrabi Opera, better known in later years as the “Moghrabi Theatre”, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), 1938
Reading Power Station, Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), circa 1939
Soldiers relaxing outside the Australian Soldier’s Club, Tel Aviv Yafo, Palestine (now Israel), 4 November 1940
The commercial is for “Bira Nesher” (Neshser Beer). “Nesher” means “vulture”. It was the first beer industrially produced in Israel/Palestine (It exists from 1936 until today), 4 November 1940
Wreck of a small illegal Jewish immigration ship that was deliberately beached at Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), 4 November 1940
Wreck of the illegal Jewish immigration ship SS “PARITA”, beached at Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), 4 November 1940
Allied troops and local Tel-avivians enjoying the sun, sand and surf on the crowded beach at Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942
Australian Army 4th Anti-Malarial Control Unit mates in Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942
Australian Army private WX5340 Sydney “Syd” Frederick Peters of 2/4 AMCU in a street of Tel-Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942
Australian Soldiers Club main entrance looking west with the Mediterranean Sea in the background, Tel-Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942
Australian Soldiers Club on the beach front, Tel-Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942
Looking south towards the old coastal town of Jaffa, along the crowded beachfront at Tel Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942
View south towards Old Jaffa as allied troops and crowds of local Telavivians enjoy a beautiful sunny day on the beach at Tel-Aviv, Palestine (now Israel), July 1942

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