Tel Aviv-Yafo (Hebrew: תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ, lit. "Spring Hill"-Jaffa; Arabic: تل أبيب, Tall ʼAbīb), usually referred to
as Tel Aviv, is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400. The city is situated on
the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, on a land area of 51.4 square kilometres (19.8 sq mi). It is the largest and
most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, home to 3.3 million residents as of 2010. The city is
governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, headed by Ron Huldai. Residents of Tel Aviv are called Tel Avivians.
Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹ, Yafo; Arabic: يافا,
Yaffa). The growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa, which was largely Arab at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were
merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's
White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of Bauhaus
Tel Aviv is classified as a beta+ world city. It is a major economic hub, home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
and many corporate offices and research and development centers. Its beaches, parks, bars, cafés, restaurants,
shopping, cosmopolitan lifestyle and 24-hour culture have made it a popular tourist destination for domestic and
overseas tourists alike, contributing to its reputation as "the city that never sleeps. Tel Aviv is the
country's financial capital and a major performing arts and business center. The economy of Tel Aviv was ranked
second in the Middle East, and 50th globally by Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. It is the most
expensive city in the region, and the 17th most expensive city in the world. New York City-based writer and
editor David Kaufman named it the "Mediterranean's New Capital of Cool". In 2010, Tel Aviv has been named the
third-best city in the world by Lonely Planet, third-best in the Middle East & Africa by Travel + Leisure magazine,
and one of the best beach cities in the world by National Geographic.
The name Tel Aviv (literally "Spring Hill") was chosen in 1910 among many suggestions, including "Herzliya". Tel
Aviv is the Hebrew title of Theodor Herzl's book Altneuland ("Old New Land"), translated from German by Nahum
Sokolow. Sokolow took the name from Ezekiel 3:15 : "Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Aviv, that lived by
the river Chebar, and to where they lived; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days." This name was
found fitting as it embraced the idea of the renaissance of the ancient Jewish homeland. Aviv is Hebrew for
"spring", symbolizing renewal, and tel is an archaeological site that reveals layers of civilization built one over
the other. Theories vary about the etymology of Jaffa or Yafo in Hebrew. Some believe that the name derives
from yafah or yofi, Hebrew for "beautiful" or "beauty". Another tradition is that Japheth, son of Noah, founded the
city and that it was named for him. The name is also transliterated as Tel-Abib in the King James Bible.
The port of Jaffa, circa 1899
The ancient port of Jaffa changed hands many times in the course of history. Archeological excavations from 1955 to
1974 unearthed towers and gates from the Middle Bronze Age. Subsequent excavations, from 1997 onwards, helped
date earlier discoveries. They also exposed sections of a packed-sandstone glacis and a "massive brick wall",
dating from the Late Bronze Age as well as a temple "attributed to the Sea Peoples" and dwellings from the Iron
Age. Remnants of buildings from the Persian, Hellenistic and Pharaonic periods were also discovered.
The city is first mentioned in letters from 1470 BCE that record its conquest by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III.
Jaffa is mentioned several times in the Bible, as the port from which Jonah set sail for Tarshish; as bordering
on the territory of the Tribe of Dan; and as the port at which the wood for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem
arrived from Lebanon. According to some sources it has been a port for at least 4,000 years.
In 1099, the Christian armies of the First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon occupied Jaffa, which had been
abandoned by the Muslims, fortified the town and improved its harbor. As the County of Jaffa, the town soon
became important as the main sea supply route for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Jaffa was captured by Saladin in
1192 but swiftly re-taken by Richard Coeur de Lion, who added to its defenses. In 1223, Emperor Frederick II
added further fortications. Crusader domination ended in 1268, when the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the
town, destroyed its harbor and razed its fortifications. To prevent further Crusader incursions, the city
was ransacked in 1336, 1344 and 1346 by Nasir al-Din Muhammad. In the 16th century, Jaffa was conquered by the
Ottomans and was administered as a village in the Sanjak of Gaza. Napoleon besieged the city in 1799 and killed
scores of inhabitants; a plague epidemic followed, decimating the remaining population.
Jaffa began to grow as an urban center in the early 18th century, when the Ottoman government in Constantinople
intervened to guard the port and reduce attacks by Bedouins and pirates. However, the real expansion came
during the 19th century, when the population grew from 2,500 in 1806 to 17,000 in 1886.
From 1800 to 1870, Jaffa was surrounded by walls and towers, which were torn down to allow for expansion as
security improved. The sea wall, 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) high, remained intact until the 1930s, when it was built
over during a renovation of the port by the British Mandatory authorities. During the mid-19th century, the
city grew prosperous from trade, especially of silk and Jaffa oranges, with Europe. In the 1860s Jaffa's small
Sephardic community was joined by Jews from Morocco and small numbers of European Ashkenazi Jews, making by 1882 a
total Jewish population of more than 1,500.
The first Jews to build outside of Jaffa, in the area of modern day Tel Aviv, were Yemenite Jews. These homes,
built in 1881, became the core of Kerem HaTeimanim (Hebrew for "the Vineyard of the Yemenites"). In 1896 the
Yemenite Jews established Mahane Yehuda, and in 1904, Mahane Yossef. These neighbourhoods later became the Shabazi
During the 1880s, Ashkenazi immigration to Jaffa increased with the onset of the First Aliyah. The new arrivals
were motivated more by Zionism than religion and came to farm the land and engage in productive labor. In
keeping with their pioneer ideology, some chose to settle in the sand dunes north of Jaffa. The beginning of
modern-day Tel Aviv is marked by the construction of Neve Tzedek, a neighborhood built by Ashkenazi settlers
between 1887 and 1896...