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Showing posts from September, 2010

Taste and Color of South Tel Aviv - walking tour

Despite that most of the time one can manage in English in this country, every once in awhile there is a tour available only in Hebrew that conveys the inside scoop and charm of Israel and should not be missed. This includes the 36 "tours of experience" in Hebrew offered by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality (the municipality offers a few very plain vanilla tours in English as well). Several weeks ago, I joined Carmela Ohev Zion for a walking tour of NeveTzedek and Florentine appropriately called the "Taste and Color of South Tel Aviv". Carmela grew up in NeveTzedek so she was able to convey much of the flavor and color of the area prior to its current gentrification. In fact, we spent about thirty minutes on her childhood block where she shared the many interesting, funny and heartwarming stories about the varied immigrant families that settled there from the 1940s and on. We even made a short visit to her aging mother who still lives in her childhood home. For …

Herzl Museum - History Made Fun

The Herzl museum, along with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and the Palmach museum in Tel Aviv, represent the new wave in museums; rather than viewing historical documents and objects behind glass displays, visitors move from room to room as technology mixes with history to tell a story. I had heard that the Herzl museum was the least effective of the three. Having now visited all three, I would have to disagree. The Menachem Begin Heritage Center is based on actual history (Menachem Begin's life) but at times is a bit too tedious and fact oriented. The Palmach museum based on a fictional story of a Palmach unit is very engaging but in the end is more fiction than history (similar to a well-done fictional film loosely based on a historical event). The Herzl museum achieves the perfect balance. The museum does an excellent job of conveying the details of Theodore Herzl's life while at the same time being entertaining and engaging. It is a great way for o…