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 Neve Tzedek and Florentine appropriately called the "Taste and Color of South Tel Aviv". Carmela grew up in Neve Tzedek 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 the "taste" part of the tour, we made many stops at the various mom and pop food establishments in Neve Tzedek and Florentine including two bakeries, a spice shop and a shop that specializes in Turkish specialities. It was just a delightful and off the beaten track tour.
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality Tours - for a list of the municipality tours go to www.tel-aviv.gov.il or call 03-516-6188
Carmela Ohev Zion - www.carmelaoz.com - in addition to the municipality tour, Carmela offers private tours in both Hebrew and English