Tel Aviv Celebrates Centennial Year - By Noga Shavit, Minneapolis Community

At 100 years old, Tel Aviv is a vibrant, fresh city with an abundance of culture, Bauhaus architecture, cafés, beautiful boulevards and the most amazing seashore and skyline.  More than 390,000 people call Tel Aviv home and I am proud to be one of them.

I was born and raised in Tel Aviv and I love this city with all my heart. More than anything, Tel Aviv breeds tolerance, ambition and innovation. Just think of the visionary and bold group which went out of Jaffa in April 1909 to cast lots in the sand dunes and built this new modern, urban project, introducing something so radically different from anything else in Jewish history.

For me, Tel Aviv is a place of strength; a city of resilience. During the days of the Second Intifada, Tel Aviv was a central target for suicide bombers and suffered from ongoing terror attacks for a very long time.  During the First Gulf War, it was mostly Tel Aviv that was being hit by Squad missiles launched from Iraq.  And in 1940, the Italian Air Force bombed Tel Aviv killing dozens of its residents. There are many more examples, yet Tel Aviv has never wavered.

It has remained a bubbly, dynamic, creative city—a hub for businesses and start-ups. In fact, most of the country’s corporations and financial institutions are based in Tel Aviv and no less than 50,000 businesses are registered in the city. Tel Aviv also boasts of exquisite art, excellent food and state of the art fashion.

Israel cannot just be about the conflict, the holy places and the constant struggle for survival. As Israelis, we need to live, create, love and explore, just like everyone else. Tel Aviv provides a perfect setting for this, while making sure it is open and welcoming to all, without any exclusion. It is Jewish, Israeli, Mediterranean and cosmopolitan. It is where the Hebrew project was carried out and fulfilled and a city where nowadays all possible languages are spoken. 

Tel Aviv is like no other place in the world; as the poet Nathan Alterman put it so eloquently in his popular song, “And Still There is This Something There.”
Perhaps there is this something there
A very special something there
This something new that’s only there
Unique, you won’t find anywhere
It’s got this little spark somewhere
While others are so dark right there
And all this grace it has to share
With which you simply can’t compare
And therefore it keeps growing there
And won’t fear any foes who dare
To try and stop its flowing glare
That parties with its glowing flair
There’s nothing real, really nothing there
And still there is this something there
Yes, still there is this something there
Yes, something there–there is!

Happy Birthday Tel Aviv, you deserve your celebrations!


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