Tel Aviv Rediscovered

Those of you who follow my blog, know that I am captivated by photographs and motion pictures from the Land of Israel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I own several antique books from Ottoman Palestine and British Mandate Palestine, and whenever possible, I post photos and films from those periods here.

Today, a friend sent me the link to an album of photographs taken in Tel Aviv in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I haven’t been able to find out much about the photos, other than that they were posted on Facebook by someone named Gadi Kimel (who appears to be a member of the Tel Aviv Philharmonic Choir). He has provided some basic captions (in Hebrew) under the photos, and in the comments below the album, he has mentioned that these are photos developed from recently discovered old negatives.

These black and white photos are quite amazing, and clearly taken by someone with a good eye. In them, “The White City” in the ’30s and ’40s was still very white and strikingly beautiful in its Bauhaus architecture and clean, appealing Central European-style design. If only I could transport myself back in time to see it for myself – but I would maybe skip the beach, which appears to have been unbearably crowded with bathers.

I wonder whether the photographer was a British soldier, or at least someone with access to British military quarters, as some of the pictures were taken inside the St. Andrew’s hostel for soldiers (according to the captions).

Click here to see the entire album.

Please do be in touch if you happen to know more about these photos and who took them.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


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2 Responses to “Tel Aviv Rediscovered”

  1. Mark Kerbel Says:

    These are fabulous momentos of early Tel-Aviv (just around the time my grandparents arrived in the early ’30s). I’ll forward your article to my mother to see if she might recognize some of the locations.

    As for your comment about skipping the crowded beach, note that (as usual in Israel) they probably had awesome food sold up & down the beach, so it might have been worth the crowds. 🙂

  2. Renee Ghert-Zand Says:


    Thanks for commenting. True, food could have been the draw, but most likely everyone was just trying to escape the unbearable summer heat. I’ve been on crowded Tel Aviv beaches, but I don’t think it was ever as crowded as in this photo!


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