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January 18, 2011January 18, 2011  0 comments  Geography

Tel Aviv Municipality named eight new neighborhoods this week, one of which was after a New Testament figure, Tabitha, well known for her charitable works, and whom Peter raised from the dead. The neighborhood is situated adjacent to the Russian Orthodox church in the southern part of the city, next to Jaffa and very  near the Tel Aviv Botanical Garden. The  grave of Tabitha is also located in this area of the city.

The importance of Tabitha is mentioned in the New Testament in the story of Peter.

Peter was summoned from Lydda (modern-day Lod) to Jaffa, upon the death of Tabitha, known far and wide for her charitable works: "But Peter ... kneeled down, and prayed: and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa [Jaffa]; and many believed in the Lord."    Acts 9: 36-42,(40-42).


For the Christian visitor to Tel Aviv, what is arguably the most significant reference to Jaffa is the Vision of St. Peter (Acts 10: 1-48). Jaffa is an important Christian site that is generally included in Christian pilgrimage itineraries  because of its connection to St. Peter.


"And he [Simon Peter] became very hungry and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance. And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth. Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth and wild beasts and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him. Rise Peter; kill and eat. And the voice spake unto him again the second time. What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." Acts 10:1-48, (10-15)

In selecting Tabitha, the city sought to emphasize the Christian connection to Israel's largest city, and hopes to draw Christian tourists to spend more time in Tel Aviv.


"This is one of the two holiest places in Jaffa for Christians from all over the world," committee member and geographer Gideon Biger said, the other holy place being the House of Simon the Tanner in Jaffa's old city. "We thought it proper to give Tel Aviv a Christian-tourism component as well, to try to show that Tel Aviv is cosmopolitan and not just Jewish."


In 2010, Israel experienced a record 3.45 million tourists, approximately 69% or 2.4 million of whom were Christian. Jerusalem is the most popular city visited by Christian tourists, while the Galilee ranks second.  Tel Aviv, with the exception of  a brief stop in Jaffa, is generally not  included in most Christian pilgrimage itineraries.


Elisa Moed is the Founder and CEO of www.Travelujah.com, the largest Christian social network focused on the Holy Land travel. People can learn, plan and share their travel experiences on Travelujah.

Tags: tel aviv tabitha 

April 5, 2009April 5, 2009  0 comments  Art


While interesting art collections are found all over the world, the only international collection of navie artists in the world is found in Tel Aviv, at the GINA  (Gallery of International Naive Art). Naive art is characterized by a refreshing innocence and the charming use of bright colors, child-like perspective and idiosyncratic scale.  It portrays simple, easily-understandable and often idealized scenes of everyday life.  The naive artist -- often self taught - treats us to a uniquely literal, yet extremely personal and coherent, vision of the world that was, is or should be..

Each artist draws its subjects from the world around him, his memories of childhood or a vision of an idyllic future.  Many of the artists were raised on the Bible and the stories told to children which is why Bible-themes are so prevalent amongst the work.

The collection presents artists from around the world and therefore, while South America and Brazil learn the same Bible stories as  artists of Spain, France or Croatia, each theme iwhile universal is uniquely presented influenced by the culture of its originating country.  It is difficult not to be moved by these Biblical interpretations.

 Don't miss a visit to GINA Gallery, 255 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv.  www.GINAGallery.com


Tags: art tel aviv 

July 2, 2009July 2, 2009  0 comments  Volunteering

Looking for a way to contribute to the Holy Land on your visit? Table to Table is dedicated to "rescuing food" in Israel and provides an opportunity to participate in volunteer activities that support the needy. Over 36% of all children in the country live below the poverty line and Table to Table provides much needed excess food to those in need. More than 4,000 volunteers a month assist Table to Table. We've picked clementines with our children's school and strawberries during the winter, both of which were very fun and meaningful activities for kids and adults alike. Volunteering in the fields is a wonderful way to not only give back, but to connect more intimately with the land and the Bible. Travelujah is happy to develop special programming for groups that want to participate in a meaningful volunteer experience during their visit. Some examples of programming options include:


Project Leket is a wonderful activity where participants go into the fields and orchards of Israel to glean fruit and vegetables that remain unpiced at the end of the season's harvest. The rescued products are distributed to non-profit organizations feeding people in need.


Sandwich Preparation is organized and executed almost daily and has alllowed many Israeli children to have a proper lunch. Volunteers can come to Ra'ananna early in the morning to prepare sandwiches which are delivered each school day along with fruit and vegetables to over 75 schools in central and northern Israel. Over 25,000 sandwiches per week are prepared.


Food packing volunteers collect excess food from more than 500 functions a month from many banquet halls and restaurants and deliver the leftover items to needy residents.

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