Naming city streets — A chapter in the history of Tel-Aviv, 1909–1947

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The first settler of Tel-Aviv wanted to bestow a cultural distinctiveness on their neighborhood, so that it would differ substantially from Jaffa, where they had lived previously. In the naming of streets they attempted to emphasize their new cultural commitment. From being a small neighborhood of a few dozen families, the city’s population grew within 30 years to about a quarter of a million inhabitants. This rapid growth involved the city administrators in a race to apply names to new streets. In 1910 there were only six city streets with names; 15 years later there were about 150, and at the end of the British Mandate over 350 streets had been named. In retrospect, two important factors characterize the history of naming the streets of Tel-Aviv: the decision-makers, and the principles which guided them. From the city's inception until 1922 the names were chosen democratically by a general meeting of all the residents. At such meetings suggestions were discussed and decisions made, ratified later by the Town Council. Even then there were cases of circumventing the general meeting by presenting names directly to the council. Between 1922 and 1933 when the city had grown, its cultural committee recommended the names to be decided by the Town Council.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Jewry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies


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