There is a rich artistic history to Neve Tzedek, making it the perfect place for some of the most creative and historical museums in Israel. At the time of its establishment, Neve Tzedek was home to many patrons of the arts, such as esteemed artist Nachum Gutman, Yosef Haim Brenner, the writer, and Nobel Prize winning author Shmuel Yosef Agnon. Upon the revival of Neve Tzedek to its former glory, long after it had fallen into disrepair, many of the original homes of these great artists were established as historical landmarks and turned into museums in Neve Tzedek.
One of the original houses that has been restored was the home of Shimon Rokach, who was considered the leader of the new community that was established in Neve Tzedek after the exodus from Jaffa’s walled gates. This museum, known as the Rokach House Museum, was bought and restored by renowned artist Lea Majaro-Mintz, a sculptor, and the granddaughter of Shimon Rokach. The museum is home to many of Mintz’s original pieces, as well as being a testament to her renovation and restoration skills, and also highlights the works of various emerging artists.
The Nachum Gutman Museum
One building, which was the highlight of the literary scene that comprised the essence of Neve Tzedek, was Hapoel Hatzair, editorial offices, also known as the “Writer’s House”. In it’s prime, the building was home to prolific writers Yosef Haim Brenner, Dvora Baron and Yosef Aharonovitz, the trio who co-collaborated on the cultural creation and evolution of Tel Aviv. After the restoration of Neve Tzedek, the building was renovated and was dedicated to the memory of Nachum Gutman by his family, together with the Jewish National Fund in the early 1990s. The Nachum Gutman Museum is a favorite destination of tourists and school children on educational trips. There they can view Gutman’s work in many different platforms and textiles, including oils, engravings, mosaics, gouache, watercolor, sculpture and more. In addition, the museum features the work of new artists on the rise as well as a book and gift shop, a lecture hall, and special workshops on the arts created especially for children.
In the central area of Neve Tzedek stands one of Israel’s premier dance centers. Home to the famous Bat-Sheva Dance Group, the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater is well-known and popular. The center resides within a large piazza that is hailed for the unique beauty of its architecture. In the same area, close to the Dellal Center, there are many other small areas of cultural interest, including the Clouche House, an art gallery and museum that has been established in the first house built in Neve Tzedek at the town’s establishment in 1886, and was the original home of Aharon Clouche, and the ceramics studio of Samy D.
A city that has been through many changes, Neve Tzedek was considered the new city in the late 1800’s, but was old and crumbling by the early 1900’s. Now, once again thriving, thanks to rebuilding and restoration in the late 1900’s, the city has new life, new meaning and new purpose. It is a thriving and historic luxury town, and the beautiful museums prove a grand mix of modern and original, capping off the town’s splendor.