Purim and Nachalat Binyamin
We have just celebrated Purim.
We dressed up in funny costumes, gave presents to the poor and passed out edible treats to our neighbors and friends. I remember growing up in New York and every Purim fair that they tried to do out side ended up in rain and wind. In Israel, where winters are milder, very often these Purim fairs can be conducted in beautiful weather.
Years ago, in Tel Aviv, there was a tradition of Purim parades which would take place on Nachalat Benyamin and Allenby Streets. Today we know Nachalat Binyamin Street as a place where every Tuesday and Friday there is an arts and crafts fair. But this street was the second neighborhood built in Tel Aviv after Achuzat Bayit (the first neighborhood).
After the first neighborhood, Achuzat Bayit, which later changed its name to Tel Aviv, was successfully built and populated, another group of Jewish settlers bought the lands which are today Nachalat Binyamin and built their houses along this road. They later became part of Tel Aviv.
Nachalat Biyamin is a rather long street that goes from Allenby Street in the north all the way down to Wolfson Street in the South. It boasts some of the most beautiful historical buildings in Tel Aviv such as the Nordau Hotel, the Palatin Hotel, the Palm House.
The Nordau Hotel is located at 27 Nachalat Binyamin Street on the corner of Gruzenberg Street. It was designed by the famous Tel Aviv architect Yehuda Megidovitch in the eclectic style. It still functions as a hotel until this day.
The Palatin Hotel is located on the corner of Ahad Ha'am and Nachalat Binyamin Streets. The hotel was built in 1925 and was designed by the well known architect Alexander Braweld, the same architect who designed the Technion Building in Haifa. Today, it is an office building.
The Palm House, located at 5 Nachalat Binyamin Street, was built in 1922. It was designed by the architect, Tzi Tabachnik-Tabori in an original Jewish style. The building is ornamented by palm trees, reminiscent of biblical scenes.
It was also the venue of the special yearly Purim parade called the "Ad Lo Yada". Every Purim there would be a parade on Nachalat Binyamin, with floats depicting scenes from the Scroll of Esther and other biblical stories. Each year there was a competition, where a Queen Esther was chosen. The parade would continue on to Allenby Street.
Today, you can see a lot of preservation work being done on the buildings along both Nachalat Binyamin and Allenby Streets.