Research finds Israel has world's healthiest diet

Globes, Israel business news, 4/4/2019 12:00:00 AM

Research carried out by Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington in the US has found that Israel has the world's healthiest diet, or to be more precise, the world's least unhealthy diet. The results of the study entitled the 'Global Burden of Disease' were published in the UK medical journal "The Lancet."

The research tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries.

Dr. Murray wrote, "This study affirms what many have thought for several years - that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world. While sodium, sugar, and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables. The paper also highlights the need for comprehensive interventions to promote the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy foods across all nations."

The study says, "The countries with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths were Israel (89 deaths per 100,000 people), France, Spain, Japan, and Andorra."

The UK ranked 23rd (127 deaths per 100,000) above Ireland (24th) and Sweden (25th), and the US ranked 43rd (171 deaths per 100,000) after Rwanda and Nigeria (41st and 42nd), China ranked 140th (350 deaths per 100,000 people), and India 118th (310 deaths per 100,000 people). The countries with the highest rates of diet-related deaths were Uzbekistan (892 deaths per 100,000 people), Afghanistan, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu."

Tel Aviv’s Real-Estate Boom Powered by Tech Startups


Wealthy Israelis have long bought property in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, but young tech entrepreneurs are snapping up property there, too

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Tel Aviv nightlife: where to party in Israel

By SARAH REID, LONELYPALNET, 9/9/2015 12:00:00 AM

With its sultry Mediterranean climate, seaside location, hedonistic vibe and young, international population, it’s no surprise Tel Aviv is known as the party capital of the Middle East. Any great evening here should start at a beach bar around sunset – a cold beer on your lips, toes pushing into still-warm sand.

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High-Tech Sector Draws Diverse Expats to Tel Aviv

SARA TOTH STUB,, 11/17/2015 12:00:00 AM

TEL AVIV—When Curtis Peterson found himself single in Tel Aviv, having first moved to the city to be with his Israeli partner, it didn’t occur to him to go back home to New York. Rather, the international development specialist sought to stay and work at a high-tech startup.

The decision was not a unique one—not in this Mediterranean city that boasts immigrants from across the globe, a growing English-language social scene, and more than 1,000 startups, or one for each 431 residents.

But Mr. Peterson says he doesn’t really know anyone else quite like him, meaning a foreign-born, non-Jewish person able to secure a work visa and join Israel’s growing high-tech sector, which has come to rival that of Silicon Valley. This is mainly because such visas are hard to come by in Israel, where immigration policy revolves around Jewish identity.

Mr. Peterson is head of partnerships at MobileODT, a startup that uses smartphones to detect cancer. Due to his extensive experience in public health and grassroots activism in the developing world, MobileODT officials said they were able to secure him a five-year work visa.

“Israel can be a difficult place to live and work,” said Mr. Peterson, “but overcoming those challenges can also be rewarding.” In addition to visa challenges, he was referring to Israeli cultural norms, such as frequent arguing, even with a superior, which can be jarring at first. But this process often leads to new ideas, he said. And because Israel often faces political uncertainty, knowing how to move forward without certainty also slips into professional life, and is often a valuable business skill, he said. Here, Mr. Peterson echoes the basic thesis of the bestselling “Start-Up Nation,” a 2009 book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, which chronicles the rise of tiny Israel in the global technology market.

There are a growing number of individuals who have managed to secure a work visa, creating the emergence of a new sort of expat around Tel Aviv

Though Mr. Petersen may not be aware of them, there are a growing number of individuals who, like him, have managed to secure a work visa, creating the emergence of a new sort of expat around Tel Aviv: those who move to Israel for its high-tech and entrepreneurial prowess rather than for Judaism, Zionism or family connections. And a law passed recently creating a so-called innovation visa could, in theory, boost this trend and make access to Israeli expat life easier for foreign non-Jewish entrepreneurs, although in practice, demand is likely drastically to outstrip the limited supply.

“Tel Aviv has attracted a lot more than your classic Zionist immigrant,” said Jay Shultz, founder of Tel Aviv Internationals, which plans events for English speakers in Tel Aviv. The group now has 20,000 members, up from 2,000 when it began in 2006, Mr. Shultz said.

The Tel Aviv municipality and high-tech sector welcome this new sort of expat, but only a small fraction of those interested in working here are actually allowed, and the new visa program is seen by many as not nearly extensive enough. This is frustrating both for the tech industry, which is constantly thirsty for more talent and more foreign investment, and for the city of Tel Aviv itself. Only about 2% of employees in Tel Aviv startups are foreign, compared with 45% in Silicon Valley startups, and an average of 29% in startups globally, according to a recent report from Startup Compass Inc.

Israel, under its Law of Return, automatically grants citizenship to Jews or individuals with at least one Jewish grandparent, and work visas are also available to those who meet these qualifications but do not want to immigrate. Work visas for non-Jews, however, are governed by a strict quota system, as well as reserved for those with an Israeli spouse or partner.

After five years of lobbying by the tech industry, Israeli academic institutions and the Tel Aviv municipality, as well as a government task force on the issue, the economy ministry announced recently the creation of an innovation visa—a class of visa available for years in the U.S. and Europe. The visa will allow foreign entrepreneurs to work for two years on opening up high-tech ventures in Israel, with the option to extend their stay if they establish a new enterprise, the economy ministry said. The program will also give foreign entrepreneurs access to government grants for research and development.

In addition to being limited in numbers, possibly numbering in the dozens, the new program only focuses on individual entrepreneurs and doesn’t address the needs of existing startups and established companies to hire foreigners.


“This initial program seems like a great first step in opening up Israel to foreign talent, however it is far from complete,” said Jon Medved, a veteran Israeli venture-capitalist and CEO of OurCrowd, a crowdfunding platform. He says the industry badly needs to be open to non-Jewish interns, programmers and engineers as well as entrepreneurs in order to sustain its cutting edge. “If we import agricultural workers in the tens of thousands, we should be able to import tech workers in similar numbers. We should be opening our arms and embracing the best the world has to offer, Jewish or non-Jewish,” said Mr. Medved.

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing frustration there is hope and a growing trickle of new expats, like Mr. Peterson, carving out life in Tel Aviv.

Kentaro Sakakibara, a Japanese venture capitalist and fund manager, moved to Tel Aviv last year to open up an incubator, which has invested in 17 local startups. The name on his business card is Ken Samurai, because that’s easier for Israelis to pronounce, Mr. Sakakibara explained.

Japanese venture capitalist Kentaro Sakakibara in his ninja-themed room at Samurai House, in Tel Aviv. PHOTO: Sara Toth Stub for The Wall Street Journal
The incubator, called Samurai House, is his first outside of Japan, where Mr. Sakakibara’s fund has invested in more than 80 startups. He decided to open the company’s first overseas location in Tel Aviv because on previous visits Israelis struck him with their openness to new ideas and desire to try new things.

“Here, failure is a good thing, you get new ideas from it,” said Mr. Sakakibara, as he sat in a room at Samurai House decorated with swords and cutouts of the metal stars thrown by ninjas—each room in the accelerator has a theme based on an aspect of Japanese culture. Samurai House takes up half of the second floor in a building on Tel Aviv’s bustling Nachlat Binyamin Street, just a block away from the increasingly swank Rothschild Boulevard, where Facebook and other high-tech companies have opened recently.

Mr. Sakakibara hopes his wife and baby daughter will join him soon. He is currently traveling back to Japan every other month too see them while they wait for visas.

Not only would he like to spend more time with his daughter, but would like her to spend at least some of her childhood in Israel, where, as he said before, “failure is a good thing.”

“My wish is to bring my daughter here because this culture is so good for kids,” he said. Israel was recently ranked the fourth-best country for quality of life for expat families in a survey by InterNations GmbH.

This is all happening against the backdrop of increased immigration of Jews from the U.S., France and other developed countries to Israel, creating a more international atmosphere. In 2014, immigration from the U.S. alone increased 7% on the year, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization assisting immigrants. This trend is evident in Tel Aviv, from the growing number of English-language preschools to the popularity of Halloween celebrations at local bars.

An increasing number of organizations also cater specifically for expats who do not fit into the typical mold of a new Jewish immigrant. Despite the strict visa regime, non-Jewish expats do find a welcoming framework on the ground in Tel Aviv.

“We really strive to be an ECC, meaning an English Community Center, rather than a JCC, or Jewish Community Center,” said Elvia Fisher, founder and director of CityKids, which runs a preschool and after-school activity center in Tel Aviv. The preschool, which serves many children of non-Jewish expats, celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas along with the Jewish holidays, focusing on common values such as hospitality or generosity rather than religious details.

But despite the proliferation of services and events in English, non-Jewish expats in Israel describe facing unique challenges that their Jewish counterparts do not. At pick-up time from CityKids parents often sit on the benches in the foyer, asking advice of each other about being a foreigner here. For many of them, it is the first time in their lives that they are in the minority. This feeling is especially sharp in Tel Aviv, which was founded as the first “modern” Hebrew city by 66 Jewish families in 1909, and does not have the same degree of religious diversity as its more ancient neighbor, Jerusalem.

“Often people ask us if we are making aliyah,” meaning immigrating to Israel under the Law of Return, said Jane Nesvog, an American expat originally from Wyoming, who lives in Jaffa, at the southern edge of Tel Aviv, with her three children and husband, an engineer hired for a project at Intel Israel. “I just sort of laugh, and say, no, we are not Jewish.”

At the same time, Ms. Nesvog, like the majority of tech expats, says her family is happy here and she would like to stay beyond the project her husband was hired for, but knows that will be difficult, if not impossible.

“I feel sad thinking about leaving all of this,” she said, referring to their home by the sea, the park nearby, the friendliness of locals, and the Tabeetha School her children attend, where children of diplomats, business people and local Arabs and Jews study together in English.

Back at the Samurai House, Mr. Sakakibara says he knows that he, too, will eventually return to Japan. But he has many colleagues at home in Japan, with funds available, who would like their turn to come to Israel to build startups, he says, and hopes at least some of them will get visas.

“So many young Japanese people would like to come here and work with the Israeli people,” he said. “I hope they will be allowed because we have a lot to learn from the Israeli people.”

Israeli house prices rising faster and faster, 5/15/2015 12:00:00 AM

The average price of owner-occupied dwellings in Israel rose by 8.45% during 2014, to ILS 1,352,800 (US$ 349,379). House-price growth picked up strongly from earlier price rises of 5.94% year-on-year (y-o-y) to Q3, 6.84% to Q2, and 4.42% to Q1, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

When adjusted for inflation, house prices rose by 8.66% in 2014. On a quarterly basis, nationwide house prices rose by 2% (2.1% in real terms) during the latest quarter, Q4 2014.
Gush Dan saw the highest house price increase during the year to Q4 2014, with prices rising by 14.69%. It was followed by the Southern district (13.81%), Sharon (10.98%), Tel Aviv (10.19%), and the Center and Jerusalem Periphery Towns (9.26%).

Other districts such as the Northern district and Jerusalem also experienced moderate year-on-year house price growth of 6.5% and 6%, respectively. Meanwhile, house prices in Qrayot Haifa (3.55%) and Haifa (2.31%) had relatively smaller increases, compared to other districts.

The country’s most expensive housing can be found in Tel Aviv, with an average price of owner-occupied dwellings of ILS 2,480,800 (US$ 640,701) in Q4 2014. It was followed by Jerusalem at ILS 1,712,700 (US$ 442,329) and Sharon at ILS 1,694,600 (US$ 437,654).

Israel experienced dramatic house prices rises in 2009 and 2010, despite domestic political uncertainty, security threats, and the global financial meltdown. The housing market returned to robust growth in 2012 and 2013.

The average price of owner-occupied dwellings rose modestly by 4.1% (-0.49% inflation-adjusted) in 2008
Property prices rose by 22.35% (18.15% inflation-adjusted) in 2009
Property prices rose by 17.04% (14.22% inflation-adjusted) in 2010
Property prices rose by just 0.04% (-2.39% inflation-adjusted) in 2011
Property prices rose by 5.82% (4.12% inflation-adjusted) in 2012
The average price of owner-occupied dwellings rose by 7.38% (5.43% inflation-adjusted) in 2013.

Demand is starting to pick up after declining in 2014. In March 2015, the total number of dwellings sold rose by 34.3% y-o-y to 2,478 units. In 2014, the total number of new dwellings sold was 22,492, down by 9.9% from a year earlier. Similarly, the total quantity demanded also fell by 8.8% y-o-y to 40,728 units in 2014. The decline was attributed to the announcement of a 0% VAT plan by then Finance Minister Yair Lapid in March 2014, designed to exempt first-time home buyers from the 18% VAT. Globes reported that the announcement led to many frozen deals and to a sharp decline in new home purchases.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended further discussion of the 0% VAT plan in early September 2014 and demanded that Lapid freeze the bill. The following day, December 2, 2014, PM Netanyahu fired Lapid from his post as Finance Minister, along with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

The total number of dwelling completions rose by 49.1% y-o-y In February 2015 to 4,415 units, according to the CBS. In contrast, dwelling starts fell by 5.9% y-o-y to 3,947 units in February 2015.

Recent history: house price rises cause social protests
The global house-price crisis missed Israel. From Q1 2010 to Q2 2011 average house prices rose almost 13%. One result was a social protest movement, which began in July 2011 with a Facebook group protesting Israel´s rising cost of living (specifically housing costs) as well the worsening condition of public services.

The central bank then raised the benchmark rate four times as the Israeli economy recovered from the global crisis to 1.5% in April 2010. Then in August 2010 the key rate was again raised to 1.75%, in a move to cool Israeli house prices and prevent a housing bubble. CBI rate hikes continued until the key rate reached 3.25% in June 2011.

House price rises therefore slowed during the second half of 2011. House price growth was only 0.5% between Q3 2011 and Q1 2012. The districts of Tel Aviv (-3.1%), Sharon (-2.9%), Gush Dan (2.3%), and Jerusalem (-1.2%) actually experienced house price declines.

In Q2 2012 house prices started to rise again and have been moving upward ever since. House prices rose by 19.7% from Q2 2012 to Q4 2014, with Gush Dan (27.6%) and Tel Aviv (25.9%) leading the price surge.


Second Intifada (Q3 00 - Q2 03) (Q2 03 - Q1 06) Israel - Hezbollah War (Q1 - Q4 2006) (Q4 06 – Q4 07) Global economic crisis (Q1 2008 – Q4 2009) (Q1 10 - Q2 11) Israeli social justice protests (Q3 11 - Q1 12) (Q2 12 - Q4 14)
Israel -6.47 28.09 -11.60 4.90 24.20 12.99 0.53 19.71
Tel Aviv -16.60 25.50 -12.60 22.37 41.27 8.26 -3.06 25.92
Center 6.77 10.21 -12.12 16.22 34.61 20.34 0.21 18.93
Southern 11.96 -0.78 8.93 6.84 29.10 15.26 2.77 24.12
Jerusalem -3.86 36.77 -6.05 5.05 20.13 14.23 -1.22 12.94
Northern 1.57 0.07 -8.00 -4.40 4.66 51.46 5.13 24.75
Haifa -10.34 -0.68 -10.26 -8.47 29.85 23.54 9.82 21.98

Metropolitan Areas
Sharon 1.81 26.25 -10.08 9.33 32.91 9.33 -2.93 20.23
Gush Dan -2.24 5.22 -5.70 5.80 33.08 10.97 -2.26 27.61
Qrayot Haifa 6.15 -6.26 -2.81 -10.51 18.33 25.40 13.93 13.65
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics
History: Israeli house prices and conflict
Israeli house prices seem to be affected by periods of conflict with Israel´s neighbours. House prices rose 28% (25.8% in real terms) between Q2-2003 and Q1-2006, due to the economic stability brought by the success of the electronics industry, investments and financial aid from the US, by inward investment, and by the improved security situation.

The war between Israel and Hezbollah, which erupted in July 2006, however rocked an already volatile political environment. Consumer and investor confidence dropped. Both supply and demand for housing fell.

The average price of houses fell 11.6% from the peak level of ILS 793,800 (US$205,488) in Q1 2006 to ILS 701,700 (US$181,646) in Q4 2006. Although the war formally ended in August 2006, the lingering uncertainty over the peace and order situation led to weakness in the housing market.

During 2007, the housing market recovered slightly with 4.9% y-o-y price increase (2.1% in real terms). However, the recovery was interrupted by the rising tensions with Iran and with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel’s continued expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank also increased tension.

Tel Aviv’s housing market suffers the most whenever the country is in conflict. With the Israel-Hezbollah war, house prices fell 12.6% from Q1 to Q4 2006. In contrast, the Southern district, relatively unscathed by the conflict, registered an 8.9% price increase over the same period.

Property prices in other districts have partially recovered since the cessation of conflict at the end of 2006. Surprisingly, Tel Aviv recorded the highest house price rise of 22.37% y-o-y in 2007. The national average price also rose by 4.9% over the same period.

Despite the global crisis, Israel enjoyed double-digit house price rises. The highest house price increase was recorded in Tel Aviv, at 41% between Q1 2008 to Q4 2009. Only the Northern district registered a single-digit house price growth of 4.7%. The average price in Israel rose 24.2% between Q1 2008 to Q4 2009.

Affordable housing in short supply
Israel housing starts and completions graph
Dwelling completions for the first two months of 2015 totaled 7,573 units, up by almost 10% from the same period last year, according to the CBS. In 2014, dwelling completions rose by 5.2% to 44,885 units from the previous year. Around 84% of the total completions, or about 37,803 units, came from the private sector.

In contrast to the rising completions, the recent figures of dwelling starts look dismal. From January to February 2015, total dwelling starts were at 8,246 units, a 5.9% decline from the same period last year, according to the CBS. In 2014, there were a total of 43,751 housing starts, a 7.7% drop from 2013. About 34,127 units, or 78% of the total dwelling starts were from the private sector.

Mortgage interest rates at historic lows
Israel interest rates
Mortgage interest rates in Israel are still low. In March 2015, the average mortgage interest rate in Israel was 2.12%, slightly lower than 2.34% in March 2014 and way below the 6.7% rate in January 2013.

To moderate the effect of the global crisis on the country’s economic growth, the central bank cut the key rate by a total of 375 basis points from October 2008 to April 2009, till it hit a record low of 0.5% in April 2009. But Israel was in fact less affected by the crisis than expected and by June 2011 key rates were back up to 3.25%.

In October 2011 the rate hikes stopped, and instead, the BOI lowered the key interest rate to 3.03%. It was the beginning of the continuous rate cuts over the succeeding years. The BOI´s most recent cut was in March 2015 when the key rate was cut to 0.1%, down from the previous rate of 0.25%. The rate reduction was in line with the bank’s intention to return the inflation rate within the 1-3% target, as well as to “support growth while maintaining financial stability”.

Is Israel´s financial stability under threat from high house prices?
Israel housing credit graph
Some say Israel´s sky-high housing market is a threat to financial stability, but the signs are reassuring. Though mortgage interest rates have generally declined since 2003, the mortgage market has expanded less than expected and was only around 26.1% of GDP in 2014, up from 18% of GDP in 2000. This is a modest level of borrowing in a developed country.

And despite the fact that by end- 2013 housing debt constituted around 70% of total household debt, households in Israel still have a large surplus of assets over liabilities. The ratio of total liabilities to total assets among Israeli households was about 8% in 2012 as compared to 16% in the UK and the US, according to the BOI.

Another good sign: in early 2014, unindexed variable-interest rate mortgages were only 36% of the banks’ total balance of mortgages, down from 77% of new mortgages in February 2009.

Nevertheless the BOI´s Supervisor of Banks has actively intervened to reduce system risk:

Variable-rate loans were limited from mid-2011;
The LTV ratio was limited towards end of 2012;
Capital adequacy and group allowances for doubtful debt were raised in early 2013;
The PTI (Payment-to-income) ratio was also reduced in mid-2013.
Poor yields in Tel Aviv - a tax hike may lower them still further
Gross rental yields on apartments in Tel Aviv are very low, supporting the view that properties are somewhat overpriced. Yields are under the 3% mark based on the Global Property Guide research in August 2014, ranging from 2.28% to 2.95%, with smaller apartments having higher yields.

By the end of 2014, the average monthly rent in the country had risen by 4.43% from the previous year to ILS 3,749 (US$ 969) per month. The most expensive rents can be found in Tel Aviv, with an average monthly apartment rent of ILS 5,746 (US$ 1,486) in Q4 2014, 53.27% above the national average. In Jerusalem, apartments rent at an average of ILS 4,072 (US$ 1,053) per month.

The Finance Ministry recently proposed to Minister of Finance-designate Moshe Kahlon a 20% purchase tax increase on housing for investment purposes, to discourage potential investors from buying rental apartments by making them less profitable. That way more apartments will be available for people who want to buy with the intention of occupying the property, since the tax wouldn’t apply to them. Kahlon appears to favour the proposal.

In the past 15 years, the homeownership rate in the country has been gradually declining as more households are renting due to the shortage of affordable housing. In 2008, the homeownership rate was 68.8%, down from 73% in 1995.

Though around 10,500 apartments were sold in March, 11% up from the previous month (Beersheva sales excluded) according to Globes reporting of Ministry of Finance statistics, the purchase of apartments by investors has generally been cooling off. On the other hand, says the Ministry of Finance, "since the beginning of 2015 there has been a high number, compared to recent years, of investors buying more than one apartment for investment over the past decade."

Healthy economic outlook for 2015
Israel´s economy performed well during the last quarter of 2014, with annualized real GDP growth of 6.8%, way up on 0.2% the previous quarter, 1.7% in Q2 2014, and 3% in Q1 2014, according to the CBS:

In Q4 2014:

Private consumption was strong, rising by 7.9% y-o-y.
Government consumption rose by 8.5%.
Exports surged by 12.7%, following meagre growth of 1.3% the previous quarter, while imports contracted by 2.9%.

Israel’s economy expanded by 2.8% during the whole year of 2014, a slowdown from the previous years’ expansion of 3.2% in 2013, 3% in 2012, 4.2% in 2011, and 5.7% in 2010, according to the IMF. The slowdown was partly due to the Operation Protective Edge launched by Israel in July 2014, which aimed to stop rocket fire from Gaza Strip to Israel. The operation lasted for more than one and a half month. Both parties accepted a cease-fire on August 26, 2014.

Israel GDP growth and inflation rate
The Bank of Israel expects 3.2% GDP expansion in 2015 and around 3.5% in 2016.
In March 2015, the country’s unemployment rate was 5.3%, according to CBS. Despite the economic slowdown in 2014, unemployment fell to 5.9% from around 6.2% in 2013.

Inflation was -1% in March and February 2015, down from -0.5% inflation in January 2015, according to the CBS. In 2014, the country’s budget deficit was around 2.8% of GDP.

The BOI’s target of 1-3% inflation is seemingly unattainable this year as the central bank’s research department predicts -0.1% inflation in 2015. The target is only expected to be reached in 2016, when inflation is predicted to rise to 1.7%.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of the Likud party, retained his post as Israel’s prime minister after winning the latest legislative election last March 2015. Likud won 30 seats, while the opposition Zionist Union came second, nabbing 24 seats.

Likud’s win came as a surprise since it had trailed behind the Zionist Union in pre-election polls prompting PM Netanyahu to state that a Palestinian state will not be established during his term (if he remained in power), in an interview published by the daily Maariv newspaper before the March 17 elections. This statement, though now retracted, and Netanyahu’s return to power, puts Israel in a difficult position in relation to the US and the international community´s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.

Tel Aviv is Israel Cultural Center and where everything that matters happens, 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM

Visual Art
Tel Aviv Museum of Art the shrine of Tel Aviv art,
27 Shaul Hamelech street Tel 03-6961297

Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for contemporary art near Habima is connected to Tel Aviv Museum of
Art and you can visit both in one ticket

Art galleries - many are located on Gordon Street or in the streets around.

Museum Haaretz a Museum dedicated to the land of Israel in the past and present that contains
many archaeological, cultural and ethnological displays- Tel Aviv 2, Haim Levanon Street tel: 03-

LITVAK Gallery a private gallery museum that hosts special exhibitions of International glass
sculptures - 4 Berkovitz street tel: 972 3 6959495

Ilana Gur Museum in Old Jaffa is a unique experience of collected art things.
Everything about photography in Tel Aviv can be found in the Guy Olami's website
( it is in Hebrew :-(

Horace Richter Gallery - also a center for art music and special events in Old Jaffa

Beit Binyamini - Contemporary Ceramic art center and gallery


There are many cinema venues in Tel Aviv and the important thing is that they are not dubbed. The
most popular movies play usually at Ravhen Tel Aviv in Dizengoff Square the foreign and artistic
movies play usually at Lev Cinema in Dizengoff Center Mall. If you want to see a film just buy a
newspaper in English and you will find there the updated listing. (I am sure you figured that out by
yourself :-) )

Cinemateque Tel Aviv offers a rich repertoire of foreign films and also other events website (Hebrew
only) 2 Shprintzak street Tel: 972-3-6060819


Rock Jazz Blues: Tel Aviv has a variety of venues for live music some of them are pubs or restaurant
bars as well.The following venues have different live music performances every night you can
inquire by phone what's on. There is also live music in some of Tel Aviv pubs and in some music
clubs venues.

Classical music - the TAPC - the Tel Aviv Performing art center also known as the Opera is having a
rich repertoire
if you are into classics or you can go to a concert at Heichal Hatarbut,
The Mann Auditorium , 1 Huberman Street Tel Aviv Tel: 03-6211777, 1700 703703 ,Tel Aviv
greatest and oldest concert hall and the home of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra directed by the
renown Zubin Mehta - !

The Einav Cultural Center on Eben Gvirol street on top of the Gan Hayr shopping center tel: 03-
5217763 presents different music shows every evening

Tzafta on 30 Eben Gvirol, tel: 03-6950156 is presenting classical concerts on Saturdays mornings
at 11 (website in Hebrew)

Felicja Blumenthal Music Center - located in the beautiful Bialik Piazza a renovated old building that
serves as a music library and a venue for classical music concerts


Theater is in mostly in Hebrew - simultaneous translations to English are available at Habima and
Hakameri and Hagesher for some of the performances - check before you buy tickets.

The main theater halls in Tel Aviv are:
Habima (site in Hebrew only) the first national Hebrew Theater
2 Tarsat Blvd. Tel: 03 – 6295555
Hakameri Tel Aviv city Theater now located in a new and modern venue in the Performing Art Center
area - 30 Leonardo de Vinci St Tel: 03 – 6061900
Hagesher Theater - Started some years ago by Russian new immigrants has now a successful
repertoire in Hebrew - Yerushalaim Blvd Jaffa Tel:03-6843131
Beit Lessin (site in Hebrew only) a small theatre with a main stream chamber style repertoire 101,
Dizengoff St. Tel: 03 –7255333
Tzavta is a small venue that hosts avant-garde theater or music shows and is politically oriented to
the left wing of the Israeli political opinions.
(website is in Hebrew only)
30 Eben Gvirol Tel:03-6950166
Na Lagaat Center - a unique theater with actors that are blind and deaf

Article on - press here


Suzan Dellal Center is the main dance venue where are presented many interesting dance
The Israeli Ballet
Batsheva Dance Company The most famous Israeli Dance Group

The Rise and Rise of Israeli Apartment Prices

Nimrod Bousso and Arik Mirovsky,, 9/28/2015 12:00:00 AM

TheMarker looks at the neighborhoods with the biggest and smallest price rises over the past eight years in Israel's three biggest cities.

Read more

Tel Aviv's Sarona market opens

Globes [online], Israel business news, 7/28/2015 12:00:00 AM

The 8,700-sq.m. indoor culinary market will contain 89 carefully selected businesses.
Four years after the founding of the Sarona market was announced at an investment of NIS 530 million, Gindi Holdings today opened the culinary market in Tel Aviv's Sarona district, the former German Templer settlement. The indoor market contains 89 businesses, including restaurants; bakeries; and stands for sweets, spices, fruits and vegetables, wine, cheese, fish, etc. 70% of the businesses are retail stores offering food ingredients, utensils, equipment, etc., while 30% consists of restaurants and food stands.

The 8,700-sq.m. market will commence with a running-in period, during which the businesses will be opened gradually. French delicatessen Fauchon will be opened today in the first wave, together with cheese stand Basher Fromagerie, the Halva Kingdom, a new concept store of Eden Springs and Lavazza, various bakeries, and farmers stands with fresh fruits and vegetables.

"The supply and variety of the stores on the site were chosen in order to ensure competition in quality and price, with many options available to the customer in each category of products," said Sarona Market CEO Sharon Moman. "We brought in three or four players in each area, because we believe that competition is healthy for both consumers and businesses."

"Globes": What is the rent in the market?

Moman: "We charge definitely fair and reasonable rent of NIS 300-400 per sq.m. for large businesses. Stands and small businesses pay according to their size and location on the site. These rents enable them to offer attractive prices."

The business owners on the site said that the rent was certainly fair, but the leases were not long-term (1.5-2 years), so there is anxiety that the rents will soar. It was also noted that none of the businesses had received exclusivity in its area.

The agents fees paid by farmers in the marketing chain is a matter of concern to both the farmers and the consumers. Do the stands in Sarona Market operate through direct sales?

"Certainly. The farmers sell their produce directly, including organic produce, from the field to the consumer, without middleman differences."


What is your policy on opening business on Saturday?

"We operate according to municipal bylaws, which do not allow opening businesses on Saturday, except for restaurants and cafes operating in the market whose license allows them to do so. Other retail businesses will, of course, have to wait for a decision by the High Court of Justice in the matter, with no connection to us."

According to Moman, Sarona Market expects traffic of 10,000-15,000 buyers during the week and 25,000 on weekends. "The composition of buyers includes soldiers from the Kirya military base coming for a bit of humus and families who come to buy products and raw materials for cooking at home."

The My Sarona Market buyers club incorporating dozens of the businesses in the compound was also launched today. It enables the public to accumulate 5% of each purchase in the market for use in future buying. Registering for the club costs NIS 89 annually, and a card with NIS 100 loaded on it will be granted to those joining the club.

Are you worried about the effect of work on the light rail?

"Access from one direction will not be possible, but we still have three streets from which you can come to the market." The nearby Azrieli (Hashalom) railway station will make it possible to reach Sarona Market without getting caught in traffic jams.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 28, 2015

Land Registration and Settlement of Rights Department, 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM

The Land Registration and Settlement of Rights Department includes three main spheres of activity.​

​Land Registration
There are nine Land Registration Offices, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Petach-Tikva, Nazareth, Netanya, Beersheba, Holon and Rehovot, two extension branches in Hadera and in Acre.

Land Registration Inspectors
There are nine Land Registration Inspectors Offices: in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Petach-Tikva, Nazareth, Netanya, Beersheba, Holon and Rehovot, two extension branches in Hadera and in Acre. Additionally, judicial hearings concerning Cooperative Houses (Condominiums) within the area of Eilat, are held as determined by the Beersheba Land Registration Inspector, in Eilat.

Settlement of Land Rights
There are five Settlement of Land Rights Offices, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nazareth and Beersheba, and an extension branch in Acre.
Each Department is headed by the Registration Commissioner (Manager of the Department), who bears responsibility, together with a staff of employees, for the management of the Department, for the proper operation of all the Department's offices in all areas of their administrative and judicial responsibilities.


1. Keeping the Land Registers
The lands situated within the territories of the State are recorded in three types of Register:
The Deeds Registers - in which lands are registered that have not yet undergone the processes of settlement of rights of title under the Land (Settlement of Title) Ordinance [New Version] 5729-1969.
Registration in the Deeds Registers in respect of unsettled land constitutes, under the law, prime facie evidence of its contents. Following settlement of the rights in the land, the registration in the Deeds Register is cancelled and the rights are registered in a new register - the Rights Register.

The Rights Register - in which land is registered that has undergone the processes of settlement of rights of title, following official survey and mapping, and after the official and public investigation of claims to rights in the land.
Registration in the Rights Register with regard to settled land constitutes conclusive evidence of its content, under the law. The Rights Registers contain about 95% of all the area of the State. In so far as progress is made in the Settlement of Rights work, so does the significance of the Deeds Registers diminish with the simultaneous expansion of the Rights Registers.

The Cooperative Houses (Condominiums) Register - in which the buildings are registered in respect of which Registration of Cooperative House Orders have been issued in accordance with plans that include a description of the buildings and apartments included therein.

The Land Registers are kept in the Land Registration Offices and faithfully reflect the legal status of rights of title of the land within the territories of the State.

2. Certification of Transactions and other actions with regard to land and the registration thereof in the Land Registers
Under the provisions contained in the Law, a transaction in land must be registered in the Land Registers. The transaction concludes with registration and only then does it have legal force and effect vis-à-vis everyone. As long as the transaction has not been registered, the recipient of the right only has a contractual right which is valid as between the parties.

3. Registration of Buildings in the Cooperative Houses Register (Condominiums)
A process by means of which parcels that are registered in either the Deeds or the Rights Registers become registered parcels in the Cooperative Houses Register and containing more than one sub-unit.

4. Deciding disputes as between apartment owners in condominiums
The Land Registration Inspectors have jurisdiction to hear and rule on disputes between apartment owners in condominiums, both those registered in the Cooperative Houses Register, as well as in respect of those that have not yet been registered. An Inspector hearing a dispute is vested with all such powers as a Magistrates Court Judge has, who is trying a civil action.
The Inspector's decision in a dispute and an interim order issued by him are treated for the purposes of enforcement and execution and for the purposes of Section 6 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, in the same way as a judgment or interim order of a Magistrates Court.

5. Settlement of Rights of Title to Land within the Territories of the State
The Land Settlement Offices bear responsibility for settlement of rights of title to land situated within the territories of the State.
The State of Israel is one of the few States in the world in which a process of settlement of rights to land is employed, and based upon accurate and official survey and mapping, and after official and public investigation of claims and other rights.

Contact details
Phone: 02-5696120
Fax: 02-6246866
Hebrew Web Site:

Changes in Purchase Tax for Purchasing an Additional Residential Apartment in Israel, 6/23/2015 12:00:00 AM

On June 22, 2015, the Knesset approved a decision to completely change the tax brackets for purchases of an additional residential apartment in Israel for Israeli residents (including foreign residents purchasing an apartment in Israel) for the next 5 years.
This is yet another way to encourage Israeli residents not to invest their money in purchasing homes for rental income purposes. By cooling the demand, Israel’s Finance Ministry hopes to achieve lowering the prices thus opening up more real estate options for Israeli residents that want to purchase their only home

The brackets applicable as of June 24, 2015, until December 31, 2020, are:

Apartment Value - Tax Rate

up to NIS 4,800,605 - 8%

above NIS 4,800,605 - 10%

In addition, the Knesset approved the decision to maintain the existing tax brackets for purchases of an additional residential apartment in Israel for Israeli residents (including foreign residents purchasing an apartment in Israel) that were supposed to expire on June 30, 2015.

The tax brackets that will be applicable after December 31, 2020 are:

Apartment Value - Tax Rate

Up to NIS 1,162,120 - 5%

From NIS 1,162,120 to NIS 3,486,350 - 6%

From NIS 3,486,350 to NIS 4,800,605 - 7%

From NIS 4,800,605 to NIS 16,002,015 - 8%

Over NIS 16,002,015 - 10%

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not a substitute for legal consultation. Specific legal advice should be sought in accordance with the particular circumstances.

Lonely Planet's top 10 cities for 2011

Lonely Planet, 10/31/2010 12:00:00 AM

Who doesn't love a city? Lonely Planet has scoured the globe for next year's hottest cities. Our top picks show that a city doesn't need to be a heaving metropolis to get on the list. Then again, sometimes it helps. One of our favourites is the world's largest city that cannot be reached by road. And there are even a couple of European cities that remain criminally underrated. Here they are, Lonely Planet's top 10 cities for next year, ranked in order:
1. New York
Since 9/11, the site of the World Trade Center's twin towers has stood out as a closed-off, out-of-view, painful gaping void. This year that changes, as the former WTC site finally reopens to the public with the National September 11 Memorial, a 6-acre, tree-filled plaza with 30ft-deep waterfalls at the footprint of the former towers, rimmed by the name of each victim and illuminated at night (its museum will follow in 2012). For the city, this will be more momentous than if the Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants won simultaneous championships while the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve. For all of New York, 11 September 2011 will be a defining moment.

2. Tangier
From its extraordinary position perched on the northwestern-most tip of Africa, Tangier looks in two directions: one face towards Spain and Europe, and the other into Africa. The 'white city' announces a culture excitingly different from that of its close cousins across the water. With the recent arrival of a new city governor, the town beach now sparkles, the hustlers are off the streets and even the taxi drivers are polite. A stylish new Tangier is being created with a dynamic arts community, renovated buildings, great shopping and chic new restaurants.

3. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is the total flipside of Jerusalem, a modern Sin City on the sea rather than an ancient Holy City on a hill. Hedonism is the one religion that unites its inhabitants. There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone's body is a temple. Yet, scratch underneath the surface and Tel Aviv, or TLV, reveals itself as a truly diverse 21st-century Mediterranean hub. By far the most international city in Israel, Tel Aviv is also home to a large gay community, a kind of San Francisco in the Middle East. Thanks to its university and museums, it is also the greenhouse for Israel's growing art, film and music scenes.

4. Wellington
Wellington is Cool-with-a-capital-C, crammed with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York, and a slew of gourmet producers including some 10 independent coffee roasteries. Year-round you'll find arts and cultural events in abundance. Likewise, its film industry, 'Wellywood', centred on the Miramar Peninsula, is booming thanks in large part to the success of Wellingtonian Sir Peter Jackson (executive producer of the 2011 and 2012 Hobbit movies currently being made here). This little capital will be front-and-centre on the world stage in 2011 when New Zealand hosts the Rugby World Cup.

5. Valencia
Valencia sits coquettishly and again confidently along Spain's Mediterranean coast. For centuries, it was overshadowed by larger Spanish cities – hard-nosed, commercially-minded Barcelona and Madrid, the nation's capital. Not any more. While retaining its provincial charm, Spain's third city now mixes with the international crowd. Host of a couple of America's Cup yachting jamborees and an annual street circuit Formula 1 motor race, it's also European Capital of Sport for 2011 and a favourite destination for conferences and congresses. Valencia enjoyed its golden age two full centuries before the rest of Spain.

6. Iquitos
After days forging by boat along rainforest-fringed rivers, Iquitos, mighty megalopolis of the Peruvian Amazon, comes as a shock to the system. Pulsating with life, the city's latest boom is tourism: visitors may flock to reconnoitre the rainforest but taking time to imbibe Iquitos itself is imperative too. This is a sultry slice of Amazon life: Brazilian, Colombian, indigenous and expat. Clubs bounce to salsa and rock until the early hours with the vigour you'd expect of Peru's jungle capital, but Iquitos is also a cultural hub: expect works by Peru's top artists, opulent rubber-boom mansions and a museum on Amazon ethnography for starters. As a trading post for rainforest tribes, market mayhem and riverboat bustle are part of the package, all conspiring to fill the city with an addictive, round-the-clock energy.

7. Ghent
Here's a secret within a secret: Ghent might just be the best European city you've never thought of visiting, in a country that continues to be criminally overlooked. Ghent hides away in the middle of Belgium's big three – Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. Most Belgium-bound visitors rushing between these see nothing more than the stately fortifications of Ghent's St Pieter's Station. Those who do hop off the train and stroll along the Leie River to the historic centre will have their eyes out on stalks. Here hides one of Europe's finest panoramas of water, spires and centuries-old grand houses. But this is no place to simply kick back: Ghent has one of Europe's most dynamic festival scenes, which vies for visitors' attention. This year the entire centre will emerge from a major program of rebuilding designed to show off the huge pedestrianised squares.

8. Delhi
The great metropolis of Delhi, encompassing Old and New Delhi and sprawling out for miles, has not looked this smart and sparkling in centuries. Huge preparations for the Commonwealth Games, which took place in October 2010, improved the city's infrastructure, cleaned up its streets and added to its accommodation options. Aside from, of course, a bounty of new or improved sporting facilities, there's the marvellous artery of the Metro – an underground transport system that's a futuristic, egalitarian world away from the sometimes chaotic, class-ridden situation above ground. This year marks 100 years since New Delhi was founded in 1911. At least eight cities are known to have been founded on this spot. The commemoration of this anniversary is sure to be a colourful and lively affair.

9. Newcastle
Is it Australia's most underrated city? Anyone surprised to see Newcastle on the list of 2011's hottest cities (and there's a few of you, right?) probably hasn't pulled in off the Pacific Highway, or at least not for a while. Newcastle flies under the radar of Aussies and international travellers in part because it's overshadowed by its bigger, bolder and better-known sibling, Sydney, 150km south. But, at around one-tenth the size, Australia's second-oldest city has Sydney-like assets: surf beaches, a sun-drenched subtropical climate, and diverse dining, nightlife and arts. Not only is Newcastle ideally located just two hours by road or rail or 30 minutes by plane or seaplane from Sydney, it's less than an hour's drive west to the Hunter Valley wineries, south to sailboat-filled Lake Macquarie, north to whale-watching and sharkfeeding at Port Stephens and to sandboarding at Stockton Beach (the southern end of the 32km-long beach is a five-minute ferry ride across Newcastle's harbour).

10. Chiang Mai
If Chiang Mai were a person, it would be Bob Dylan. With a history dating back further than anyone can remember, its influence remains enormous. And despite its great age, there's still a bohemian chic that makes it as relevant and hip as ever. Culture capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai was once the heart of the Lanna kingdom. Today those wanting to flee the bustle of Bangkok visit to lounge in coffee shops and drink in the city's artisanal atmosphere. With a friendly, cosmopolitan feel, this is one easy, safe and pleasant place to explore. There are dozens of well-preserved temples here, too. Many new ecotours and adventure trips are appearing, and with a choice of river rafting, elephant rides, trekking and off-road cycling, even the biggest adrenaline junkie will be sated.


Tel Aviv's Norman Hotel: World's best boutique hotel

Published by Globes [online], 12/20/2015 12:00:00 AM

The Israeli hotel, opened only last year, was selected as the world's best boutique hotel by two organizations.
Tel Aviv's Norman Hotel has been named the best boutique hotel in the world, ahead of renowned establishments like the Shangri-La in Paris and chain hotels like Four Seasons and One and Only. Located on Nachmani St., the Norman Hotel this month celebrated one year since its opening. The hotel was selected by two different organizations' one in the US and one in London. The selection was based on opinions from visitors to the hotel, guests, bloggers, journalists, and data collected from websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.

The hotel's history begins in the 1950s with Norman Lurie, owner of Israel's first boutique hotel, the Dolphin House in Shavei Tzion, which attracted the elite of Israeli society, plus quite a few global celebrities. Norman's son decided to follow in his father's footsteps, and waited for an opportunity to come his way.

His chance came in the form of two old Tel Aviv buildings at 23 and 25 Nachmani St. After spending years buying each and every apartment, he managed to acquire the two buildings for a hotel, which he owns. From the outside, the building looks just like an ordinary residential building that has been renovated and restored. Once you get past the front door, however, everything changes.

The Norman Hotel belongs to the Small Luxury Hotel (SLH) organization, which numbers 550 hotels with up to 75 rooms. What these hotels have in common is that they are considered the best and most popular in the world. The hotel offers all the facilities that are usually available only in large hotels, such as a bar and two in-house restaurants: one Israeli and one Japanese, the latter presided over by Chef Masaki Sugisaki, owner of the Dinings Restaurant chain in London. The hotel also has a fitness room, a pool, and a sun patio.

The hotel has 50 rooms at different hosting levels, but all the suites are large and in the de lux, suite, and duplex categories. One of the hotel's advantages is its location near Rothschild Blvd and the business center of Tel Aviv.

Apartments outstrip houses in Israel’s luxury market

Dror Marmor, 5/17/2016 12:00:00 AM

Some 115 luxury apartments were sold in Israel in 2015 for at least NIS 10 million, while only 16 houses sold for at least that price – suggesting a reversal in the demand by wealthy Israelis, who now desire luxury units rather than private houses with gardens.

The figures were gathered in research conducted by Dr. Rina Degani, an urban planner and CEO of Geocartography, ahead of the Netanya Real Estate Forum that was held on Monday at Netanya Academic College.

Degani pointed out that any apartment costing more than NIS 2 million was once designated as a “luxury apartment.” Now such residences account for 17% of the total transactions in apartments.

According to the figures, 82% of luxury apartments were sold in Tel Aviv and 12% in Jerusalem, with Herzliya and Netanya trailing behind. Even more expensive apartments – which cost more than NIS 30 million and account for 5% of the luxury deals – were found only in Tel Aviv.

In Jerusalem, 27% of luxury apartments sold for NIS 20-30 million, while in Herzliya and Netanya the most expensive luxury units sold for less than NIS 20 million.


Tel Aviv, of course, leads the charts with an average price of NIS 76,000 per square meter, compared with NIS 70,000-74,000 per square meter in Herzliya or Jerusalem and a “mere” NIS 53,000 per square meter in Netanya.

The Geocartography team divided the buyers into three primary segments: foreign residents (Diaspora Jews); the top 0.1%; and the nouveaux riches – specifically young adults who successfully raised money in the high-tech scene.

A third of Manhattan prices

Degani also compared the luxury real estate market in Israel with Manhattan, New York (a market that is showing the early stages of a cooldown). The data are based on the recent sale of 35 Manhattan apartments for at least $20 million (half were sold for $20-25 million, 30% for $25-30 million, and 20% for $30-45 million).

The figures, based in part on data from real estate firm ONEManhattan, show that Tel Aviv is still far behind the New York luxury market. The average price per square meter in New York is $56,000 – close to three times the figure in Tel Aviv. Recently, a 520-square-meter apartment near Central Park sold for $45 million – $86,000 per square meter.

Degani: “Tel Aviv is in the process of becoming the Manhattan of Israel. Many more towers will be built, there will be a greater supply of ‘ultra-luxury’ for the rich, the successful, and the well-known; the luxury apartment club will gradually expand to other cities – which is already happening. In the past decade, there were only 4-5 cities which saw deals of more than NIS 5 million for an apartment – but today we see at least 10 such cities.”


Tel Aviv Bar Imperial Craft Named Among World's Top 20 Bars

Liz Steinberg | , 10/9/2015 12:00:00 AM

The local establishment broke into the World’s 50 Best Bars list for the first time this year, making its debut at a high-placed 17th.


Tel Aviv’s Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar was voted among the world’s top 20 bars at the World’s 50 Best Bar Awards late last night.  Last year, Imperial Craft was voted the Best Bar in Africa and the Middle East, but it failed to make the list of the top 50 bars, coming in at a close 56th.  This year, however, it scaled up the rankings, coming in 17th, earning it the distinction of being the highest new entry on the top-50 list.  The list is chosen by over 400 of the drinks industry's international experts and is considered the ultimate guide to the top bars around the globe. Votes were cast for some 542 bars around the world.

The awards, which were organized by Drinks International Magazine, were announced at an event in London last night.  Drinks International told Haaretz that Imperial Craft’s reputation has flourished in the past year, following its performance in last year’s rankings. Over the past year, members of the judging committee were drawn to the Middle East’s best bar to try it for themselves, and were impressed by what they found. "In the last year Imperial Craft has ignited the Tel Aviv cocktail scene,” said Hamish Smith, editor of the World’s 50 Best Bars list. “Word of the bar's crafted cocktails and warm ambiance has seen the World's 50 Best Bars Academy flock to the bar. Some even consider it to be among their favorite bars in the world, which is why Imperial Craft has climbed the World's 50 Best Bars list,” he explained.

“Imperial Craft is probably proving the best drinking experience available in Israel today,” Drinks International stated in a review earlier this year. “Word of this colonially-steeped outpost of discerning drinking is spreading. Globally.” While there are many excellent bars around the world, the bars that make the top 50 list are considered the industry’s top innovators as well as the most hospitable to their customers, Smith explained to Haaretz.  "There are hundreds of great bars around the world that excel in drinks creation, hospitality and have created fun, convivial atmospheres for their customers,” said Smith. “The World's 50 Best Bars is the cream of the crop. These are the vanguard bars that have brought something new to the industry - pushing it forward in to new areas, changing the industry forever. They are innovators in terms of ingredients and drinks programs but also have an imaginative and meticulous approach to service and hospitality."

Cocktails at the Imperial Craft include the Spicy India, a drink inspired by chai masala whose ingredients include grated bittersweet chocolate, green cardamom, orange liqueur and an egg yolk, among many others; Flip of a Coin, made from French Cognac and sherry, spices and a Guinness reduction; and Colonel Mustard, based on gin, Campari, orange liqueur, fresh grapefruit and a mustard-cinnamon syrup.  The top five bars on the list are in London and New York. London’s Artesian was voted the world’s top bar for the fourth year running, while The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in New York ranked second. 




Why the World's Best Vegetarian Food Is in Tel Aviv

Raphael Kadushin, 11/10/2015 12:00:00 AM

An impressive wave of vegetable-centric restaurants are taking Israel's biggest city by storm.


How did Israel’s trend-setting city become a herbivore smorgasbord? Start with the abundance of raw material, the gleaming pyramids of eggplants, peppers, and cabbage heaped like pinups at the city’s Carmel Market. Then add all the gastronomic influences—Russian, Polish, Arabic, Moroccan, Bulgarian, Iraqi—that can coax a world of flavors out of the most humble potato. Spending a week going meatless in Tel Aviv isn’t just easy; it lets you sample the city's best bites. As well, most of these no-meat, no-dairy restaurants are essentially kosher by default, appealing to the young, fresh-food-focused population of the coastal city. The following vegan and veg-friendly options (for those dining with dedicated carnivores), are among Tel Aviv's finest:

Café Anastasia: A popular spot framed by a sprawling outdoor terrace, Anastasia is always packed for breakfast. There are tofu crepes, macadamia or chickpea omelets, and veggie scrambles. The milk here is soy, rice, or almond, whipped up fresh in the kitchen, and that means you can indulge in a superbly creamy cocoa shake.

Caffe Kaymak: At first glance, this tiny spot—strung with fairy lights, next to a nut vendor in the middle of Tel Aviv’s Levinksy Market—may not seem promising, but it's a gem. The strictly vegan menu here is long, but a fundamental bean soup is a medley of nutty al dente beans sitting in a sweet tomato broth roused by black pepper, proof that the simplest dishes can pack the most complex flavors. Eat it at the counter open to the street, so you can watch locals pick through the piles of oranges and pomegranates stacked up at the fruit stand across the road.

Nanuchka: Any fear that a menu devoted to vegan Georgian food would be limited is put to rest at this downtown kitchen decorated with playful Russian tchotchkes. Nanuchka’s zucchini stuffed with bulgur and cranberry is amazing, but be sure to save room for the parade of hand-made dumplings: They include a pastry pocket stuffed with potato, paired with eggplant salsa, as well as a pirashki filled with seasonal mushrooms.

Tenat: Order the Injera plate at this Ethiopian vegan café and you get half the menu piled onto one big platter. The centerpiece is the spongy, crepe-like Injera bread, which you can wrap around the accompanying lentils, root vegetables, beetroot leaves, and potato salad. Wash it all down with some strong Ethiopian beer, like Tusker.

Bindella: Though Bindella is one posh Italian restaurant located in an upscale neighborhood of Bauhaus landmarks near central Rothschild Boulevard, it still bows to a veg-hungry local market. One page of the menu is devoted to vegan dishes, including an open ravioli piled with green-pea puree, mushrooms, and green-vegetable ragu. Pair it with the Sicilian cauliflower plate that tosses mint, arugula, hazelnuts, and finely chopped cauliflower into a bright, Italo-Israeli salad.

Chiripom: A recently opened spot, Chiripom focuses on the North African contribution to Israeli cuisine and is already famous for a dish that comes rolled up in a paper cone. Tip the party hat and out roll croquettes made of fried onion, parsley, and white potatoes. Once you crunch through the crisp golden batter, the little treats deliver a filling as creamy as potato mousse. They come served with tahini and diced eggplants, and taste best eaten out on the long al fresco terrace.

Dallal: This sprawling restaurant sitting next to the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre is a quiet refuge, complete with leafy inner courtyard. Some of the waitresses look to be culled from the Dellal dance troupe—that straight-backed posture is the giveaway—and they all are intimately familiar with the veg-centric menu at Dallal. A forest-mushroom-and-mascarpone tortellini with hazelnut and truffled goat cheese makes for a rich starter. But the standout is the signature Dallal ceviche—a composed mound of red peppers, beets, and eggplant, sitting in a pool of sheep's milk yogurt. The fitting final touch: a crown of cubed challah croutons.

The Herbert Samuel Restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya: In a city where the salad is more likely to be a star entrée rather than a sidelined starter, the fourteen-ingredient tomato salad is, fittingly, Herbert Samuel’s signature dish. An ode to the tomato, the big bowl tosses in seven varieties of market-fresh tomatoes (cherry to tiger heritage), olives, radishes, onion, scallion, and basil leaves. “I go every morning to the market to see what’s freshest,” says chef Kobi Obayon, who works in a big open kitchen overlooking the Mediterranean coastline. It’s the restaurant’s kosher mantle, though, that helps elevate the salad here, as well as all of the veggie-centric cuisine in Tel Aviv. “When you learn to cook without butter or cream,” Obayon says, “you learn to work with the flavor of the raw vegetables themselves.”





The Ultimate Guide to Tel Aviv

Becky , 1/30/2016 12:00:00 AM

Red umbrellas, beachside bars and restaurants line the white sands of the Mediterranean. Tanned, young Tel Avivian men purposefully hit their paddleball in the direction of the topless sunbathers. Tunes blast chaotically from countless different speakers—a muddled mash-up of Arabic, Hebrew and American 80’s classics. As I cross the street to the beach, horns honk unremittingly through the clamorous city traffic and motorcycles weave through the narrow gap between cars. Modernized five-star resorts tower in the distance and baroque night clubs intermingle with tin sheet roofs and crumbling, graffiti-adorned walls.


Tel Aviv has evolved into a global metropolitan with food and fare from cultures all over the world. Beach bars and night clubs imbue a Miami feel in the “party city that never sleeps.” The modern Chelsea Market-type culinary innovations and Central Park-like running trails invite the sense of a stroll though New York City. First-time tourists exclaim, “This looks nothing like the Israel you see on T.V.!” As Israel is featured in its violence, not in Tel Aviv’s progressive art, culinary culture, and unique history. For those headed to Israel, consider this your guide to discovering Tel Aviv!

First order of business? To eat hummus, of course!

Though claiming a “best hummus” is nearly as controversial as West Bank policy, Hummus Asli off Dizengoff St. has our vote. Don’t judge the quality of the food by the hole-in-the-wall location. Hummus is taken seriously in Israel, and Asli does it right.

Take time to relax on Mezizim Beach.

Mezizim Beach in northern Tel Aviv, offers beachside bars, volleyball courts, soccer fields and beach umbrellas and chairs for an optimum seaside relaxation. It’s said that Tel Aviv never sleeps and at Mezizim Beach you’ll find folks out playing beach volleyball until 2 or 3 a.m! 

Stay at the new Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv.

Opening this month, Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv is a branch from the original Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem. Abraham Tel Aviv is located at Rothschild and Levontin—the cool “up-and-coming” area of Tel Aviv. The lounge hosts a stage with weekly events, open mic nights, a tap bar and trivia. Pub crawls will sample Tel Aviv’s greatest nightlife spots and each Friday night, Abraham Hostel hosts Shabbat dinner where the guests all chip in to cook the traditional Israeli foods and partake in the Sabbath traditions. Guided tours are offered to guests or other travelers not staying with the hostel to Masada, Petra, the Negev Desert, and more. 

 Stay fit & sweat it out at Yarkon Park. 

A river runs through Yarkon's Central Park-like green space, serving as Tel Aviv’s picnic mecca. Pack some fresh fruit from the markets, a blanket and enjoy. This lively hotspot is in action 24-hours/day with endless running trails, pick-up soccer games, competitive basketball, trampoline parks, paddle boat and bike rentals, work out facilities, and playgrounds. There are even skateboarding ramps, a climbing wall and a water park. The running trails culminate at the Mediterranean Sea and Port of Tel Aviv restaurants and shopping. Jog to the end of the Yarkon River to reward yourself with a drink on the beach.

Enjoy the nightlife of a “world’s best” party city.

Buxa is voted Tel Aviv’s greatest dancing bar with a trendy hipster vibe. Underground house music, crowded dance floors, electric lights flashing from the low ceiling. The Blockis a favorite night club, as well. Just looking for a drink? Check out the “secret” Jasper Bar: a classy, romantic speakeasy where the fun seems to last until 5 in the morning and the cocktails don’t disappoint. 

Visit the colorful Jaffa Market!

Jaffa was conquered by the King of Egypt in 1500 B.C., used by King Solomon in 1000 B.C., and has held Grecian markets, Crusades conquests and British rule. Now Jaffa is unified with Tel Aviv as one municipal entity. The old limestone, cave-like dwellings have been converted to art displays and shops with a great flea market nearby. The Jaffa Flea Market is great for unique jewelry, kerosene lamps, and a wooden camel to bring home for mom. Dust off your haggling skills to get the best price. Fresh juice stands and falafel and shawarma joints sweeten the deal.

An affordable option to sample Israeli cuisine.

You won’t leave Tel Aviv with out your fair share of hummus, falafel, or shawarma. HaMiznon, our go-to Israeli cuisine eatery, is more than just the incredible pita-filled creations. Menus are handwritten on brown paper bags and music blares through the fast-paced food assembly chaos. If you’re over on your travel budget, the gratis self-serve pita bread and sides could fill you up alone. Try the lamb, steak, or vegetarian options. As for Israeli dessert? Stop by a bakery for a nice chocolate bobka or baklava And sample the halva from the markets. You’ll thank me later.

Shop the Sarona Markets.

The new Sarona Market takes the cake—a modernized replica of Chelsea Market in New York with any kind of global cuisine at your finger tips. Wine can be dispensed and sampled from the wall, Belgian waffles decked in ice creams and toppings, killer steak burgers, bold coffee, decadent eclairs, and countless other options. Though the older, traditional markets surely can’t be missed. Shuk HaCarmel, becoming trendy due to its proximity to the Neveh Tzedek area, has been serving Tel Aviv fresh produce, meat, spices, cheeses, and breads since before Israel was even a country. 

Tips on getting around Tel Aviv. 

Use the sherut 5to get just about anywhere in Tel Aviv. A sherut is a large yellow van that serves as a shared taxi. On Shabbat (Saturday) buses don’t run but this sherut will. A large number “5” featured on the windshield will indicate the route. The sherut can hold up to 12 people and runs the standard bus fare (6-8 shekels per person). Flag down the sherut from any spot along the route, take a seat and pass the money up to the driver. Sherut taxis generally follow public bus routes within the city and are identified by numbers that signify their routes. Route 5 runs from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station through Rothschild and Dizengoff up to Weitzman St. The bus number 5 runs the same route but more slowly and crowded. Although the bus goes all the way to Arlozorov Train Station, the sherut does not. 

And don’t miss…

Vitrina for burgers.

Chateau Shaul for wine bar and decadent chocolate.

JAVA for coffee.

Shila for upscale seafood.

Taizu for world-class, unique Asian cuisine.

Kulialma for an underground half open Bar that hosts great D.J’s.

Container for seafood and live music on Friday afternoon.

The Barmitzva for a chill beer and tapas.

Bendeict for a good brunch option. 


Get To Know Tel Aviv: 3 Things Not To Miss In Israel's Coolest City

Breanna Wilson , 7/8/2016 12:00:00 AM

It’s a bold statement but someone has to make it – Tel Aviv is the destination of the year. Attracting travelers of all types – trendsetting millennials, digital nomads, seasoned travelers and even first-time adventurers – Tel Aviv is one of those places that has its own unique thing going on, yet in a totally familiar I belong here kind of way. That’s when you know a city is special. And while there are many, many reasons why Tel Aviv is the place to be right now, these three things deserve an honorable mention.

Five-star boutique hotels are popping up left and right.

Right now, if you ask anyone in Tel Aviv, they’ll tell you that the Norman, a chic 1920′s-inspired boutique hotel right off of Rothschild Boulevard, is without an undisputed doubt the hottest hotel in the city at the moment. With only 50 rooms between the hotel’s two Bauhaus buildings, which are connected by the cutest citrus garden in the city might I add, the exclusivity of the hotel is just a part of what makes it so special. From the rooftop pool to the beautiful Norman Restaurant, this isn’t only where the elite stay, it’s where the elite come to play. But the Norman isn’t the only first-class boutique hotel that’s turning heads in Tel Aviv, the Hotel Montefiore and Alma Hotel are just as elegant and luxurious. Add in the Brown Urban Hotel which is quickly becoming a hotspot for locals thanks to their mix of art and fashion events, and you have a mix of boutique hotels turned local hideaways that give an authentic taste of Tel Aviv that you wouldn’t normally expect to find quite so quickly as an outsider. And with newcomers like the Poli House expected to open at the end of June, Tel Aviv might be one of the only cities in the world where it’s completely acceptable to never leave your hotel every time you visit.

Tel Aviv’s food scene isn’t doing any crazy molecular gastronomy, but the simple straight forward food that they are doing? It’s absolutely incredible.

While you won’t find foams and spherified foods here, which is actually a much welcomed break from a trend that has taken over too much in recent years, what you will find is some of the most straight forward, perfectly executed food in the world. There’s a reason that they’ve been able to do this food for years without complaint or the need to reinvent the cuisine – it’s absolutely perfect just the way that it is. From the creamiest hummus that you’ll ever find – which locals swear is at Abu Hassan in Jaffa (seriously, it will ruin what you thought hummus was) – to the freshest fish and vegetables that speak for themselves, the food scene in Tel Aviv is vibrant and fresh without even having to try. And the places that you really want to seek out are the staples that locals love, from Ha’achim to Port Said to Yom Tov Delicatessen at Levinsky Market (who will also be opening a dedicated sandwich shop any day now in the same area), and you can’t forget Shmuel at Carmel Market. While you can still find five-star world-inspired cuisine at places like Catit (Mediterranean/French), why would you want to when you’re in a place with a local cuisine that’s this perfect?

Neve Tzedek is the city’s version of SoHo, but better.

Modern and chic, Neve Tzedek is one of the oldest districts in town and was also the first Jewish neighborhood built outside of Jaffa’s Old City. While the area itself is old, the vibe is young, making this part of town particularly attractive for shopping, eating and just mingling with stylish locals. Kind of like the good-old-days in New York City’s SoHo, before the chains and crowds of tourists came flocking in. Especially Shabazi Street, the main hub for the boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants that the area is known for among hip locals. And while the area is popular, it’s not overwhelming (remember what I just said about the tourists flocking to SoHo?). To make the best use of your time on Shabazi Street, head straight to Agas and Tamar Jewelry for a little piece to remember the city by, grab a gelato at the local favorite Anita to cool off, a bite at Suzanna (always opt to eat on the tucked away terrace) and finally end the day with wine at Zazo Wine Bar. While there’s a lot to experience in Neve Tzedek, do it all at your own pace, Tel Aviv is best enjoyed at leisure.

Tel Aviv in Forbes list of most beautiful destinations

Ynet, 9/26/2016 12:00:00 AM

The international finance magazine listed Tel Aviv in 15th place; 'Tel Aviv's main strength is not necessarily cafes and restaurants, but people who love the good life.'

International financial magazine Forbes ranked Tel Aviv as one of the 20 most beautiful destinations in the world. According to the rating conducted with the travel community and Lifestream-style social networks, "Beautiful Destinations", Tel Aviv was ranked in 15th place. Each of the competing destinations were presented by a local photographer.

Tel Aviv was photographed by Sivan Askayo, who defined Tel Aviv-Jaffa as a chic Mediterranean metropolis, whose main strength is "not necessarily cafes and restaurants, but people who love the good life." The top three destinations were New York, Venice and Los Angeles.

In recent years, Tel Aviv has been included on similar lists including, among other things, a list of "best ten coastal cities in the world" by National Geographic, "one of the five best culinary cities in the world" by Conde Nast Traveler, "Europe's innovation center," according to the Wall Street Journal and more.

Eitan Schwartz, CEO of Tel Aviv Global, said "as a result of the new rankings, one of the largest municipal investments in recent years has made the city very cool and very beautiful, and more and more people in the world are being drawn in by its charm."

Tel Aviv's Diaghilev Hotel joins the hottest global art trend

Globes Online , 11/6/2016 12:00:00 AM

At first glance, the Diaghilev Live Art Boutique Hotel, situated on Tel Aviv's Mazeh Street, resembles a typical Tel Aviv museum or gallery. 600 art pieces by 40 Israeli artists adorn the hotel's public spaces, while each room displays a unique art piece - which you may come to appreciate during you stay, and possibly even buy and take as a memento from your experience in the hotel.

The hotel was opened in 2010, and its focus on the arts is manifested in different manners, including working spaces for startups developing ideas - an art form in itself. In the hotel, you can find numerous paintings and sculptures of various styles, a collection of hand woven carpets and more. The hotel's concept revolves around Sergei Diaghilev, an early 20th century Russian producer who lived in Paris and established a ballet group. Diaghilev collaborated with some of the great artists of his time, such as Picasso, Miró and Matisse, who produced scenery for the ballet, and Coco Chanel who, among other things, designed costumes for the dancers. At the same time, the hotel is not a mausoleum for Diaghilev, but rather a place devoted to promoting local art.

The hotel's exhibitions and art pieces are renewed annually, as an entire exhibition. During the year, new pieces might be introduced to replace those purchased by visitors; most pieces sold are indeed those displayed in the hotel rooms.

The Diaghilev is not alone: other hotels devoted to furthering Israeli art include Zikhron Yaakov's Elma Hotel, an initiative by Lily Elstein, a descendant of a family with a long heritage in Zikhron Yaakov. Elstein had taken the place under her wing and turned it into a large art complex, with 750 square meters devoted to visual and plastic art exhibitions. The Atlas Chain's Tel Aviv boutique hotel Artplus also houses works of art, some of which have been created specifically for the hotel. The hotel has recently launched the Room Service project, which includes seven new guest rooms containing works by artists, in addition to those the hotel already had.

In the near future, the Atlas chain is also expected to open the Bezalel Hotel in Jerusalem, which will be devoted to promoting Israeli art, with a focus on unique furnishings and the design of the hotel itself.

This art trend encompasses many hotels overseas, for example New York's Gramercy Park Hotel and Budapest's Bohem Art Hotel, hotels whose walls and rooms are decorated by art pieces, which are usually put up for sale.

Promoting local art using hotels is a concept that could be rewarding for everyone, particularly young and starting artists: the artists, specifically those who sell less, gain exposure and the opportunity to sell their work, hotels gain the benefits of design with no financial investment, while also receiving a share of art sales, and we, the visitors, get to enjoy the pieces and possibly even return home with an original painting.

The do's and don'ts of interior design

Yetti Slasky, Interior Design and Home Styling, 10/2/2016 12:00:00 AM

It happens to everyone— you are shopping and see the perfect home decor accessory. Immediately you think, Oh! This will look fabulous in my house!

Of course, you give in to the impulse-buy and excitedly bring home your newfound treasure— only to discover that what looked like the ideal accessory looks hideous when put in place, and you are left saying, what was I thinking? Where did I go wrong?

I am not saying that you should not buy something that you fall immediately in love with, but maybe just keep the receipt in case it does not work the way you had originally thought.

What most of us fail to realize is that interior design does not just happen. It takes a keen and knowledgeable eye. You may be out shopping and see something that you love, but that does not necessarily mean that it will look perfect in your home.  

When an interior designer walks into a home, he/she instinctively looks at the whole picture. We know how significant for example lighting is, and how imperative it is to pick the right color in order to create the right atmosphere. We always take into consideration room size, scale, and placement of the furniture. These, among others factors are fundamentally important in how your house will eventually turn out. Of course, no home should be without personality. Your home is and should be YOUR home.

I am going to share with you a few tips that will come in handy when you want to upgrade, renovate or buy a home.  I have found over time that there are common mistakes that people make when designing their interiors. The following are 10 do's and don’ts when you are designing your home.

1) Don’t rush into the renovation.

You have to take your time with the planning stages.

Before renovating or decorating your home, or just your bedroom or lounge for that matter, decide on the mood you would like to create and how you would like it to feel – relaxed or energized, calm or stimulated, extroverted or contemplative. No less important is determining the functionality of each space in the house.

Let’s take the bathroom for example. Are you the quick, no frills shower type or do you prefer to pamper yourself in your luxurious bath, or maybe you would like to have both options available. In addition do not forget to plan the electrical outlets, lights and your storage space –not just for bulky items such as towels but also for small ones such as razors.

2) Don’t match all your furniture.

Another very common mistake is going to a furniture showroom and buying everything as a set. This results in a home that lacks character. It might seem like a smart idea to buy everything together, but ultra-coordinated is boring.

Do not be afraid to mix colors, patterns and textures – when you focus too hard on making everything match perfectly, you end up with a predictable and bland result.

I always use layering and repetition of elements and motifs to achieve a specific look when giving a home its character. Most people get the concept of layering when it comes to fashion. In design, it is not much different. Pick something you love, and then repeat the color or the pattern.

However, if you suspect your attempts at "mix and match” just look messy or your furniture arrangements are a little too fussy, and you are just not managing to get the look that you wanted, it is time to call in a professional to really do the job properly.

3) Don’t forget to measure.

Every piece of furniture looks great in the store—but chances are your rooms are not showroom size. I cannot stress this enough. If you are buying furniture overseas, or if you want to take furniture with you to your new home in Israel, measure first! I lost count of the amount of times I have spoken to American couples who shipped their beautiful bedroom set to Israel, just to find out that a headboard, king bed, side tables as well as a dresser do not fit in Israeli size standard size bedrooms. Since the houses in Israel are generally smaller than those you lived in overseas, you have to measure your space and take it into consideration.

4) Don’t scatter.

We all have them - collections.  Somehow, it started with one cute ceramic elephant bought on your overseas trip to Thailand and now you have a collection of elephants in various shapes, sizes and colors that you have compiled over the years. One little elephant on your sideboard, while another elephant stands in the window frame.

Collections do add character and should be conversation pieces. What they should not be is scattered randomly around the room, making the place look unorganized and messy. The key is to display them proudly and prominently in one place. Edit your collection as much as possible——then put everything in a curio cabinet or a specially designed unit to display your pieces.

5) Do create harmony.

I cannot stress this enough. Never isolate rooms. Create flow and tranquility between one room and the next by visually linking the adjacent spaces.  Repeat a pattern or carry an accent color or another visual element such as style, motif or mood from one space to another. Do not match textiles and furniture – relate them. You will notice that it will help you achieve a harmonious feel to your home.

6) Do invest in proper lighting.

The mistake I see most often is light fixtures that are too small or that do not dress the room properly. It is imperative to use appropriately scaled, relevant lighting. Getting the lighting right is crucial to setting the mood and the tone. Natural light is always best but is not always possible, so invest in beautiful lamps and uplighters to help bring a room to life.

7) Do scale your home.

Using objects of different sizes allows you to inject a room with character and wit. If everything is of the same proportion, the result can be uninspiring and predictable. Think of floors made with huge stone slabs and great planks of wood. Imagine doors that stand from the floor right up to the ceiling. Over- and under-scaling is a decorating masterstroke that has been around for centuries.

Scale is one of the most difficult things to learn to use effectively in design, but it can make more difference to the overall effect than color, texture or display. With the right scale, your room is well on its way towards a successful design.

8) Do display art. 

You should decorate your walls with either a rare oil painting, a modern painting or a display of black and white wedding pictures, which tells your family’s story through the generations. You can literally turn any wall of your home into your own personal art gallery. 

9) Do let furniture float.

Have you ever felt that a room was just "off" somehow, but you just could not place what it was? Living rooms need a good layout that promotes good traffic flow. Furniture spacing and placement is crucial to comfort and functionality. For example, you will have a much more interesting space if you allow breathing room around your pieces of furniture. Allow the furniture to float in the room, away from the walls.  

  1. Don't forget the details.

It’s a phrase you hear often: design is in the details. With design, paying attention to fine points —and in some cases, obsessively focusing on “what isn’t right”—can take a design from “nearly there” to “there” and beyond.

Once you train your eye to notice, you will see that details, details, details make the result special.

Each house and each renovation project has its own design problems, some people are up for the challenge. But, most people, are frustrated by the amount of choices and decisions they have to make—everything from type, to colors, to overall tone of the site. 

In addition, the pressure of going wrong that will cost you in aggravation, outlay and time, gives many people a headache before they even start.

Top all that off with language - and mentality barriers that you face with the contractors, plumbers, painters, electricians, in stores and getting fair price quotes, and most will agree that hiring a professional interior designer makes a lot of sense.








Closest to the Shore

Joel Tzafrir, 12/8/2016 12:00:00 AM

Demand for central Tel Aviv beachfront luxury apartments continues its steady rise. Both the scarce supply of real estate and attractiveness of the city provide an explanation for prices approaching those of the world's most expensive residential
markets. Real estate expert Eyal Hartogs explains why nobody's talking about a speculative bubble. 

No one moving along the Tel Aviv promenade, including the devotees of early-morning runs, can possibly ignore the everchanging urban landscape. More new buildings are sprouting up along the coast, making it seem as though there's no square meter of land not occupied by bulldozers and cranes. “In recent years, the Tel Aviv waterfront has become one of the most sought-after real estate locations in Israel, both by foreigners and by wealthy Israelis, neither of which are scarce these days,” says Eyal Hartogs, owner of Holland Real Estate, who's been active for more than 20 years
in Tel Aviv luxury properties. “The Tel Aviv waterfront was and remains a hit, with demand constantly growing and supply not always adequate.” 

Just like London or New York

Hartogs attributes the sharply rising demand to the number of people who are newly rich, many of them from the high-tech field. He sees the rapid accumulation of wealth in the city as exceptional, with the desire to realize success being expressed, among other things, by the urge to acquire luxury residences in the First Hebrew City. Adding to local interest, there's the fairly steady demand of diaspora Jews, particularly from Europe, feeling insecure in their native countries and looking for a place of refuge in troubled times.
The reason all these elements focus on Tel Aviv shouldn't be surprising. “Today, Tel Aviv is included in the small number of large cities that people like to come to and enjoy themselves, just like London or New York,” says Hartogs.

“The weather, the food, the vibe, the places of entertainment, and the liberal atmosphere constitute a huge gravitational pull to the city, which has become a preferred destination for many people. They purchase premium real estate at prices that approach those of the world's most expensive property markets.”

The limited supply is one reason for the high prices. Most of the Tel Aviv beachfront is already built up, with what little that remains already earmarked for construction. Almost no land is unclaimed, necessitating a secondary option a little farther from the beach on streets near the promenade like Hayarkon, where it's still possible to find something with a sea view, plus Vitkin, Jabotinsky and other streets within walking distance to the beach.

The third level of priority includes Neve Tzedek and Rothschild Boulevard, followed by Tel Aviv's Old North. The main criteria for the various grades of priority and price is, of course, proximity to the sea. Hartogs says the property shortage is exacerbated by the fact that most potential buyers are wealthy, and don't need to sell their current homes to purchase a new residence. The fact that there's no real exchange of property acts to accentuate the shortage.
The demand is genuine and not speculative, Hartogs insists. He doesn't foresee the development of “ghost residences” found in Jerusalem, where luxury apartments are occupied only during holiday periods and remain vacant for most of the year. One of the reasons, he says, is the dispersal of foreign buyers among all of Tel Aviv's tall buildings,
unlike Jerusalem where entire rows of low buildings have been sold to foreigners.

Connecting residential towers and luxury hotels

One of the most prominent new projects along the beachfront is David Promenade Residences, exactly midway between the veteran Tel Aviv Hilton and the David Intercontinental on Herbert Samuel Street. It's an especially luxurious complex, including two 28-story towers – one of which will be residential, consisting of 50 luxury apartments, the other
housing a 250-room hotel. The entrepreneurs are NHL, owners of the David Intercontinental, the David Dead Sea, and the Grand Court in Jerusalem. Most of the residences in the complex have been sold, but a few apartments and penthouses are still available.

The residential tower/luxury hotel connection is increasingly popular around the world. Tel Aviv is now joining other
cities in the West with expertise in providing the ultimate in service to the financial elite. It's therefore appropriate that the hotel itself will be managed by the Kempinski firm, founded in 1987 and still considered one of Europe's top luxury hotel chains.

Hartogs hasn't identified any Israeli real estate “bubble,” not in Tel Aviv luxury housing which he expects to continue and not in real estate elsewhere in Israel. In the periphery, he foresees housing prices eventually declining a bit, as current price levels can't be maintained over the long run.

In the meantime, he observes a movement to the periphery by those who can't afford Tel Aviv apartments, relocating to nearby satellite cities such as Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva and Rosh Ha'ayin. It's not a matter of chance that cities in the nearby periphery, like Kiryat Gat, are developing.

Tel Aviv will continue to behave like Tel Aviv, a kind of state within a state like other major metropolitan areas around the world – even if there's a gap between them and other parts of Israel, where demand also exceeds supply.

Government sets 24-year housing target

Globes , 2/13/2017 12:00:00 AM

The housing cabinet has approved a construction target of 1.5 million new housing units by 2040.

The housing cabinet, led by Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon, today approved a strategic housing plan designed to provide a solution for Israel's housing needs until 2040. The plan sets a target of 1.5 million housing units for construction within 24 years.

The decision follows a June 2015 cabinet resolution stating the need for a strategic housing plan addressing future demand, geographic dispersal, urban renewal, a strategic stock of housing, price targets, and streamlining of the production chain.

The plan is based on a forecast by the National Economic Council for 2017-2040, which stated that a planning stock of 2.7 billion housing units should be prepared for this period. Over the next four years, the planning system will have to approve 108,000 housing units a year, rising to 123,000 housing units a year in 2036-2040.

Kahlon said, "For the first time in years, there is a strategic plan for both the short and long term. In the short term, the government is giving young couples and people without housing top priority, and is getting to the root of the housing problem. In the long term, our responsibility is to make sure that a new crisis does not emerge in the future."

Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant added, "The strategic plan emphasizes solutions for all the people expected to enter the demand cycle in the coming years. The plan is designed above all for those without housing: young couples and demobilized soldiers."

The housing unit targets for 2017-2040 are 441,000 for the northern district, 315,000 for the Haifa district, 657,000 for the central district, 436,000 for the Tel Aviv district, 369,000 for the Jerusalem district, and 490,000 for the southern district.

What are the world's healthiest countries?

Jamie Bender , 11/2/2015 12:00:00 AM

When it comes to better health, we should all be looking east. Far east, to be precise.

Singapore, a bustling yet small island nation in Southeast Asia that boasts breathtaking architecture and a flourishing manufacturing industry, has been named the world's healthiest country in a ranking by Bloomberg that culls data from the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. Singapore excelled in factors such as low tobacco use, high life expectancy, low infant mortality and low percentage of underweight children.

Rounding out the top 10 were Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, Israel, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. Both the U.S. and the U.K. failed to grace the top 20, coming in at No. 21 and No. 33, respectively. No countries from North or South America made the top 20, either.

These rankings reflect previous findings from the World Health Organization highlighting countries with the longest life expectancy, where Singapore also ranked high (though not quite No. 1), and Israel came in at No. 4. While it's true that life expectancy is up pretty much everywhere in the world, the statistics are especially high in Israel, where male babies born in 2012 can expect to live an average of 80.2 years. WHO's life expectancy report was a large part of the calculation for Bloomberg's most recent rankings.

Arguably the least surprising inhabitants of the Top 10 in Bloomberg's rankings were countries from the Mediterranean region, including Spain, Israel and Italy. Health experts, doctors and residents of the region have touted the vast benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which includes foods rich in fiber and low in fat and carbohydrates like olive oil, fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish. Research has pointed to lowered risks of breast cancer and cognitive decline in people who adopt a Mediterranean diet.

Bloomberg included only countries with a population of 1 million or more in its rankings and calculated each country's health score and health risk score, then subtracted the health risk score from the health score to determine its rank in the list. In addition to life expectancy, health score factors included infant mortality, death rates per age group, and causes of death; health-risk score factors included population of smokers, drinkers and people who are overweight; the country's indoor and outdoor pollution and water safety levels; and immunization coverage

The world's top 10 party towns

, 12/22/2017 12:00:00 AM

Looking to tread terrain still untouched by foreign stag expeditions? Want to unwind in luxury or drink up the sun? Lonely Planet lists the world's top 10 party cities in its new guide, the 1000 Ultimate Experiences.

1. Belgrade, Serbia 

The long years of bad press that kept Serbia off the map have now passed, and foreigners are now realizing what locals always knew - that Belgrade really rocks. With an exuberant population and its legacy as an intellectual hangout, Belgrade offers varied nightlife, ranging from eclectic watering holes for those in the know, to the busy restaurants and bars of the Skadarlija district and the summer clubs in barges on the Sava and Danube Rivers.

2. Montreal, Canada

Easygoing Montreal is increasingly popular with foreign travelers, who enjoy the joie de vivre of a place with bilingual ambiance, good local beer and even skiing at nearby Mt Royal. Montreal's irrepressible student population and atmospheric old quarter give the city a light-hearted, Bohemian air. There are Old World cafes, cool jazz clubs, packed discos and late bars to choose from, plus  a popular comedy festival each July.

3. Buenos Aires, Argeintina

4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

For those who can afford it, the world capital of conspicuous consumption is unbeatable. Dubai's extravagance is way over the top, with ultra luxury hotels on artificial islands, slick modern malls and tonnes of precious metals glittering in shops. Yet Dubai is also a cosmopolitan place, so if you're not invited to party on board the private yacht of a celebrity, you can always mingle with people from around the world in the swank bars and clubs of the Middle East's most decadent desert getaway.

5. Thessaloniki, Greece

Greece's second city has style, with plenty of fashionable shops and salons. Thessaloniki boasts great nightlife during those long months when more famous Greek destinations are deep in hibernation, from arty cafes to Latin bars to discos pumping out house music to salacious bouzoukia (clubs featuring twangy, Eastern-flavored Greek folk-pop). That's plenty to keep you occupied after you've traversed the sublime Byzantine churches, museums and ruins. It's not cheap, but no Greek city save Athens compares.

6. La Paz, Bolivia

Don't forget that liquor goes to the head quickly in the Bolivian capital, well over 3000 m above sea level. Get hot and sweaty in one of many slick nightclubs, which cater to chic locals and the foreign contingent. The natives are friendly and, with a steady stream of travellers, it's a town of many tongues. World-class bars, swank cafes and restaurants serenading with traditional music round out the offerings. Buy traditional Aymara herbs at the Witches' Market (Mercado de Brujas) to ward off hangovers and bothersome spirits.

7. Cape Town, South Africa

With the 2010 World Cup bringing a global audience to South Africa, the partying will only get harder as travellers converge on a city already well known for nightlife. Luxuriate on some of the world's best beaches by day and kick back under the moonlight at suave cocktail bars by night. Two hours east, in the Indian Ocean, lies the elegant beach village of Mossel Bay, with more great beaches and chic flair. Visitors must try some of the wines crafted by South Africa's world-renowned vintners, either at a Cape Town bar or at one of several wineries nearby.

8. Baku, Azerbaijan 

Since the 1990s, when it started taking off as a hub for Caspian Sea oil and gas, Baku has been transformed and this newfound economic stimulation hasn't failed to influence urban nightlife. The cash injection from energy projects, enhanced by the presence of thousands of international oil workers and wealthy consultants, has turned Baku into an oasis of excess in an otherwise fairly traditional Muslim country.

9. Auckland, New Zealand

Myriad cafes, bars and dinner clubs cater to a hip young clientele. Try the glittering waterfront for smart bars, and hit the happening clubs (some stay open 24 hours). There are plenty of live shows on offer too, from folk in Devonport to louder sounds at Mt Eden. And you can always walk off the Sky Tower - the southern hemisphere's tallest structure - a 328m cable-controlled drop in which jumpers reach a speed of 85kph.

10. TEL AVIV, Israel

Like elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Israel's second largest city gets going late. The endless bars, pubs and cocktail venues start to fill up by midnight, from which point the nightclubs get revved up with dancing till dawn. Nowadays an international crowd joins Israelis for a mixed bag of funk, pop, house and techno at the city's dozens of entertainment hotspots. Tel Aviv has a relaxed air, and prides itself on being gay-friendly and outgoing.


The 10 (+1) Best Jazz Clubs in the World

NIKOS FOTAKIS, 12/22/2017 12:00:00 AM
What makes a jazz club? The music, of course. The atmosphere. The cultural significance. As an art form born in African-American communities of the 19th century and expanded in the urban melting pots of the 20th, jazz is the soundtrack of the concrete jungle. Which makes the jazz club an essential element in any modern city's ecosystem. Here are some of the best examples. 

1. Village Vanguard, New York City

In a city often hailed as the jazz mecca of the world, Village Vanguard is its black stone, the ultimate place of worship, the quintessential jazz club. From the moment you descend the steep stairway to the small basement venue, you find yourself steeped in the history of jazz. From Bill Evans to Brad Mehldau, and from Sonny Rollins to Joe Lovano and Jason Moran, most of the jazz greats have performed in the same dimly lit subterranean space, adding to the aura of this place that’s a point of reference for the global jazz community. Unlike many other historical venues — Birdland, Blue Note, the Cotton Club, etc. — the Village Vanguard has not changed, nor has it ever stopped functioning. It’s been at the same address (178 Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village) for 80 years, since opening in 1935. What’s even more impressive is that it’s still run by the same people: Lorraine Gordon, the nonagenarian owner and widow of the club’s founder and original manager, Max Gordon, is herself a New York institution.

2. Preservation Hall, New Orleans

Yes, the birthplace of jazz is probably the home to hotter venues than this — such as Blue Nile, Spotted Cat, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse or any place where Kermit Ruffins is playing. But there is no other place that can transport the audience through time to the very origins of jazz. Since its opening in 1961,  Preservation Hall has been so much more than a jazz club. Home of the eponymous jazz band, devoted to the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and the other heroes of New Orleans music, it is the perennial home of the original sound of jazz, a place where the Crescent City tradition is meant to pass on from one generation to another in the most exciting and delightful way. 

3. Bimhuis, Amsterdam

Perched on one side of Amsterdam’s almost transparent glass-and-iron riverside Muziekgebouw (“Music Building”), Bimhuis is arguably the best jazz club in Europe, offering the ideal live experience. Its acoustics are almost perfect, and so is the amphitheater-style seating that allows each patron the best visual access to what’s happening on stage — and beyond: During a concert, the curtains behind the band are raised, revealing the glass wall that reveals the commanding, Renzo Piano-designed Nemo Museum. It’s a visual experience that reflects the thrilling sounds of the international jazz masters regularly performing at the Bimhuis. 

4. Blue Note, Tokyo

As urban settings go, few cities can rival Tokyo. It is no wonder, then, that the city is home to a legendary New York jazz club franchise. Sleek, high-end, luxurious and sophisticated, the Blue Note is a symbol of the globalization of jazz aesthetics, featuring a regular who’s-who of American jazzmen along with local talent, such as the superb Toshiko Akiyoshi.

5. Nublu, New York & Istanbul

Istanbul is often described as an Eastern New York — a melting pot of bursting creativity. It’s only natural, then, that the two cities share a jazz club. And it’s not just any club. Established by the ingenious Swedish-Turkish sax player Ilhan Ersahin, Nublu opened in New York’s Lower East Side in 2002, when the area was healing from the September 11 attacks. Soon, the place became a hub for innovative musicians, creating a sound of its own: an urban blend of Afro-Caribbean-electro-dance-jazz-funk with a Brazilian tinge. Ten years later, the Nublu sound would travel to Istanbul. 

6. Tramjazz, Rome

The meeting point is the cable car station at the Piazza di Porta Maggiore. From there, twice a week, the “Tramjazz” begins its journey through the streets of the Eternal City, offering a night of delight. The vintage cable car is transformed into a cozy mobile club and restaurant serving traditional local dishes. The middle part of the old carriage is reserved for the small band — a duo or trio playing while the tram roams the streets of Rome. When it stops in front of the Colosseum, the setting is one of the most dramatic any musician (or music fan) could ask for.


7. Piano Barge, Vannes, France

What could be better than a mobile jazz club? How about a floating one? Located in the Gulf of Morbihan in the small Breton city of Vannes, Piano Barge is the best jazz club to emerge anywhere in the world these past two years. An old boat turned into a chic bistro, Piano Barge is a dream come true for the French jazz community, as it does more than just host live sessions: Some of its cabins are used as studios, with the goal of producing 20 to 30 new albums a year.

8. Beit HaAmudim, Tel Aviv

The Israeli jazz scene has been in full bloom for quite some time now, and it owes a lot to venues like Beit HaAmudim. Located in an old house decorated with columns and painted floors, and situated right next to the Carmel Market, this club is the meeting point of the city’s jazz aficionados. “It’s the place where musicians hang,” says Tamuz Nissim, a Tel Aviv native and a jazz singer who studied in Amsterdam, lived in Athens and is now based in New York. “People go there specifically for the music. It’s really quiet — the bassists play acoustically, no amp.” 

9. The Crypt, Cape Town

A jazz club located under a church? The aptly named Crypt is just that. It’s a labor of love for its creators, among them the dean of St. George’s Cathedral, a jazz enthusiast whose vision for the cathedral as the “people’s church” led him to reach out to the broader community through the universal language of jazz. “It is very cool,” says Andrew Coote, a South African trumpeter living in Melbourne. “It feels like you’re in an old club in Rome.”

10. Creative Jazz Club Aotearoa, Auckland

We tend to forget it sometimes, but a club is actually not a place. It’s a meeting of like-minded people, such as the community of musicians who formed Auckland’s Creative Jazz Club. It holds its weekly meetings in the basement of the 1885 Britomart bar. Upstairs, a youthful crowd enjoys cocktails and loud music, not suspecting that just below their feet, some of New Zealand’s best jazz artists are playing challenging music in an intimate setting to people lounging on sofas scattered around the band. It’s the perfect cover.

+1. Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne

It might be bold, even strange, to claim that the world’s best jazz club is in Australia, but many people shared this opinion (articulated in a Lonely Planet guide to Melbourne). Among those people? Wynton Marsalis and Prince. Bennets Lane Jazz Club shut down in June after an epic night titled “Death of a Jazz Club.” As for its legacy, it will go on: The owners promise to open two new clubs. In the meantime, the city’s vibrant jazz scene is scattered among Melbourne’s other venues, notably Paris Cat and Uptown Jazz Cafe.




8,000 new homes planned for Tel Aviv

Globes [online], Israel Business News, 1/1/2018 12:00:00 AM

The Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Commission in the Planning Administration today granted final approval to a plan in the third precinct in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Commission chairperson Daniela Posek signed the authorization validating the plan. The plan, the first signed in 2018, has been awaited by the developers, the homeowners, and the municipality for a long time. Approval of the plan now means that the bottleneck in approvals for this area has been released, and quite a few National Outline Plan 38 projects there can now go through. The plan was prepared according to Section 23 of National Outline Plan 38.

Obtaining final approval for the plan took a long time. The third precinct plan was first approved for deposit in October 2012, and the District Planning and Building Commission made it valid in April 2014. A number of appeals were filed against this decision and heard by the national council's sub-committee for appeals in early 2015. The sub-committee handed down its decision in November 2015, and issued another decision on one matter returned to it for discussion by a court order.

The Planning Administration said today, "After hard work by the District Planning and Building Commission in the Planning Administration, in cooperation with the Tel Aviv municipality Engineering Administration, a final version of the plan's provisions was formulated, and is being published now." It was also stated that the corresponding plan for the fourth precinct in Tel Aviv-Jaffa would be published in a few months. The plan provides for the construction of 8,000 new housing units in the third precinct. Now that the plan has been approved, the question of betterment tax is likely to arise, and the municipality may begin levying tax on the sellers of housing units in this precinct, given the betterment created by the approved plan.

The plan applies to residential buildings in the city center. The borders of the plan are Hayarkon Street on the west; Bograshov, Ben Zion, and Marmorek Streets on the south, Ibn Gvirol Street on the east, and Nahal Hayarkon and the Hayarkon River estuary on the north. The plan excludes Ibn Gvirol Street, the Habima Theater and Mann Auditorium site, and the lots to the west, and south of Rabin Square. The plan applies to all of the buildings zoned for residences that have not been marked for preservation in other plans. The plan's total area is 2,431 dunam (607.75 acres).

During the time since the plan was deposited, the District Planning and Building Commission has handled many requests for building permits, including requests for construction that deviated from the deposited plan, but which conformed to the decisions approving the plan (by the District Planning and Building Commission and the appeals committee), thereby facilitating the issuing of building permits in the precinct (under Section 97(b) of the Planning and Building Law).

The plan encourages urban renewal and strengthening buildings in accordance with the principles established in National Outline Plan 38, while adapting them to the features of the area and establishing construction rights and rules for new buildings and additions to existing buildings according to the size and location of the lot, as set forth in the plan documents. Additional provisions apply to buildings to which the UNESCO declaration applies. The plan replaces earlier plans for additional construction that applied to the precinct, and is expected to simplify the information and licensing procedures.

Since a large proportion of the third precinct includes areas marked for preservation, including the White City and a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, most of the construction in the precinct is likely to be low. At the same time, where National Outline Plan 38 is concerned, projects for strengthening and added construction have priority over demolishing and rebuilding projects in this precinct.

Why Tel Aviv is a city you must visit in your lifetime

Jaime Bender , 5/7/2018 12:00:00 AM

Architectural Digest, Conde Nast and other major pubs can't stop raving about the Mediterranean seaside metropolis.

With its dazzling architecture, pristine beaches, charming boutiques, amazing cuisine and near-perfect weather, it's no surprise that the Israeli city of Tel Aviv is atop many a bucket list.

So why isn't it on yours?

This sizzling coastal Mediterranean metropolis is one of those locales that seems to have it all – with an exotic cherry on top. And it's not just tourists and proud citizens who are taking notice. Major publications like Architectural Digest and Conde Nast have been singing the city's praises of late, with the former calling Tel Aviv "a constant balance of old and new" and admiring its "year-round sunshine, cyclists, windsurfers and volleyball players."

Indeed, it's not just sun-seeking tourists who find pleasure along the shores of this city. As it came into its own in the early part of the 20th century, Tel Aviv worked hard to lure a variety of designers, eventually becoming a prime spot for the 1930s-era Bauhaus design movement. It's now home to the largest collection of Bauhaus buildings in the world.

The bright light color schemes of the buildings were chosen not only for their minimalism, but also to reflect heat due to the warm climate. Some of the buildings are even raised on pillars that allow the wind to blow under and cool the apartments. In Israel, the Bauhaus style means flat roofs rather than the slanted ones found in Europe in order to provide a common area where residents can socialize and enjoy the cool, evening climate. Not only is it efficient and practical, but the Bauhaus style is also incredibly eye-catching.

And those buildings aren't just something to gawk at on the way to the beach. The city has taken the city's geometric beauty a step further with the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, a shrine to the unique contemporary design structures that line its streets.

But, wait ... we haven't even mentioned the food yet! Lest you thought Tel Aviv was nothing more than a feast for the eyes, in 2015 it was named by Conde Nast Traveler as the best city in the world to be a vegetarian. The magazine praised the town's abundance of "vegetable-centric restaurants" and wide availability of vegan - and vegetarian- friendly menus at even the most carnivorous of dining establishments.

"It’s easy to see why the under-30 majority, with their modern, Western ideas of eating well, are attracted to vegetarian and vegan fare – whether for idealistic or economic reasons," said Miriam Kresh, a food blogger and frequent contributor to our Israeli Kitchen channel. "Young chefs returning from travels abroad are also influencing the way Israelis see food, with more and more emphasis on vegetarian options. It really is a big celebration of our gorgeous fruits, vegetables, cheeses and grains."

If that doesn't tick off all your travel boxes in one fell swoop, what will?

Inside one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful penthouses

Benyamin Cohen, 6/27/2018 12:00:00 AM

This luxurious, jaw-dropping Tel Aviv home will stop you in your tracks – and it's up for sale!

They say the housing market is hot in the summer. People are often switching jobs, moving to new cities and up for travel of any kind.

Well, if purchasing a new home is on your to-do list, may we humbly offer up a suggestion: This two-story penthouse overlooking the Mediterranean Sea just came up for sale. And it could all be yours for just $45 million.

The penthouse encompasses more than 9,000 square feet (with an additional 3,000 outside on the balconies) and offers amazing ocean views. But don't pack your bags just yet. The building is still under construction with an expected opening of April, 2019. The penthouse is being offered as a "shell" and buyers can customize it precisely to their desires. Need 10 bedrooms? No problem. Only want 5 bedrooms but want to add a massive living area? That can all be arranged.

The penthouse is a duplex and is located on the 24th and 25th floors of the David Promenade Residences in the heart of Tel Aviv– just steps away from shopping, outdoor markets and restaurants. The tower is located right next to the Hotel Kempinski, a luxury European chain that was founded in 1897. Residents of the tower will be able to use the hotel's many amenities including the spa, gym, chef's restaurant, room service, swimming pool, VIP conference rooms and more. The two buildings are connected by a glass enclosure.


5 super-tall skyscrapers coming soon to Tel Aviv

Abigail Klein Leichman, 7/2/2018 12:00:00 AM

Reaching from 28 stories to 100 stories, these Tel Aviv towers will create a new look for the skyline of the Nonstop City.

The skyline of Tel Aviv is punctuated by many gleaming high-rises offering a view of the sea. If you gaze across the horizon, you’ll also see the cranes of construction crews working to build new towers meant for offices, residences and mixed use.

Many of these structures are truly striking works of architecture. Here we take a look at five exceptionally tall buildings in various stages of construction in the Nonstop City.

1. ToHa

ToHa is a two-building complex being built in stages on 4.2 acres of land at the corner of Derech Hashalom, Yigal Allon and Totzeret Haaretz streets (ToHa comes from the latter street name, which translates roughly to Made in Israel).

The first building, to be completed by the end of this year, has 28 floors and is designed in the shape of an iceberg by Israeli native artist/architect Ron Arad of London, working with the local architect Avner Yashar.

The floor space measures 54,000 square meters. The lobby will be seven stories high. On the 26th story, the public will have access to a restaurant, promenade and landscaped terrace. The coworking network WeWork is leasing four floors of ToHa with an option for four more.

Asa Bruno, director of Ron Arad Architects, tells ISRAEL21c he is aiming for Platinum LEED certification for ToHa due to its “green” aspects modeled to respond to the specific water, wind and sun conditions in Tel Aviv.

“Because it’s larger on top, it self-shades so it’s efficient in terms of solar control, and there are passive devices to create climate comfort. All the services are in the legs that support the building – rather than on the roof — so they don’t need cooling. And we are planting more than 400 mature trees on site, much of the water for which will be recycled from the air-conditioning system,” says Bruno.

The second ToHa tower, still in planning, will have about 70 stories.

2. Da Vinci

This 85,000-square-meter project beside Sarona Market at the corner of Da Vinci and Kaplan streets is planned to be completed in May 2022.

The plan combines a low-rise office, retail and public space structure with two 42-story residential towers containing 412 apartments, with a swimming pool, gym and spa in between.

In the office building, each office will open internally to shared balconies overlooking the ground-level public courtyard. From the street, the courtyard is accessed via a garden and three large entrances that lead to retail shops and lobbies servicing the office space above.

Designed by Yashar Architects of Tel Aviv (see above), Da Vinci’s facade is articulated by a grid pattern of intersecting white columns and beams that weave back and forth every five levels of the tower’s ascension.

3. David Promenade Residences

This 28-story residential tower on the beachfront between HaYarkon, HaYarden and Herbert Samuel streets boasts two-level and three-level triplex penthouse apartments.

Due for completion in December this year, the David Promenade Residences were designed by Feigin Architects as a white aluminum-and-glass edifice embracing the natural light pouring in from the west over the Mediterranean Sea.

Terraces face both city and sea, while the building is outfitted with a private gym, sauna and swimming pool.

Owners of each residence will also have the use of 24-hour room service, maid service, ironing and laundry service, spa and swimming pool in the adjacent forthcoming Kempinski Hotel via an above-ground, cube-shaped glass walkway lined with artwork.   

4. Intercity Tower

A 100-floor skyscraper straddling the border of Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, between the Savidor railway and bus station and the Diamond Exchange, is planned by Miloslavsky Architects.

The mixed-use building’s lower two floors will have retail space, followed by five stories for public use, 71 floors of offices and 15 stories for a hotel. In total, Between the Cities will encompass 150,000 square meters (1.6 million square feet) of floor space.

Expected to be completed in 2023, the Intercity Tower will stand 400 meters (1,312 feet) high and encompass 24 high-speed elevators. It is expected to be Israel’s tallest building.

5. Keren Hakirya

It may be another three years until ground is broken for this massive project – two office towers of 80-plus stories and 50 stories, respectively, and two 45-story residential towers above a two-story retail mall — on 9.5 acres at a major midtown intersection near the Kirya, the IDF/Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv.

A central focus of Keren Hakirya is to be a landscaped pedestrian plaza flanked by retail and dining space, similar to Rockefeller Center in New York City.

A pedestrian bridge will link the two commercial buildings and the complex will be served by the future light rail. Bus, bicycle and pedestrian access also is planned, as well as underground parking and service levels.

Architect Alan Aranoff of A.I. Architecture and Urban Design, whose firm did the master plan for the project initiated by the Israel Land Authority, Defense Ministry and Tel Aviv Municipality, tells ISRAEL21c the bigger tower will be the first built.

In the architectural design world, Keren Hakirya has been nicknamed “Toblerone Towers” because its shape is reminiscent of the tall candy bar, consisting of clusters of extruded triangles of different heights.


Israel ranked as one of the world’s most powerful and innovative countries

Jewish News Syndicate , 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM

Israel has been ranked among the top 10 most powerful and innovative countries in the world in two separate surveys published this week by major American media outlets.

In its survey of the world’s most powerful countries, U.S. News and World Report ranked Israel as the 8th-most-powerful nation based upon its military might, strong international alliances, and economic and political influence. The survey, conducted in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the BAV Group, is based upon data collected from some 21,000 people in four different global regions who were asked to associate 80 nations with specific qualities.

In a separate survey, the Bloomberg financial news agency ranked Israel as the world’s 10th-most-innovative country based upon the start-up nation’s spending on research and development as well as its number of publicly traded high-tech companies.

In 2017, Israel ranked second on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) innovation index and 16th on its global competitiveness report, moving up eight positions from 2016 on the WEF competitiveness index and marking the first time that the country was ranked among the list’s top 20 nations.

Tel Aviv ranked in Top 10 most hedonistic cities in the world!

Ashley, 11/4/2018 12:00:00 AM

Tel Aviv is regularly ranked as one of the most happening cities in the world these days, so it comes as no surprise (to those of us who know and love Tel Aviv and all that she has to offer) that the Lonely Planet have named Tel Aviv as one of the Top 10 hedonistic cities in the world.

It was only a few years ago that the majority of tourists coming to Israel were heading for the ancient sites and perhaps a kibbutz, but over the last few years Tel Aviv has truly turned into a happening city, with an amazingly varied and never halting nightlife.

Included with renowned hot spots such as Berlin, Ibiza, and Las Vegas, the Lonely Planet crew were impressed with the party lifestyle in The City That Never Sleeps. You can tell they went out partying with the locals by what they had to say…


Tel Aviv, Israel

If Jerusalem is Israel’s historic, classical capital, then Tel Aviv is its pleasure-seeking younger brother and the country’s coolest city by miles. Dubbed the ‘Miami of the Middle East’, you won’t see blinged-up superstars like Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs, but everyone else looks the part on the wonderful beaches. Tel Aviv’s locals are a cultured lot, oozing style and hungry for the finest art, fashion, cuisine and clubbing. The city celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009 with a riot of creative arts. Don’t worry if you missed the party - there’ll be another one along in no time.
Tel Aviv’s summers are scorching and humid, while winter is a damp and nippy affair; spring is a great time to visit - try March for warm days and evenings that merit no more than a light sweater.

Why is Tel Aviv one of the best cities in the world

tlvnights , 5/29/2018 12:00:00 AM

What makes a city great? Many will argue that it’s hard to determine what are the exact parameters to establish that, but we are going to use our extensive traveling background and try to specify why Tel Aviv should be in one list with the top rated cities in the world.

Weather –
Being located in the middle east has its downsides (many conflicts for example), but it also means that the sun is shining, a lot. While people freeze in Europe and North America, Israeli people can lay on the beach and work on their tan. This is great for outdoor activities and also for the general mood.
Other cities to compare with: Medellin, Bangkok.

Food –
The population of Israel is made up of 85% Jews, 10% Arabs and 5% other minorities. The Jewish people in Israel origin from Europe, North African countries and Arabic countries in the region, each group bringing its own culture and food. Add to that the developed, local middle eastern cuisine and the Mediterranean influences and you get a unique fusion of tastes and flavors like in no other place in the world. In Tel Aviv you can find Moroccan, Yemenite, Egyptian restaurants alongside modern Italian food, trendy burger spots and local middle eastern cuisine, all mixed together into an orgy of tastes.
Other cities in the world to compare with: London, New York.

Nightlife –
It is already a well-known fact that Tel Aviv is a party city with many bars and clubs. The thing that separates Tel Aviv from other big cities is the diversity and fact that you can find the right party for everyone. If it’s hip-hop, house, jazz or electro, Tel Aviv has it all.
Another major aspect is the frequency. In almost every big city in the world, the weekend is busy with bars and clubs full of people. In Tel Aviv, the party never stops and there are great events all week long. As a matter of fact, that is the time the local Tel Avivians like to go out at.
Other cities to compare with: Berlin

Culture –
The municipality of Tel Aviv offers many free events during the year such as exhibitions, lectures, concerts, parties and sports events. In addition, in recent years a new trend of lectures in bars has become very popular and it’s possible to hear scientists, politicians, journalists and entrepreneurs talking about anything from regional politics to genetic research. An important event worth mentioning is the “White Night” in which many stores are open all night long and the city offers many free events around the city.
Other cities to compare with: Paris, Buenos Aires

Size –
“Tel Aviv is a big city that feels small. It’s not as massive and intimidating as other big cities in the world and you can get anywhere by foot.”, says Kristina from Germany.
Even though a new tram is under construction, its very easy to get around in other means of transportation such as e-bikes, bicycle, walking or other conventional public transportation. The city also has a car-sharing service called “Auto Tel”.
Other cities to compare with: Krakow.

People –
Tel Aviv is the most liberal city in the middle east. Even in Israel, which religion is an essential part of the country’s essence, Tel Aviv stands as an island of social, political and cultural acceptance. The average age of the residents of Tel Aviv is 36 so you tend to see many young people in the streets. In addition, Tel Aviv is one of the LGBT capitals of the world, voted by “National Geographic” magazine as the second “Gay-friendly” city in the world, after San Francisco.
Other cities to compare with: San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam.

Beach –
About 10-15 min walk from almost every part of the city awaits the Mediterranean sea. A swim in the dark blue water or just lying on the soft sandy beaches is a great way to relax and forget the busy, big city lifestyle. Some will say that the beach is the reason for the laid-back mentality of the local people. Other cities to compare with: Sao Paolo, Barcelona

In conclusion, if you are looking for a city that has almost everything a tourist could look for in a holiday, book your ticket to Tel Aviv. We promise it is not going to be your last time here.




Tel Aviv in top 10 of millionaires per sq-mile

Globes, Israel business news , 11/22/2018 12:00:00 AM

Tel Aviv was ranked sixth, ahead of New York and London, according to electronics giant RS, based on the Knight Frank wealth report.

Tel Aviv is in the top ten of the world's cities in terms of the number of millionaires per square mile according to rankings calculated by UK electronics components giant RS.

Tel Aviv is in sixth place with 1,753 millionaires per square mile, RS found. In first place is Geneva (16,958 millionaires per square mile) followed by Monaco (13,400), San Francisco (3,847), Zurich (3,218) and Paris (2,725). Tel Aviv is well ahead of New York City (1,113) in eighth and London (589) in 18th.

RS has sourced its data from UK real estate agent Knight Frank's wealth report and clearly Tel Aviv has scored high because of the high value of real estate in Tel Aviv.

Global super-rich bought 153 homes for at least £20m each in past year

Rupert Neate, The Gardian, 12/10/2018 12:00:00 AM

Highest number of sales in Hong Kong as London’s ultra-prime housing market slips amid Brexit concerns

More than 150 homes around the world changed hands for more than £20m ($25m) each in the past year, as the “relentless creation of private wealth” fuelled the global ultra-prime housing market.

The world’s richest people spent a combined £5.2bn ($6.6bn) on 153 properties that each sold for more than £20m in the year to end of August 2018, according to research by the estate agent Knight Frank.

The highest number of ultra-prime sales were in Hong Kong, where 47 homes priced at £20m or above changed hands. New York was in second place with 39. London – which topped the rankings in 2015 when £2.3bn of ultra-prime properties changed hands – slipped to third place with 38 transactions.

Estate agents said London had fallen out of favour with super-rich buyers due to the increase in stamp duty and concerns about Brexit.

In 2016 the government increased stamp duty to 12% on properties selling for more than £1.5m, rising to 15% if it is a second home. In order to avoid the stamp duty charges, overseas billionaires have been choosing to rent rather than buy luxury homes in the UK.

Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of research, said: “The relentless creation of private wealth globally over the past decade has fuelled the growth of ultra-prime residential markets.

“Despite the proliferation of ultra-prime markets across cities, second home and ski locations, our research confirms there are three undisputed leading ultra-prime markets – Hong Kong, New York and London.

“While London has seen a relative decline in its lead as the world’s largest ultra-prime market, in terms of sales, Hong Kong has steadily built a commanding lead in terms of total spend by the world’s wealthy on ultra-prime property with New York growing its position as a dominant ultra-prime location.”

Most of the ultra-prime sales in London were in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, all of which are within the borough of the City of Westminster. The council last month banned the creation of new supersize properties built for the global super-rich in order to free up space for more affordable homes for “real people”. Westminster said banning “Monopoly board-style” homes would help free up more space for affordable homes for Londoners.

The UK’s ranks of the ultra-rich have swelled by 400 over the last year, taking the number of people with fortunes of more than £38m ($50m) to nearly 5,000. The fortunes of the already very wealthy have been growing at a far faster rate than the general population, according to report by the Swiss Bank Credit Suisse.

The number of ultra-high net worth individuals in Britain over the 12 months to summer 2018 increased by 8.5% to 4,670, while the average Briton saw their wealth, including property, increase by 1% to £213,000.

Trends in 2019

Jetty Slasky, interior designer, 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Trends in 2019

2019 is here, so this seems like a good moment to reflect and anticipate where design is going.
In the coming year, there will be a lot of emphasis on details and layers in design.
Interiors will be less serious, more fun.
It is all glamorous wallpapers or feature walls, velvet interiors, gold and brass accents, for a maximalist interior look with carefully-thought out design.

Trend 1: Velvet Furniture

Believe it or not, velvet was seen as old fashion and stuffy, it is now viewed as luxurious yet funky. This multi-dimensional fabric has already started gaining a lot of attention. It’s been growing in popularity for the past few years and for 2019 it’s set to be one of the biggest, dare I say it, trends.
It has to be one of the most versatile textures you can introduce into your homes. It’s soft to touch, exudes comfort and style whilst being durable which makes it great for stand out furniture pieces. Velvet combines beautifully with colored-metals: brass, copper, silver or golden-shine.

Trend 2: Complementing and contrasting materials and textures

Different textures can introduce notes of warmth or cool into a room. Some of these are obvious – cashmere, wool, suede and rich wood are warm; leather, silks, satin and marble are cool. A variety of textures in one room help add depth and contrast, creating a multi-dimensional room.
Part of the fun of putting a design together is not just concentrating on the color scheme but playing around with the properties and textures of leather and fabrics. The energy this creates gives the whole design scheme a lift.

Trend 3: Feature walls

A big trend within the world of design is feature walls. I am not talking about color blocking, where you paint one wall in a room a vivid color. This trend takes it one step further by actually featuring a wall in a room with a textured application, whether you use wood, tile, stone or a big contemporary floral mural.
The bigger the better and only one wall, so that it will act like an expensive piece of art. You can choose any room in the house, whether you use it in your bedroom as a headboard or in your living room as a showstopper. Wall murals now come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and various themes. So if florals are not your thing, consider a mural of a landscape or favorite city.

Trend 4: Nature Elements

Stepping away from the tech-obsessed decor we saw dominate interiors, 2019 is taking a more environmentally-friendly approach. We are going to see a lot of warm and nature elements being combined with earthen luxury.
Fresh, natural materials such as wood, stone, copper, concrete, marble and granite.
These elements will help bring an organic and serene ambiance to any space while reflecting the world around your home.

Trend 5: Greenery

Greenery accents and accessories remain a trend this year. In fact, this was among the most noted interior design trend predictions for 2018, and I believe that last year’s green obsession is still going strong.
Even if you have a small space, a plant or two can instantly add sophistication and ambience. You can’t go wrong with introducing any kind of textured or patterned leaf plants in wooden or material pots. If you don’t have a green thumb, then artificial plants are the next best thing.
And if you want to take it a step further, start using fabrics, wallpapers and colors that are nature or safari inspired.

Trend 6: Curved Furniture

Curved furniture is, without a doubt, the hottest trend for next year. That said, to call it a trend is not entirely fair. It is more accurately a revival, the best of the Art Deco and French Modernism movements. The beauty of these timeless yet modern shapes is that they can be effortless integrated and as such, are a future-proof design investment. From soft and puffy chairs to curved coffee tables, these interior design elements are all about comfort and elegance.

Trend 7: Boho is Back

Boho is one of those designs that comes and goes – but in 2019 I expect it to come back with a bang.
The Bohemian vibe is back, but with a vintage modern twist and curved lines. Layering and patterned fabrics are something you will see again, but this time around a touch cleaner and brighter.
I especially love this look in nurseries or children’s rooms where you can add a little bit of sophistication, while maintaining a fun, laidback vibe.

On that note, I have come to the end of my interior design styles for 2019.
Please, don’t forget that this should only serve as a guide for the overall look of your home.
Love something that I haven’t listed?
Don’t disregard it just because it is not the newest look. Always decorate your space with your personal taste in mind and the things that are beautiful to you.

Inspired by these interior design trends 2019?
Get in touch with Yetti Slasky today for all your interior decorating, visual styling or color consulting needs.

Israel Tax Authority revises residence purchase tax rates

Globes, 1/17/2019 12:00:00 AM

The Israel Tax Authority has adjusted the purchase tax rates for housing according to the rate of increase in the relevant price  indices published on Tuesday, which rose 1.9% in 2018. The result of this adjustment is a decrease in purchase tax on homes. The minimum threshold for this tax is now NIS 1,696,750; a sole residence purchased for less than this is exempt from purchase tax. Tax must be paid on homes purchased for more than the threshold according to status (whether or not the purchaser already owns a housing unit) and the price of the purchased home. The tax rate for a purchaser who does not own another housing unit ranges from 3.5% to 10%, while the tax rate for a purchaser who already owns a housing unit ranges from 8% to 10%.

The revised purchase price brackets and applicable tax rates for purchasers of a sole residence are:

Up to NIS 1,696,750 - no tax.

NIS 1,696,751-2,012,560 - 3.5%.

NIS 2,012,561-5,192,150 - 5%.

NIS 5,192,151-17,307,170 - 8%.

Over NIS 17,307,170 - 10%.

The revised price brackets and tax rates for purchasers who already own a housing unit are:

Up to NIS 5,194,255 - 8%.

Over NIS 5,194,255 - 10%.

New immigrants are entitled to a tax break on the purchase of a residential housing unit and/or business premises during a period starting the year before immigration to Israel and ending seven years after immigration. The tax rates for new immigrants:

Up to NIS 2,857,881 - 0.5%

Over NIS 2,857,881 - 5%.

The tax rates are progressive, so that, for example, the purchaser of a sole residence for NIS 2,200,000 will pay no tax on the first NIS 1,696,750, NIS 11,053 on the next NIS 315,810  (NIS 2,012,560 - NIS 1,696,751 x 3.5%), and NIS 9,372 on the remaining NIS 187,440 (NIS 2,200,000 -NIS 2,012,560 x 5%), giving total purchase tax of NIS 20,425. The total tax on the same purchase last year would have been NIS 22,127.

Tel Aviv Tech Hub May Be Small, But It Leads with Large Exits, Report Says

Calcalist Tech , 6/26/2018 12:00:00 AM
A new report by research firm CB Insights says that among the world’s six heavyweight tech hubs, Tel Aviv has the lowest number, highest quality of deals.
One of the world’s heavyweight tech hubs despite its small size, Tel Aviv punches above its weight in terms of tech investment, mergers, and acquisition deals, according to a new report published Tuesday by research firm CB Insights.

The report examines 25 global tech hubs, dividing them into heavyweights—Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Tel Aviv—high growth hubs, and up and newcomers.

With a population of less than nine million, Israel’s tech scene is unusually active. According to CB Insights’ report, while Tel Aviv placed 15th in terms of overall deals, it is the most international of all hubs, with non-Israeli investors involved in 71% of its funding rounds. For London, in second place, the number is 44%. Among the heavyweights, Tel Aviv is also the favorite for corporate investors, who are involved in 25% of its deals, compared to 21% corporate involvement for Silicon Valley, in second place.

Among the six heavyweights, Tel Aviv has the lowest number of exits—around 20 in the years 2012-2017, compared to over 200 in pack leader Silicon Valley—but in terms of percentage, the highest number of deals valued at over $100.

As a heavyweight hub, Tel Aviv is characterized by CB Insights as having a higher concentration of later stage rounds—a characteristic supported by reports from Israeli databases such as IVC Research Center and Start-Up Nation Central—and a higher rate of follow-on deals. As a mature hub, Tel Aviv is also characterized by a lower growth rate in the number of equity deals per year.

New Survey: 88 Percent of Israelis Happy With Their Lives

Benjamin Kerstein, 6/27/2018 12:00:00 AM

Complaining often seems like Israel’s national pastime, but a new government survey shows that, in fact, 88% of Israelis are happy and satisfied with their lives.

The Hebrew news site Walla reported that the results of a wide-ranging survey conducted by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, which were published on Wednesday, showed that 89.8% of Israeli Jews and 80.7% of Israeli Arabs are satisfied with their lives — an average of 88.3% of all citizens over the age of 20.

The poll also found that despite the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, an overwhelming number of Israelis have a strong sense of personal security. Some 85% of Jews and 89% of Arabs feel they are safe and, for example, have no fear of going out after dark.

In addition, the survey revealed some strong differences between Jews and Arabs on the question of religious identity. Among Jews, 45% consider themselves secular, 25% traditional, 16% religious, and 14% ultra-Orthodox.

In the Arab population, the results were almost the opposite — with 11% calling themselves secular, 31% religious, and 57% traditional.

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center Named Among ’10 Best Hospitals In the World

NoCamels Team, 3/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in the country, has been named among the 10 best hospitals in the world by Newsweek magazine.

Coming in at number 10, Newsweek said the Sheba Medical Center, also known as the Tel HaShomer Hospital in Ramat Gan just outside Tel Aviv, “is a leader in medical science and biotechnical innovation, both in the Middle East and worldwide.”

“The center’s collaborations with international parties have advanced innovative medical practices, hospital systems and biotechnology,” according to the publication.

“More than 25 percent of all Israeli medical clinical research takes place at its state-of-the-art facilities, and as a hospital it works with nearly every Israeli medical institute to educate students and advance the future of the medical profession,” the report went on.

The top spot in the list went to the Mayo Clinic, followed by the Cleveland Clinic, the “site of the world’s first total facial transplant,” the Singapore General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital, with the Charitéresearch-based university hospital in Berlin closing out the top five.

The US publication said the guide “helps Newsweek readers discover the ways leading hospitals—close to home and around the world—are shaping the future of medicine.”

The hospitals on the list, Newsweek said, “are the very best — the top 10, according to Newsweek’s panel of doctors, medical professionals and administrators across four continents.”