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Press Release – 1 April 2009

Tel Aviv-Yafo celebrates 100 years 1909-2009

As the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo prepares to mark its 100th anniversary in early April 2009, a wide array of events are being planned for the centennial celebrations, including outdoor festivals, art shows, sporting events, historic exhibitions and numerous community projects, among others. Celebrations will kick-off in early April, marking the date of the city’s founding 100 years ago, and continue through 2009.

Tel Aviv, the first modern Hebrew city, was founded on April 11, 1909. On that day, several dozen families gathered on the sand dunes on the beach outside Yafo to allocate plots of land for a new neighborhood they called Ahuzat Bayit, later known as Tel Aviv. The city expanded rapidly with massive waves of immigration in the 1920s and 30s, also bringing about a boon in Bauhaus-style architecture.

Tel Aviv’s status as the region’s most creative, liberal and tolerant city received was furthered when Yafo joined the municipality in 1949. Throughout the decades, the city has flourished to become Israel’s business and cultural center and has developed a unique atmosphere fusing Mediterranean and urban elements.

“One hundred years later, the vision of our city’s founders – who looked at the sand dunes and saw the potential for a vibrant city – has been realized,” says Mayor Ron Huldai.  “Tel Aviv-Yafo is a thriving global city that 400,000 residents are proud to call home.”

Centennial event highlights include:
• April 1-2 – International Conference on Urban Innovation
• April 4th – Opening celebration in Rabin Square
• April 24th – International marathon
• May 27th – Little Tel Aviv’s White Night – all-night nostalgic festival throughout city streets
• June 17th – Blue – Mediterranean festival in Yafo
• July 16th – La Scala to perform Verdi’s Requiem in Ganei Yehoshua-Yarkon Park
• September 9 – October 9 – Art Biennale
• October 19-22 – Fashion Week

For a complete list of centennial events, please see centennial website.

Special events celebrating the spirit of Tel Aviv-Yafo will also be held in cities around the world, such as New York, Vienna, Copenhagen and Paris, with creation of Tel Aviv beaches in Central Park and along the banks of the Seine, the Danube and Copenhagen’s canals.

In preparation for the centennial celebrations, the city has also embarked on fifteen major renovation projects highlighting many of Tel Aviv-Yafo’s gems. Among the projects: The Yafo port is being rebuilt, with a new large park added to its south; the Templar neighborhood of Sarona, across from the Kirya, is being renovated and will become a new culture and entertainment area, as will the newly restored Manshia train station on the edge of Yafo; the beachfront promenade is being extended from Bat Yam to Herzliya; the cemetery on Trumpeldor Street where many city founders are buried has been restored; and new wings are being added to the Cinemateque and Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Habima Theater is undergoing massive renovations.

THIS MEDIA RELEASE HAS BEEN REPRINTED WITH THE PERMISSION OF ISRAEL’S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

For more information contact:
Elly Shalev- Public Affairs Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5519
Ginette Searle – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544
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The Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel. For more information, visit the Zionist Council of Victoria website www.zionismvictoria.org.au

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