MembersThe Name Behind the Street – Israel Gruzenberg

One of Tel Aviv’s first-ever streets is named after a lawyer who put everything on the line to defend the Jewish people

By Tsvi Sadan | | Topics: The Name Behind the Street
Old style enameled street sign. The third line in Hebrew informs us that Gruzenberg was “a famous lawyer.”
Old style enameled street sign. The third line in Hebrew informs us that Gruzenberg was “a famous lawyer.” Photo: Tsvi Sadan

Tel Aviv, the first modern Jewish city, was founded in 1909 by 66 Jewish families who decided they had had enough of the Ottoman-administered Jaffa, which was crowded, dirty, noisy and expensive. These families established Achuzat Bayit, the first Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa.

The first street of the city was named after Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl. The name Tel Aviv, chosen by the residents of Achuzat Bayit, is the Hebrew translation of Herzl’s book Altneuland (Old New Land). It is obvious, therefore, that at least for the city’s founders, Tel Aviv was more than just a symbolic name. The city was part of the realization of the Zionist vision.

On this basis, and if examined chronologically, the names chosen for Tel Aviv streets can be likened to stones found in a Tel (an archaeological mound) that exposes the layers, each telling part of the story of Zionism from 1909 to the present. It would have been fitting to begin this series with Herzl...

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