Plan of Jaffa, 1918
This is a map created in 1918 showing the city of Jaffa with the small neighbourhood of Tel Aviv (written Tel Abib) to the north-east. The map shows details of the buildings, neighbourhoods, and other sites that existed at the time. It is interesting to note the items on which the British focused when creating the map: the route of the railway stations, mosques, churches, cemeteries, farmland, public institutions, hospitals, and others. The Mediterranean Sea is shown east of Jaffa with details such as the Andromeda Rock opposite the city. Much of the map is unmarked or without description. This implies that much of the land was empty or perhaps used for agriculture.
The map shows the early stages of Tel Aviv that had been established in 1909, nine years before the map was drawn. Tel Aviv is shown as a small neighbourhood, much smaller than the established city of Jaffa, and a few of its roads are marked, such as Juda Halevi , Lillienblum, Rothschild Avenue, Achad Ha’am, and Montefiore. The only buildings marked in Tel Aviv are the Gymnasium (the Herzliya Gymnasium –Tel Aviv’s first high school), the H.Q. (headquarters of the Zionist Commission), and the cinema (probably the Eden Cinema, the first in Tel Aviv). Bordering Tel Aviv was the Walhalla Quarter – the German Colony that contained a German school, a music school, a factory, YMCA, and additional buildings.
Jews also lived in Jaffa as can be seen by the Jewish hospital, the synagogue, and the “Alliance Israelite” building that appear in the Menshieh neighbourhood of Jaffa. The names of the different buildings reflect the international interest in Jaffa and Israel with each country attempting to gain influence in the region through their national institutions. Examples include the German Colony, French Hospital, Armenian Catholic Cemetery, British Consulate, Greek Church, Italian Convent and Church, and Anglo Palestine Co.
This map, from the year 1918, was produced by the British shortly after they captured the area from the Ottoman Turks. This map was part of a series of maps that accompanied the transition from military to civilian mandate over Palestine.
Jewish Studies teachers can use this map when teaching about the establishment of Tel Aviv as a small Jewish neighbourhood of the Arab city of Jaffa. A comparison between this map and contemporary maps of the area can illustrate the huge changes of the last 100 years. Teachers of History can show this map when teaching about British and European colonialism and about the British Mandate in Israel.
Geography teachers can show this map when teaching about maps and cartography as an example of maps that tell us far more than just the physical location of roads and buildings.
What area does the map show?
What is the main city on the map?
What are the names of the neighbourhoods?
Write the names of five building that are marked in Jaffa.
Where is Tel Aviv?
How is it marked on the map?
Write the names of three roads that are shown in Tel Aviv.
What buildings are shown in Tel Aviv?
What appears to the east of Jaffa?
What appears to the west?
What language does the map use?
Reading Between the Lines
Compare the size of Tel Aviv to Jaffa.
What does that tell us about the development of the cities?
Look for information about the history of Jaffa and Tel Aviv.
When was each city established?
What was their connection?
From the names of the places on the map, can you work out which nationalities lived in Jaffa?
Why were there so many international institutions in Jaffa?
Who were the people that the streets of Tel Aviv were named after?
What was the Herzliya Gymnasium that is marked on the map?
West of the urban areas most of the land is empty of markings.
What does this tell you about Israel in 1918?
This map was created by the British a year after they captured Israel from the Turks.
Why do you think they mapped the area?
Look at a modern map of the same area. What are the most noticeable differences or similarities?
Tel Aviv is shown as a small neighbourhood near Jaffa.
Have you ever visited Tel Aviv? What was it like? Describe some of the things you saw and did. (If you haven't visited Tel Aviv, use the internet for information.)
Have you ever visited Jaffa? Is this still the big city next to Tel Aviv?
What happened to Jaffa?
Take a close look at the map. Can you find any street names that still exist today? Research one of these streets and find out what is there today.
Enlarge and print this map and ask the students to mark (with highlighters or pins) the location of Tel Aviv and important areas and buildings.
Student could also do this activity on the computer.
Students can do an opposite assignment using Google Earth. Ask the students to pin comments on a modern map of Tel Aviv with information about sites that were in the area in 1918 according to the information from this map.