Purim Festivities in Tel Aviv, 1934
This is a poster advertising cheap train tickets for the Tel Aviv Purim festivities of 1934. The poster states the exact dates for buying the discount tickets.
The Tel Aviv Purim festivities were a central part of the cultural life of the Yishuv (the Jewish population of pre-state Israel) during the British Mandate. Many people from all over the country came to Tel Aviv for the festivities, and therefore the train company advertised discount tickets from all over the country. The highlight of the festivities was the Adloyada Parade, which included giant puppets, bands, and costumes. The parade was sometimes used as a protest against the British Mandate or against Hitler or as an opportunity to raise important topics such as the use of the Hebrew language. The theme in 1928 was “Ten Years Since the Balfour Declaration”; in 1933, giant puppets of Hitler with a sign reading “Death to the Jews” around their necks were used. The German consulate in Jerusalem demanded an apology, but Meir Dizengoff, the mayor of Tel Aviv, refused, citing the importance of free speech. The theme in 1934 was the “Twelve Tribes.”
The first Adloyada Parade was held in Tel Aviv in 1912 and was organized by Avraham Eldemar, an art teacher from Tel Aviv’s Herzliya Gymnasia School. The Adloyada Parade was less prominent during World War II but was renewed for Purim in 1955. Today the biggest parade takes place in Holon, a town just south of Tel Aviv.
The name Adloyada comes from the Talmud (Megillah 7b) where it states that it is one duty on Purim “to drink until one doesn’t know [Hebrew – ad lo yada] the difference between ‘blessed is Mordechai’ and ‘cursed is Haman.’”
The advertisement is signed by Cecil Richard Webb, general manager of Palestine Railways until 1942. The management offices were located in Haifa, which was the main railway junction. Due to a drop in the number of people using the trains, the management decided in 1933 to improve the system’s utility and joined forces with the bus system that connected Tel Aviv and Rosh Ha’Ayin. The poster clarifies that the discount tickets could not be used on that particular line.
Jewish Studies teachers could use the resource to discuss how Purim was celebrated during the time of the British Mandate. It can also be used when comparing Purim traditions in different times and places.
Jewish History teachers could use the resource to teach about the government during the Mandate period and the infrastructure that was built at the time.
Geography teachers could teach about the general establishment of infrastructures, such as railways, in new countries. More specifically, the geography of Israel could be taught using some of the places mentioned on the poster.
Who advertised this notice?
Where was it advertised?
What is the expiry date of the tickets?
When could the tickets be used and for which lines?
Which places are mentioned on the poster?
Reading Between the Lines
Why is the advertisement in English?
Why do you think there was a special offer for these tickets?
What can we learn from this notice about the status of Tel Aviv during the Mandate period?
What events took place in Tel Aviv on Purim?
What were the themes of the Adloyada parade during the Mandate period?
What was the theme of the parade in 1934?
What theme would you have chosen for the parade in 1934?
What theme would you choose for a parade this year, and why?
How does your community celebrate Purim today?
Do you think that Purim celebrations should be any different?
Create a poster advertising this year’s Purim celebrations in your community.