Last week Fulbright hosted another dinner for the fellows. This one took place at a restaurant in Tel Aviv and featured a lecture and discussion with Prof. Eyal Zisser of the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University. He is a Syria expert and he gave a general talk about the 2 major current existential threats to Israel: Iran and the occupied territories. Since I had to travel to Turkey the following morning, it didn’t make sense to go to Tel Aviv for dinner, go back to Haifa, and then return to Tel Aviv the next day for my flight. So, I gave myself a day off and spent 24 hrs. alone in Tel Aviv. I spent most of the day before the dinner walking around the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. When Fulbright took us on a tour of Tel Aviv, this neighborhood was one of the stops, but we went through pretty quickly, so I decided to come back at another time when I wouldn’t be rushed.

Neve Tzedek windows

Neve Tzedek windows

Neve Tzedek workshop

Neve Tzedek courtyard

My hotel was near Nachalat Binyamin, which is a pedestrian walkway with an arts & crafts market on Tues. & Fri. I was able to get there on Tues., but the jeweler who I was interested in finding after my last trip wasn’t there. On other days of the week, when there is no market, the street’s primary function is more clearly revealed – its equivalent to our pre-Brooklyn, midtown neighborhood of the garment district.

Nachalat Binyamin - Tel Aviv's garment district. Picture this scene repeated every storefront for several blocks.

I am proud of myself for being able to buy yarn needles (2 for 3 NIS!) so that I can finally piece together the sweater that I started last year. The pieces are finished, but they have to be assembled.