The spirit of South Tel Aviv: Shapira neighborhood

Get involved with the art and activism happening in the cafés and community spaces of one of Tel Aviv’s diverse neighborhoods
The Red House
By Kayla Levy |
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After spending a day between the beach and Mike’s Place, or a night at the hippest bars in the Kerem, it’s easy to forget that Tel Aviv is not only city center. Just beyond the streets of Rothschild and Florentin lies Shapira, one of the most diverse neighborhood in South Tel Aviv. Shapira is home to people of many ages, races, and religions, which contributes to its array of cultural offerings and strong social consciousness. Whether you’re visiting a collaborative art gallery, seeking authentic Chinese or Bukharian food, or need some green space, it’s all a few minutes walk away. Next time you’re on your way to the New Central Bus Station or want a respite from Florentin, stop by!

Shapira, Shapira!

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Hanan Margilan
© Anatoli Michaello
Restaurants, Diners

Hanan Margilan

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Hanan Margolin is a family-owned Bukharian restaurant in Tel Aviv's Shapira neighborhood. Sticking to traditional dishes, the menu consists of a variety of meat skewers, rich in taste and seasonings. Try the dushpara soup, a thin flavorful broth with light meat dumplings and fresh cilantro, or the oshpolov meal of rice with carrot slices and beef. Wash it all down with a some vodka, the perfect compliment to their fluffy, meat-filled pastries. The meals are hearty, comforting and full of flavor.

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Artspace Tel Aviv
© Yuval Chen
Art, Galleries

Artspace Tel Aviv

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Artspace Tel Aviv visitor’s center and gallery is an interactive, non-profit space dedicated to supporting the local art scene in Kiryat HaMelacha. With a focus on contemporary art, their mission is to bring artists and the public closer together through meaningful interactions. Artspace shifts the spotlight off traditional, veteran artists and places the young, up-and-coming community on the podium. This friendly and open place welcomes artists, curators, and visitors to mingle and learn from each other. The creative spirit in this magical place is contagious.

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Rosenfeld Gallery
Courtesy of Boaz Arad and Rosenfeld Gallery, Photo credit: Boaz Arad
Art, Galleries

Rosenfeld Gallery

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Tel Aviv is home to some world renowned museums like The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Eretz Israel Museum. They may have stolen the show in the past, however, for the past half century, Tel Aviv’s galleries have burst onto the art scene. Among these exhibition spaces is the Rosenfeld Gallery, a prominent space for local art in south Tel Aviv. Founded in 1952 by Eliezer Rosenfeld, the gallery gained prestige in the 70s with its impressive private selection. With a new focus on contemporary art, director Zaki Rosenfeld constantly keeps an eye out for new talent to promote in the community. The ever-changing exhibitions paired with fresh talent keeps visitors on their toes, making the Rosenfeld Gallery a shining star on the local gallery circuit.

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The Red House
© PR
Things to do, Cultural centers

The Red House

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Founded in 2015 with the values of dialogue, solidarity, and diversity in mind, the Red House embodies the mosaic that is the neighborhood of Shapira. This artist based community center seeks to connect the different populations of South Tel Aviv through art and culture, including art shows, local music performances, and community gatherings such as yoga. The Red House also has work studios, and a 2-3 month residency program for international artists. Practice tolerance and connect with community in this inclusive, and red, space.

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Café Shapira
© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, Cafés

Café Shapira

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This local gathering spot is situated on the corner of an open grove turned community garden, with an assortment of chairs, mats and pillows strewn under giant trees. At Café Shapira, students work on laptops while eating tasty Bukharian bread sandwiches, couples share the vegan “Kol Tuv” plate of fresh vegetables, and children run around barefoot. The café was intended to be a place for community initiatives and dialogue, and with weekly Friday markets that attract local artisans, chefs, and hairdressers, alongside themed DJ nights featuring neighborhood artists, the café is well on the path to achieving its mission.

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BINA Ganei Teva (Nature Garden)
© Kayla Levy
Attractions, Parks and gardens

BINA Ganei Teva (Nature Garden)

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Just beyond the buildings and streets of Shapira, lies an oasis of green space–the Ganei Teva (nature gardens), home to BINA’s Secular Yeshiva campus. The urban farm and botanical gardens formerly housed private Tel Aviv University facilities, but in 2014 BINA transformed the site into their Secular Yeshiva campus that doubles as a green community space. Boasting an urban farm of primarily native species, bi-monthly family Shabbats in the botanical garden, recurrent weekend events for local families at the campus, and more, BINA is committed to returning the Ganei Teva to a community accessible space. Check out upcoming events online, and tell your friends to meet you in the Ganei Teva!

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