||Commemorative booklet celebrating the fifty-fifth anniversery, from 20 Nissin, 1887 to 20 Nissin, 1942, of this neighborhood in Jaffa. The front wrapper, in green, has an attractive circular device of a ship with sails by a large community with, in English, the word Palestine below the depiction and above in Hebrew until the great sea will be your borders. About the device it says Kahal Adas Benei Yisrael in the holy city of Jaffe and Israelitsche Gemeinde Jaffa. Neveh-Zedek is comprised of a series of articles and vignettes recounting the history and flavor of the neighborhood. At the end are three full page photographs of R. Aaron Shelosh, Shimon Rokach, and Eloezer Rokach who were instrumental in the founding and development of Neveh-Zedek, and concluding with two pages of brief advertisements, adding contemporary flavor to a work on an early and important Jewish settlement of Erez Israel. Neveh-Zedek is the first of a series of such works.
Throughout the ages, Jaffa served as the "gate to Zion," even in periods when it had no permanent Jewish inhabitants. Travelers and immigrants intending to settle in Jerusalem and the country's other "holy cities" entered the country via its port, which continued to constitute the gateway for the first two large waves of Zionist immigration, from 1882 onward. The First Aliyah caused a profound change in Jaffa's Jewish community. It was there that the first signs of "political Zionism" appeared, that the first Zionist public institutions were established, and that foundations were laid for both Hebrew education and Jewish industry. While Jaffa's Jewish community previously totaled about 1,000 persons, 5,000 new immigrants settled there, thronging the narrow and dirty lanes of the town and living in alien and often hostile surroundings where they were dependent on the whims of Arab landlords. To alleviate their lot, the Jerusalemite Shimon Rokach founded a welfare society named Benei Zion in 1884, simultaneously establishing (together with his brother Eliezer) a second society, Ezrat Israel, whose functions went beyond giving alms: it aided in establishing a hospital, and also initiated the building of Jaffa's first Jewish quarter, Neveh Zedek, in 1887. For this purpose, an area of about 14,000 sq. yds. was acquired from Aharon Chelouche, one of the founders of Jaffa's Jewish community. Jaffa Jews were delighted with this quarter, dubbing it "the Parisian houses," although with its narrow lanes, tightly packed houses, and absence of sanitary facilities, it differed little from Jaffa's other quarters. Its importance, however, lay in the fact that it assembled Jews in a geographical community framework based on fraternal relations. Jaffa's second Jewish quarter, Neveh Shalom, was founded in 1891 by Zerah Barnett. It extended over about 10,000 sq. yds., and was acquired from Arabs. The homes put up for sale remained empty until the rabbi of the Jaffa community, Naphtali Herz Halevi, bought the first house. Others followed him, and a talmud torah, Sha'arei Torah, was opened there in 1896 by the Ashkenazi community. The quarters soon combined their religious character with the new national spirit. Absorbing more inhabitants from among the Sephardi Jews, they expanded and linked up with each other and with Arab Manshiyeh. More Jewish quarters were added to Jaffa in 1904–05, including Mahaneh Yosef, Kerem ha-Teimanim, and Ohel Moshe. The lands for this purpose had been secured by the founding families of the Jaffa Jewish community, such as Matalon, Moyal, and others.