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Tel Aviv Gearing Up To Celebrate Centenary in 2009

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

NEW YORK — Israel’s Tourism Office is riding a wave of positive publicity to promote 2009’s celebration of Tel Aviv’s Centenary.

Last week, according to the tourist board, The New York Times travel section section called Tel Aviv “The capital of Mediterranean cool” while the August issue of Travel+Leisure magazine
noted, “An influx of wealth, progressive culture, and world-class cuisine is reshaping this resilient Mediterranean metropolis.

“Tel Aviv is gearing up for one of the biggest parties in Israel’s history,” says
Arie Sommer, Israel Tourism Commissioner for North and South America. Celebrations
will be year-long, but the kickoff is April 4, 2009 with a massive concert in Rabin Square, complete withmulti-media experiences and performances by international stars, the New
Israeli Opera and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Founded in 1909 on sand dunes as a garden suburb of ancient Jaffa, Tel Aviv very quickly
burgeonedinto a metropolis, styling itself as ‘the first Hebrew city in two millennia.’ By the 1930’s, architects escaping theNazis were creating the wealth of Bauhaus buildings which gave Tel Aviv its unique look and which caused its “White City” to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. By the turn of the 21st
century the city had become home to dozens of world-class restaurants, a fashion scene that combines Milan, Tokyo and New York and a wealth of world-class cultural institutions.

“If Jerusalem is our Washington DC,” says Sommer, “then Tel Aviv is our New York, the center of business, entertainment, and all the excitement associated with a big city that is also a beach resort on the Mediterranean.”

Full details of Tel Aviv’s centenary can be found at www.visit-tlv.com

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