Life in Israel
I am sitting at my favorite cafe in Haifa, the Kapiot drinking Cafe, and am blessed to have met a nice Israeli bachura (young lady) named Tal Or who is an Israeli Hayelet or soldier. She is nineteen and like all Israeli women is expected to serve two years in the Israeli Defense Forces. She is from Haifa and suggested that I tell the readers about her favorite neighborhood of Haifa. We can see Hadar and the famous Baha'i Gardens from the pub which is located in central Haifa or the "Mercaz".
Hadar, which is located in the downtown part of Haifa, derives its name from Isaiah 35:2. The name Hadar is roughly translates into the word splendor in English. The neighborhood of Hadar Hacarmel was founded before World War I. By 1944, most of Haifa's 66,000 Jewish residents lived in Hadar Hacarmel. Haifa's city hall, courthouse and government buildings were located in this neighborhood, but relocated to the lower city (Downtown) in the turn of the 21st century. Israel was then part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Hadar at the time was a bustling booming community that served as a government, commercial, and residential center of Haifa. It indeed deserved the description of glorious.
The Technion which is a public research university in Haifa, Israel, was founded in 1912 and is located in Hadar. The Technion, the oldest university in Israel, was located in Hadar until the new Kiryat Hatechnion (Technion City) campus was inaugurated in Neve Sha'anan in the late 70's. The old historic building, dating from 1912, is now a hands-on science museum - MadaTech - the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space. One of the Technion founders was scientist Albert Einstein.
The Carmelit, Israel's only subway, runs from the Carmel Center to Paris Square via Hadar Hacarmel, where three of its six stations are located. It is unique in the sense that it is the world's shortest railway. I enjoy a weekly visit to Hadar to drink a cup of coffee on Nordau Street which is the entertainment center of the neighborhood. It is great Keff or fun to travel there on the Carmelit from my home in the Mercaz. My favorite McDonald's in Haifa is on Hertzel street which is the main shopping thoroughfare in the area. I love to eat an ice cream cone and window shop at the many shops located on Hertzel, which are often family owned.
Beit HaGefen, an Arab-Jewish cultural center, is located on the seam line of Hadar HaCarmel and Wadi Nisnas. The neighborhood has many Bauhaus Staatliches. Commonly known simply as Bauhaus, the Bauhaus Staatliches was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term Bauhaus, literally "house of construction" stood for "School of Building" - buildings designed by German-Jewish architects who settled in Palestine after fleeing the Nazis.
Sadly, many of the challenges facing urban areas in most of the world today face Hadar as well. Many of the government agencies have relocated and in addition many Haifa residents are mall shoppers who prefer the Big Malls over the streets of Hadar, and yes Haifa has suburbs. Many of the once splendid homes are now run down and often overcrowded. However, the city is taking steps to renovate the neighborhood. The same challenges and changes facing urban areas in The United States are common in Israel.