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Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

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Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

I will be in Tel Aviv on Simchat Torah. Would Old Jaffe be a good place to go on Simchat Torah? Is there someplace else you could recommend? Besides Rabin Square, is there someplace to go for hakafot shniyot? Perhaps someplace a bit less crowded? (I really am not big on crowds.) Also, do you know when they have tours in English at Independence Hall? The website says to email them and I did, but I have not received a response yet. Thank you.

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1. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

I'm assuming you're likely not an Orthodox Jew. If that's the case, you might enjoy Erev Simchat Torah at the Beit Daniel Reform congregation in north Tel Aviv.

There will be no particular "Simchat Torah atmosphere" at Old Jaffa on either Erev Simchat Torah or after the conclusion of the holiday. But an evening in the recently gentrified Jaffa Port is worthwhile. Start up at Kedumim Square, wander around the galleries in the evening (but not on the holiday itself when stores are closed), then head down to Jaffa's Port and wander through the new indoor market there where you can sit on a bar stool and have a quick bite to eat at one of the stalls or a full meal at "Old Man & the Sea" restaurant.

You'll likely need to phone Independence Hall. They can only accommodate you if they're able to attach you on to a larger English speaking group. The tours don't take place there at set days and times.

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2. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Another option if you are not connected Jewishly is Beit Tefillah Yisraeli. They do a lot of outreach to unaffilliated Jews and are very welcoming.

Being in Tel Aviv, if you want to celebrate Simchat Torah, you pretty much need to be in a synagogue. Services are in Hebrew and are quite lengthy but if you only go to one synagogue service in a year, this is the one to see. Very joyful and exciting.

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3. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Thank you. We are Jewish and belong to a conservative congregation. I can read Hebrew, with vowels, and daven in Hebrew, I just cannot speak it. I guess I ought to clarify what I am looking for. I have been part of Simchat Torah celebrations at the Bostoner Rebbe's, a Chasidic shul near Boston. I loved it and was wondering if I could experience anything like that in Tel Aviv. I realize Jerusalem would probably be the place to be for that, but we will be in Tel Aviv then, so I figured I would ask. A Modern Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform celebration would be okay too if you think we would feel more welcome there. I basically want to feel Simchat Torah in Israel.

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4. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Thanks for clarifying, makes it easier to recommend. In this case I would agree with davetheguide and suggest Beit Daniel. I have been to wonderful Shabbat services there. Chabad is everywhere so I am sure there are Chabad Simchat Torah services in Tel Aviv too.

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5. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Thanks. I will look into that. I also found a Conservative synagogue in Tel Aviv, Kehillat Tiferet, and wrote to them to see what they have. They have a bulletin on line but it is from 2007!!! I did find it interesting though since I am bulletin editor at our synagogue.

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6. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Conservative is called Masorti in Israel.

Try this in Tel Aviv:

congregations.noamist.org/en/page.php…

and a full list for the whole country:

http://masorti.org.il/en/page.php?pageId=183

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7. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Independence Hall us closed for renovations so you may not receive an answer from them.

Chag Sameach!

Chana

Israel

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8. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Not specific to Independence Hall, but you should note that many offices are closed for the entire week of Succot, so don't be surprised if you don't receive an answer even if the place is normally open.

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9. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Thank you. I did not realize that.

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10. Re: Last Minute Questions - Tel Aviv

Beit Daniel (Reform) is far more vibrant than the local Conservative congregation in Tel Aviv. You'll be very welcome at Beit Daniel, but on Erev Simchat Torah - not at the conclusion of the holiday.