A Jerusalem Neighborhood

Rehavia, a residential area in western Jerusalem.

The neighborhood of Rehavia was established in 1921, on land leased from the Greek Orthodox Church by the Palestine Land Development Company and named for Moses’ grandson. The German-Jewish architect Richard Kauffmann was commissioned to design it as a garden neighborhood. Many of the residents were members of the Fifth Aliyah and gave it a European character and an association with German-Jewish culture, language and tradition. The Jewish Agency building and the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (Jewish National Fund) headquarters are there. Café Hermon was a popular meeting place. Among Ismar David’s friends and associates from the neighborhood were: Gabriella Rosenthal, Alfred Bernheim and Charlotte Stein.

Rosh Rehavia (Head of Rehavia), 8 Keren Kayemet Street, was a building designed by Rafael and Dan Ben-Dor in 1936. Ismar David lived and worked there from possibly the late 1930s until he moved to New York. His studio was in the basement of the west wing. As he was the first tenant in that part of the basement, a wall had to be erected and the space finished. Water and electricity were installed for him. Other commercial neighbors in the basement of 8 KKL included a sports trainer and later a seamstress.1Draft of a letter to Jonathan Tsvi Werbelowsky, February, 1984.

Rosh Rehavia
Rosh Rehavia, Jerusalem, during the late 1930s. Matson Photograph Collection, Library of Congress
Rosh Rehavia
Rosh Rehavia, photographed in 2019.
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