February 22, 2019

In Tel Aviv, a New Way of ‘Neighboring’

““People who live in big cities go home at the end of the day to their loneliness. This is something we feel we can change.”

This, says general manager Nir Adan, is the lofty goal of Venn, a for-profit, community-focused, real estate development company reshaping the hip Shapira neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. It used to be home to some of the coastal city’s poorest residents, but has become a prime destination for young people seeking a more affordable option than the center’s high rental prices.

Shapira is a diverse neighborhood, home to religious communities, foreign workers, asylum seekers and, yes, a relatively recent wave of hipsters. And there is a measure of concern among Shapira residents of all stripes about the pace of gentrification and the perceived role Venn is playing in that.

After launching in Tel Aviv in 2015, the company has since also established itself in Brooklyn’s Bushwick and Berlin’s Friedrichshain neighborhoods. Like Shapira, these locations are hip, rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in global cities.

But Venn isn’t hemmed in by particulars. Further down the road, according to Lianne Pollak-David, VP of strategy and business development, Venn may try implementing its model in communities of different sizes and types across the world.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."

"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."

"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"

"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."

"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."

"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"

"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."

"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."

"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."

"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."

"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "

"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."