General opinion is that The Aharon Chelowche House was the first structure built near the soon-to-be Neveh Tsedek neighborhood. Around 1884, Aharon Chelowche, a wealthy Jewish businessman and one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Jaffa, built his home on a large lot located on the sandy hills north-east of Jaffa, thus becoming a pioneer in the establishment of the Neveh Tsedek neighborhood.
This stone house is built in the typical Arab style of the period – a “Central space house”. The structure was built in several stages and reached its full splendor on the eve of WWI.
In one corner of the lot, Chelowche built a synagogue for the benefit of the neighborhood residents and at its rear his sons erected the “Chelowche Bros. Factory” for construction products.
Toward the end of WWI, during a bombardment from a British warship aimed at the metal factory owned by a German-Templar named Wagner, a stray shell fell on the Chelowche House causing heavy damage. After this bombardment, the family members left the house and for many years it was used by the Tahkemoni School. After the evacuation of the school, the building remained desolate for many years.
” According to recent studies it has been suggested that the Chelowche House was first built in the neighborhood of Neve Shalom, that was part of the intergrated neighborhood Menashiya. Only by the early Nineties of the 19th Century Chelowche built his new and spacious house near the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek , which was already partly built. The house in Menashiya was destroyed after the declaration of Israel in 1948, as the rest of the neighborhood that was built by Jews and Arabs . ”
Today, the house is undergoing a process of preservation and restoration, in order to reuse it to as a private residence for the family that bought it.
While executing this project, the house was transferred onto temporary foundations, to allow for the excavation and building of a new basement underneath it. The upper storey of the building, which partially survived the British shelling, is being restored as it was originally, before being damaged. At the northern part of the lot, the stone structure of the synagogue is also being restored. This renovated and preserved synagogue is intended to continue serving the residents of the surrounding neighborhood.
Project initiation: 2007.
Chief Architect – Arc. Sivan Simon Abergel
Project management: Bar Civil Engineering.