Tiberias in Israel

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Pacman

© Pacman

Tiberias is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 CE, it was named in honour of the second emperor of the Roman Empire, Tiberius. In 2019 it had a population of 45,000.

The city of Tiberias has been almost entirely Jewish since 1948. Many Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews settled in the city, following the Jewish exodus from Arab countries in late 1940s and the early 1950s. Over time, government housing was built to accommodate much of the new population, like in many other development towns. In 1959, during Wadi Salib riots, the “Union des Nords-africains” led by David Ben Haroush, organised a large-scale procession walking towards the nice suburbs of Haifa creating little damage but a great fear within the population. This small incident was taken as an occasion to express the social malaise of the different Oriental communities in Israel and riots spread quickly to other parts of the country; mostly in towns with a high percentage of the population having North African origins like in Tiberias, in Beer-Sheva, in Migdal-Haemek“.

© flickr.com - Ian Scott/cc-by-sa-2.0 © flickr.com - James Emery/cc-by-2.0 © Team Venture/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Pacman © Tiberias municipality - Nizza Rachmani/cc-by-sa-3.0 © David Shay/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Albert Ter Harmsel/cc-by-2.0
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© Tiberias municipality - Nizza Rachmani/cc-by-sa-3.0
Over time, the city came to rely on tourism, becoming a major Galilean center for Christian pilgrims and internal Israeli tourism. The ancient cemetery of Tiberias and its old synagogues are also drawing religious Jewish pilgrims during religious holidays. PM Yitzhak Rabin mentioned the town in his memoirs on the occasion of signing the historic peace agreement with Egypt in 1979; and again at the Casablanca Conference in 1994. Tiberias consists of a small port on the shores of the Galilee lake for both fishing and tourist activities. Since the 1990s, the importance of the port for fishing was gradually decreasing, with the decline of the Tiberias lake level, due to continuing droughts and increased pumping of fresh water from the lake. It is expected that the lake of Tiberias will regain its original level (almost 6 metres (20 feet) higher than today), with the full operational capacity of Israeli desalination facilities by 2014.

Plans are underway to expand the city with a new neighborhood, Kiryat Sanz, built on a slope on the western side of the Kinneret and catering exclusively to Haredi Jews. Tiberias has been held in great respect in Judaism since the mid-2nd century CE, and since the 16th century has been considered one of Judaism’s Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed. In the 2nd–10th centuries, Tiberias was the largest Jewish city in the Galilee and the political and religious hub of the Jews in the Land of Israel. Its immediate neighbour to the south, Hammat Tiberias, which is now part of modern Tiberias, has been known for its hot springs, believed to cure skin and other ailments, for some two thousand years.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Tiberias, Wikivoyage Tiberias and Wikipedia Tiberias (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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