National Geographic : 1950 Dec
736 Herbert S. Sonnenfeld Sailing Time in 'Ein Gev: Jewish Farmers Ship Tomatoes Across the Sea of Galilee This isolated cooperative farm lies on a thin strip of Israel on the Syrian side of the lake. Its 450 members combine fishing and agriculture. They can leave and return only by water until they complete a new road. in Israel, instead of guidebooks I carried the Bible and the outstanding autobiography, Trial and Error, of President Chaim Weizmann. He believes that "the backbone of our work is and must always be agricultural colonization." Israel's citizens have a home, after nearly 1,900 years. But more than half of them now live in three cities: Haifa, Jerusalem, and Jaffa-Tel Aviv. Many Tel Avivians, trained in the best civilizations of Europe, find in this Jewish city those amenities to which they were accustomed in Paris, Berlin, Budapest, or Vienna. Everything Rolled into One City There is an excellent opera and several theaters, usually sold out. The Israel Philhar monic Orchestra has won high praise from Serge Koussevitsky, former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Maestro Arturo Toscanini, who was its first conductor in 1937. The season for the Israel Philhar monic is probably the longest of any orchestra in the world-the entire year, with as many as five concerts a week. Tel Aviv bookstores indicate a high taste in reading matter and do brisk business. Cafes, in the European manner, offer newspapers and magazines as well as refreshments, potato chips, and pretzels. When I first arrived, my taxi driver said, "Tel Aviv has everything. It's Times Square and Coney Island all in one." I ran into a friend of mine, Asher Polishuk. He studied in Beirut before he went to the United States to complete his education. To day he is happy in Israel, although he can't find a suitable place to live and dislikes the "key money"-part legal, part clandestine which one must pay to rent an apartment. To lease an apartment, one must pay up to $4,000 in key money. To buy an apartment in a modern, cooperative building costs about $4,000 a room. "You know what makes me glad to be here?" Asher asked. "We've got a Yemenite servant girl who thinks Israel is heaven. That makes it look good to me." When the Jews declared their independence on May 14-15, 1948, they numbered perhaps 650,000 in all Palestine. Today there are well over a million in Israel, and new immigrants are arriving faster than the land is being tamed.