Our Story

The Joseph Hotel was established in the Dahaf building, located at the intersection of Jerusalem Boulevard and Ben-Tzvi Road in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The site was called the Jaffa Municipality Square by the locals after the Jaffa Municipality building, which was built there in 1935. 

The boulevard, now called “Jerusalem Boulevard", was established in 1915 by the Ottoman governor of Jaffa, Hassan Bek during the First World War. The governor envied the Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, which had been established a few years earlier and wanted to establish a similar wide boulevard in Jaffa parallel to the narrow, crowded street that was the only main street that crossed the city (now Yefet Street).

At first, the boulevard did not lead anywhere - an aerial photograph of the period shows that the boulevard was built in the midst of the Jaffa orchards and was meant to connect the orchards and the neighborhoods in the eastern part of Jaffa to the heart of the city. The beginning of the boulevard was on a street called the Camel Trail or Nablus Road (the road that was the beginning of the historic Jaffa-Nablus road) and is now called Eilat Street.

The Ottoman governor invited the Jewish architect and engineer Gedalyahu Wilbushevitz to design the boulevard. He requested that the avenue be designed similarly to those designed by the Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann in Paris and that it should fit in with the orchards that were in the area.

The boulevard was built under urgency and coercion. Jews and Arabs were caught in the streets and taken to work as forced labor, and the materials for its construction, including the plants, were stolen by force. The residents of Jaffa later remembered how Hassan Bek "expanded the main street to create a boulevard...”. Grown trees that had adorned the surrounding orchards were uprooted and planted in the boulevard, which was named the "Jamal Pasha Boulevard" after the Ottoman ruler Jamal Pasha.

At the beginning of the British Mandate the boulevard was the eastern boundary of the city of Jaffa. On the eastern side of the avenue lay the citrus groves of Jaffa, the houses of orchard growers, and a few wells. The city's neighborhoods began to develop in the western part of the boulevard between the boulevard and Old Jaffa and the sea.

In 1935, the municipality square was inaugurated together with the new municipality building on the corner of "Jerusalem Road" (which was part of the historic Jaffa-Jerusalem road) - now Ben Zvi Street.

At the same time, traffic circles were erected in the street crossings on the boulevard, with the aim of erasing the city’s eastern look and giving the boulevard a European appearance.  According to the British plan, Jaffa was to be a European style city with many squares. The British Mandate government prepared a master plan for the city of Jaffa during the 1930s, which was disqualified due to objections, and in 1946 a new master plan was prepared in Cairo by the Egyptian architect Ali Al-Miliji Massoud under the auspices of the Arab Jaffa Municipality and the Mandatory Government. Al-Miliji Massoud planned a city with wide boulevards and circular or square plazas at the road crossings in the style of British or French garden cities. This idea was eventually implemented only on Jerusalem Boulevard. A stylish "park" was established in the center of the boulevard, where families and passersby could relax. At that time, the boulevard was named King George's Avenue after King George V of England.

Immediately after the establishment of the State of Israel, the cities of Tel Aviv and Jaffa were united under one municipality, and since Tel Aviv already had a King George Street, the name of the boulevard was changed and it was named for the road to Jerusalem which originated from the city of Jaffa in the old days and started on the boulevard  (similarly to the street in Jerusalem named Jaffa street from which the road to the Jaffa port began).
Jaffa served as the main gate for goods and travelers who arrived in Palestine for hundreds of years. The port in Jaffa was built on the foundation of a small bay on its natural coastline, which enabled protection from winds and waves.
Jaffa is mentioned for the first time in the Bible in the Book of Joshua and the Book of Chronicles describes the ships that brought trees from Tire and Sidon to build the first Temple which came to the port of Jaffa.
About 200 years ago, when the Turks ruled the country, extensive renovation and construction activities were carried out in Jaffa, because it was severely damaged in many wars. At the time, most of the city's residents were Muslims. The city expanded and its population grew at a dizzying pace. Many citrus orchards were planted in the vicinity of the city, the name of the city became famous in Israel and abroad thanks to citrus growing, and the name "Jaffa Oranges" became a trademark of the entire country's oranges. 
The city of Jaffa is undergoing renewal and in recent years many buildings have been renovated, the streets are orderly and the city has become lively and a popular tourist destination alongside its larger (and younger) sister -Tel Aviv. The Joseph Hotel is located on the border between old and new, between East and West - south of the Noga complex and only a few steps away from the recreation and culinary areas of the Flea Market, the Jaffa Port and “Hatachana” – the old train station compound.
We named the hotel Joseph after a number of “Josephs”:
The first is Joseph Moyal, a native of Rabat, Morocco, who was a successful merchant and leader of the Western community in the Jewish community of Jaffa, in the days before the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv. Moyal is responsible for the redemption of many lands in the area of Tel Aviv today, including the neighborhood called the Camp of Joseph named after him, and was the main developer of the clock tower and clock square in Jaffa. The second is Joseph Chlouche, a native of Jaffa and one of the founders of Tel Aviv. The third is Joseph Lishansky, one of the leaders of the Nili underground, which operated during the First World War against Turkish rule in Palestine and who is said to be the inspiration for Shlomi Bracha's song "Ballad for a Double Agent." The character in the song is called Joseph and combines the history of the city of Jaffa and Palestine. That Joseph "used to stay in luxury hotels". At another time, it might have been our Joseph Hotel.
When we established the hotel, we wanted to combine the history of the city with the modern and renewing trendiness and the mysteriousness of the city of Jaffa. The figures of Joseph from over 100 years ago, all of them wearing a distinguished beard, connected us to the tourists and the current party and café goers (a century later and the beard is back in style), which you see in Tel Aviv-Jaffa – the city that never stops – that is character we integrated into our logo as yet another combination of old and new.