Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy
How does Tel Aviv compare to Jerusalem?
In terms of: culture and lifestyle, education and business, cost of living, people and communities, history and art, crime and cleanliness, etc.
I am not very familiar with Tel Aviv but here goes:
Tel Aviv is more humid. This can be a serious problem especially in the summer.
In Jerusalem the air is fresher and cleaner. There is less humidity and slightly lower temperatures.
Comparisons between them depend on who you are and what you are looking for.
If you do research in history or religion etc then Jerusalem has the best libraries and facilities and they are more user-friendly.
Jerusalem seems to have more academics and knowledge of all kinds is easier to access.
Jerusalem has Museums, Yad VeShem (the Holocaust Museum) and numerous exhibits.
Many of the attractions in Jerusalem are within walking distance of each or not so far away by bus or taxi.
Jerusalem includes the Old City. In the Old City is the Jewish Quarter and the Kotel (Wailing Wall, last remnant of the Second Temple) and numerous archaeological attractions all within a few minutes walking distance of each other.
You can spend days in the same small area and every day do and see something different.
Jerusalem also has Arab Quarters that some people find attractive. If you are not Jewish you are probably safe enough spending time there as well.
In general Jerusalem is safer DESPITE periodic terrorist attacks.
Jerusalem, especially the Jewish areas, has much less crime. Criminal offenses do however occur in both places.
People seem friendlier in Jerusalem and more egalitarian.
If you wish to learn about Judaism then Jerusalem is the place.
In Jerusalem there are numerous Yeshivot and places of learning at all levels.
If you are religious and Jewish then Jerusalem is where the action is. Nearly all the Jewish restaurants are Kosher and usually to a high standard.
The food is good.
In Tel Aviv you may find it difficult to find a Kosher place to eat: Kosher restaurants exist but one has to look around for them. [Nevertheless in most of the non-Kosher eateries the food itself is not really non-Kosher but the methods of preparation and storage etc are not up to standard. It varies from one establishment to another, some being outlandishly transgressing. ]
Tel Aviv by reputation has more gays and promiscuity.
Nevertheless it may be easier to meet people and make instantaneous friends in Jerusalem. The atmosphere in Jerusalem is conducive to association.
Tel Aviv is by the sea and has good beaches, attractive shops and shopping centers.
Tel Aviv is more expensive than Jerusalem is. Jerusalem itself is not necessarily cheap for tourists.
Nevertheless millions of tourists visit Jerusalem annually and a whole sub-culture has grown up among them.
Housing and rents can be quite expensive in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Drawbacks and Pluses:
Tel Aviv requires more funding. You need money.
Tel Aviv has numerous foreign workers and gays etc as well as Sudanese Muslim illegal immigrants etc whom other residents of Tel Aviv generally try to avoid.
If you travel alone you might find Tel Aviv somewhat lonely and not much different from other western cities.
Jerusalem has Arabs and not everybody gets along with them or necessarily wants to.
The Arabs in Jerusalem however very much like spending time in the Jewish areas, shopping, walking around with their families, etc.
Many (mainly non-Jewish) tourists save money by lodging in the Arab areas.
A near majority of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem are religious and most of the rest are traditional and respective towards Judaism. This influences the general atmosphere.
Some secular types complain about the lack of activity on the Shabat, etc. Others find the experience both restful and exhilarating.
Jerusalem often has a healing influence on troubled spirits.
On the other hand there are those suffer from delusions due to the spiritual atmosphere.
This has even been given a clinical name, "The Jerusalem Syndrome."
Not only Tel Aviv and Jerusalem but the whole of Israel has much going for it and is well worth visiting.