With historic sites dating back hundreds of years, there are many lessons to learn on Straus Street in Jerusalem - and writers at the Times of Israel tell us more.
The Evangelical Alliance Church is only one of numerous historical sites along Jerusalem’s Straus Street, which begins where King George Street meets Jaffa Road. Brightly lit Zoya for example, located on one corner of the intersection, recently replaced a shop called Ma’ayan Shtub. Looking very squat in front of a much higher apartment building, the structure dates back to the early 1930s, and like those on the other three corners boasts a red-tiled roof. Known for its ultra-Orthodox female clientele, drab windows and low prices, Ma’ayan Shtub set up shop here in 1940.
The original clothing store was founded in Germany over a hundred years ago by Yehuda Shtub, who moved to Jerusalem when Hitler rose to power. One side of the tall building towering over the shop is covered by a mural a decade or so old, featuring a future Light Train and a bustling downtown. Jerusalemites laughed cynically for years at the idea that one day a Light Train like this one would actually travel through the streets of the city and reawaken what had turned into a deserted town center. Look at it now: The cynics were wrong.
Across the street, the corner structure was constructed during the Turkish rule of Palestine. But it wasn’t until the British Mandate began that a ceramic tile appeared on its exterior wall. Designed by artists at what was then called the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, it reads “Jaffa Road” in three languages – with English on the top (after all, the British were in charge!)
I still remember when it hosted the inexpensive, homey Tarablus Restaurant. You could only eat there on Shabbat if you bought tickets ahead of time, as the eatery was Kosher Lemehadrin.