Where can one go in Tel aviv to meet the likes of the national poet Haim Nahman Bialik, the illustrious public servant Shimon Rokach and the second Prime Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharet, to name just a few? These figures are no longer among the living I hear you say. Correct, but their final resting places are all located in the Trumpeldor Cemetery, a historic cemetery that is commonly known as the "Old Cemetery" and is located on Trumpeldor Street, southwest of Dizengoff Circle.
The cemetery was founded in 1902, is twelve dunams large and contains about 5,000 graves. The cemetery was originally built due to the cholera epidemic that hit Jaffa at the beginning of the twentieth century. The casualties of the epidemic were the first to be buried there and were followed by senior city members. In 1932 a new graveyard was built near the Nachalat Yitzchak neighborhood due to lack of room in the Old Cemetery and ever since then burials were no longer carried out in the Old Cemetery, apart from those of important figures or people who had purchased their lot a long time previously.
Although a visit to a cemetery probably won't head many people's lists, a tour around the Old Cemetery is an opportunity to meet, albeit posthumously, some of the leading figures in Israel from recent generations.