Secret Tel Aviv is a space for all Tel Avivis to share their experiences and questions, meet new people, and learn about some of the Secrets of this awesome city.
Started in 2011, we now have a Facebook Group, a weekly events newsletter, and a website.
The Three Goals of Secret Tel Aviv:
- Help Internationals settle in Israel.
- Help Businesses set up by Internationals in Israel.
- Help native Israelis and Internationals integrate better – we believe this is the only way to ensure Internationals make Israel their long-term home.
Secret Tel Aviv in numbers:
- At over 70k members, Secret Tel Aviv’s Facebook Group is the largest local community in Israel, and one of the largest of its types globally.
- The group grows at over 2k new members every month. We reject over 40% of applications to join the group to keep our members safe and spam-free.
- Every day there are over 200 new posts in the group, and over 1,000 comments from the community.
- The Secret Tel Aviv Events Newsletter is read by over 3,000 people every week.
- The Secret Tel Aviv website has over 25,000 unique visitors every month, and over 150,000 page views. This is growing at 10% every month.
- The Secret Tel Aviv Jobs Board was launched in April 2015. In its first three months there was over 2,000 applications from 500 different candidates for 250 job posts.
Jonny Stark is the founder of Secret Tel Aviv. Born in Manchester, UK, he made Aliyah in 2009 at the age of 28 – one of the best decisions he ever made! Jonny has a background in finance and strategy consulting, and has also worked in hi-tech sales in Israel, but his real passion is building communities and connecting people (and his wife Fernanda, who is the Head of Design here at Secret Tel Aviv). Jonny’s favourite ‘Secret’ places in Tel Aviv are Miznon restaurant, the new food stalls in the Shuk (Bunny Chow, Arepas, and Bar Ochel), the fishmonger at 25 HaCarmel in the shuk with the big queues, and buying fresh Challah from the Lchamim bakeries. LinkedIn.
Fernanda Melo is the Head of Design at Secret Tel Aviv. Born in Sao Paulo Brazil, she moved to Israel in 2009. She has a background in fashion design and graphic design, and when she is not designing awesome graphics for Secret Tel Aviv she works at Ori Hafner Studios with clients such as Toys R Us and Golf Clothes. Her favourite ‘Secret’ places in Tel Aviv are Café Habima (We Like You Too), Delicatessen on Yehuda Halevi, The Tel Aviv Art Studio, and Studio Naim dance studio/ gym. Website | LinkedIn.
Orel Elimelech is the Head of Website at Secret Tel Aviv. A WordPress expert and design guru, Orel is also passionate about organizing events and meetups. He runs the Curiosity Meetup which meets every month in Tel Aviv and is part of the DLD planning committee. Orel is from Jerusalem. Orel’s favourite ‘Secret’ passion involves cracking all the Locked Rooms in Tel Aviv. Website | LinkedIn.
Lea Mekies is a Summer Intern at Secret Tel Aviv and leads Business Development. Born in Toulouse, France, Lea currently studies at the prestigious ESSEC Business School in Paris. Having successfully established Secret Tel Aviv’s vacation rental business, she is currently managing Secret Tel Aviv’s MapMe Integration, CardTLV partnership, and business outreach for the Jobs Board. Lea is a party animal (‘Work Hard, Play Hard’), her favourite ‘Secret’ place is Kuli Alma. Her internship was organized by Gvahim. LinkedIn.
Josh Fischlin is a Summer Intern at Secret Tel Aviv and Head of Content. Since starting he has grown the Secret Tel Aviv Events Newsletter distribution list by 20% and website traffic by 10%. As well as managing the Events Newsletter, he is currently working on a project to find the most important attractions in Israel. Born in Quebec, Canada, Josh currently studies Journalism at Concordia University in Canada. His favourite ‘Secret’ place is Sandwich Shel Itzik v Ruti on Shenkin. His internship was organized by Young Judea. LinkedIn.
Tammy Goldenberg is part of Secret Tel Aviv’s New Media Team, and has co-produced Secret Tel Aviv TV’s first video, an interview with Israeli band Ouzo Bazooka. Born in South Africa, Tammy made Aliyah in 2013. She is passionate about music and introducing the Israeli music scene to internationals living in Israel. Tammy previously worked as a Sound Engineer at TLV1. LinkedIn.
Rosie Perper is part of Secret Tel Aviv’s New Media Team, and has co-produced Secret Tel Aviv TV’s first video, an interview with Israeli band Ouzo Bazooka. Rosie is from New York and made Aliyah in 2011. She has a degree in Communications and Media Studies from IDC, where she also hosted IDC Radio 106.2FM, and currently works at the Jerusalem Post. LinkedIn.
Gabi Yacubovich Japkin heads up Secret Tel Aviv’s Instagram account. Born in Barcelona Spain, Gabi made Aliyah to Israel. Gabi is passionate about social media and building communities.
Gilad Goren was the original nightlife and culture contributor to Secret Tel Aviv, and is still one of the key advisers. He is currently living in New York, and checks in on us here in Israel regularly. Gilad Goren is the founder and Executive Director of Travel+SocialGood, the first conference series/global community aimed at propelling the travel industry to meet its potential for positive impact on a global scale, founded in partnership with the UN Foundation’s +SocialGood network. Gilad is also founder of Only Six Degrees, an impact travel consultancy focused on education and travel experiences crafted for impact. When in Israel his favourite spot to eat is Hummus Mashawa on Pinsker, and his favourite bar is Kuli Alma. LinkedIn.
Anna Kernus interned at Secret Tel Aviv between March and May 2015, heading up Content. During her time at Secret Tel Aviv she grew the Secret Tel Aviv Events Newsletter Distribution list by 30%, and wrote our famous Best Bars and Clubs section on the website which has had over 10,000 page views. Anna is from San Diego, California, and studied Economics at the University of California. Her internship was organized by Gvahim. LinkedIn.
Georgina Balcombe interned at Secret Tel Aviv between April and June 2015, heading up Content. Passionate about Fashion, Georgina wrote our Shopping and Shuks sections on the website. She also set up the Secret Tel Aviv Instagram account. Georgina is currently studying Middle Eastern Studies and History of Art at SOAS, London. She also writes her own lifestyle blog iamgfab. LinkedIn.
Nicole Armitage volunteered at Secret Tel Aviv between March and April 2015. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nicole made Aliya in October 2014. In South Africa she graduated in Production Design and worked in Event Planning. She continued this passion with Secret Tel Aviv, helping organize the Secret Tel Aviv Kol Oleh Election Fair and writing the Secret Tel Aviv ‘Guide to Getting Married in Israel’ with over 3,000 views. LinkedIn.
Nili Gold was Secret Tel Aviv Member of the Year in 2013/14. She continues to help everyone in the group whenever she can. Nili was born in the US and made Aliyah in 2012. She is passionate about helping others find employment, loves meeting new people and going dancing in Tel Aviv.. LinkedIn.
Organisations We Love!
- Gvahim – Gvahim is an NGO designed to help Olim Chadishim who have a professional qualification or strong work experience from another country find a job in their field. They offer three great programs: The Career Acceleration Program; The Professional Internship Program; and The Hive Accelerator.
- Changity – Secret Tel Aviv is proud to support a Changity, a new company from a French Olah, which charges a small fee to help you find your perfect volunteering opportunity. If you are going to volunteer your time, make sure it’s at the the place where you will have the most impact.
- One Day Social Volunteering – OneDay Social Volunteering is an awesome organisation that organises 2 to 3 one-day events a month, usually on Fridays. Their goal is to “enable young adults ages 18-35 to socialize with other people their age while volunteering in a way that fits into their day-to-day schedule”.
- Kol Oleh – Kol Oleh is an NGO which aims to educate Olim Chadashim about politics in Israel. Secret Tel Aviv was proud to work with Kol Oleh for the Election Fair in March 2015.
- IDC – with six undergraduate degrees in English and six post-graduate degrees across all disciplines, IDC is leading the way in providing tertiary education for non-Hebrew speakers in Israel. Their Herzliya campus is world class, and Secret Tel Aviv has particularly good relations with the excellent Communications Department.
- Bank Hapoalim – since pitching the idea to them at the start of 2015 to improve services for Olim Chadashim, Bank Hapoalim have been awesome at providing a branch with dedicated English-speakers, and discounted commissions for Olim Chadashim. This has been championed from the highest levels of the bank, and we are grateful for their continued support.
- Midburn – The Midburn event is the official regional event organized by the Midburn community – the Israeli Burning Man community. For 5 days, a temporary city is set up in the Negev desert, creating a platform which will allow a communal life style, creativity, art and radical self-expression. Amongst their manifesto includes ‘Leave No Trace’ and ‘Radical Self-Reliance’, two principles we also hold dear.
Blogs We Love!
Secret Tel Aviv is a keen advocate of supporting local independent blogs. We do this through the Secret Tel Aviv Magazine, which collates the best blogs posts from the City!
- Midnight East – Midnight East is the premier English-language Culture blog in Israel. Written with love by Ayelet Dekel, the blog reviews shows in the fields of theatre, opera, music and dance.
- Tel Avivian – Tel Avivian is the premier English-language Fashion blog in Israel. Contributors include some of the leading lights in Israeli fashion, music, food, art, design, architecture, graphic design and nightlife.
- DIY Tel Aviv – Shimrit Elisar continues to be the leading light in the Tel Aviv underground scene. She also has an excellent guidebook available from shops across Tel Aviv and also downloadable online.
- No Camels – No Camels is the premier English-language Hi-tech blog in Israel. Founded out of IDC, No Camels covers the most cutting-edge Israeli innovations, startups and research in the fields of technology, medicine, design and the environment.
- Israel 21c – Israel21c is an online news magazine offering the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st century Israel to be found anywhere. It is a vast resource of thousands of originally written and produced articles, videos, and blogs by some of Israel’s leading journalists.
- TelAveat – TelAveat is the premier English-language Food blog in Israel. Written by the talented IDC student Natalie Kanfer, the blog has reviews of a wide range of restaurants for all sorts of occasions; from the famous chef restaurants, to the less known local spots.
- Oh So Arty – Oh So Arty is the premier English-language Contemporary Art blog in Israel. It aims to make the Israeli contemporary art scene accessible through studio visits, exhibition views, articles on recommended events, interviews, regular guest posts by art professionals and much more.
- White City Boy – White City Boy’s mission is to find the shiniest diamonds in the rough.