Partying at the 'Jersey Shore' of Tel Aviv

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Partying at the 'Jersey Shore' of Tel Aviv

While traveling in Israel, I stopped at a nightclub and the beach to photograph the clubbers and sunbathers who make up the country's equivalent of the Jersey Shore.
August 20, 2015, 10:15pm

Every city has its own controversial version of bros and the girls they date. New Jersey residents call Italian-Americans the derogatory terms guidos and guidettes, and rappers rhyme about "pimps and hoes." In Tel Aviv, Israel, where I spend my summers, people use loaded words like ars (or the plural arsim) for Jewish bros and frecha (or the plural frechot) for female arsim.

The Arabic word ars means pimp. People use arsim to refer to Mizrahi Jews hailing from predominantly Arab countries. Some Israelis also ascribe the slur to flashy Israeli bros of other races. Much like guido, ars is sometimes a derogatory term fraught with class and racial undertones--it's rare to find someone who self-identifies as an ars. But like the residents of New Jersey, Tel Aviv's partiers are more complicated than the stereotypes about them. They vary in age and appearance, for instance.

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While visiting Israel, I stopped at a nightclub and the beach to photograph the partiers in Tel Aviv's equivalent of the Jersey Shore.