More Than Coffee // HaOgen Café Redefines Hospitality

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May 15th, 2019
Israel Today, Member Monday / By

We visited HaOgen Café in Tel Aviv and here’s why you should too!

One of the most popular spots in Tel Aviv for locals and tourists alike is the picturesque Dizengoff Street, packed with cafés, restaurants and boutique shops.

At one point called the Champs-Élysées of Tel Aviv to liken its allure to the famous Parisian avenue, the Israeli boulevard fell into decay in late 1970s.

In recent years many have put effort into reviving its charm, including business owners. They open new offices in the area, drawing young professionals to Dizengoff.

Consequently, there is a fresh demand for high quality eateries and cafés.

In one of the side streets of Dizengoff a bright logo with an image of an anchor invites passersby to pop in for a hot drink or a delicious pastry.

HaOgen (hebr. Anchor) café can boast about their fair-trade coffee or the urbane atmosphere they created with sleek interior design, but that is not what distinguishes it from other hot spots in the city.

What truly sets it apart is the grander purpose behind its existence.

HaOgen Coffee Bar is an initiative of the Dugit Outreach Center, a long-standing ministry based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Interestingly enough, when Dugit first opened in 1993, its offices were located at the exact address of HaOgen today.

But a lot has happened since then – the ministry birthed a prayer room and a distribution center for the poor, among other things, and relocated to its current premises in another neighborhood of Tel Aviv.

Now, a quarter of a century later, the ministry reclaimed its former stomping grounds near Dizengoff Street and raised it to a whole new level.

The Hebrew word Dugit stands for a “little fishing boat” – just like the ones used by the disciples on the Sea of Galilee.

True to its name, HaOgen Café anchors the ‘little boat’, Dugit, right in the center of the Tel-Avivian social scene.

Thanks to this trendy location the ministry gained access to a whole new group of people in their city who are in great need of a Savior.

The staff of the coffee bar is enthusiastic about serving both their clients, as well as the society on a bigger scale, by supporting humanitarian aid projects.

As a social enterprise of Dugit, the coffee shop allocates a percentage of their proceeds to worthy causes, like the distribution center for the poor or a school for autistic children in Tel Aviv.

Alex, the manager of HaOgen, dreams of expanding the humanitarian work and volunteer opportunities through the café, so they can be more of a blessing to the people of Israel.

Dan, who is a barista and longtime staff member of Dugit, looks forward to also hosting concerts and events at HaOgen, so that Israelis can hear about their Messiah through live music and more.

Are you planning a trip to Israel soon?
Make sure you stop by Tel Aviv and meet our friends at HaOgen Coffee Bar!

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Estera Wieja
Estera Wieja is a journalist, book author and public speaker, focused on the topics of Israel, Jewish history, and Judeo-Christian culture. Born and raised in Poland, Estera is a regular contributor to "Our Inspirations" magazine in Poland. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communications and Media from Azusa Pacific University (California, USA), and a Master degree in Journalism from University of Warsaw, Poland. Estera has lived in Jerusalem, Israel for several years before joining the staff at FIRM in 2018.