Shana Tova to the world
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Michael Kramer
Minister Edelstein
Photo: Michael Kramer

Virtual 'Shana Tova' brings Jews together

New website launched by Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs aims to connect between Jews worldwide by randomly sending holiday greeting among registered users

Shana Tova postcards are making a comeback – on the Web: Apple with honey, blowing the shofar and Shana Tova postcards used to be the three elements for a perfect Jewish New Year. But in recent years, text messages and emails have taken over the holiday greetings, causing the real postcards to disappear.


The Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs has decided to take advantage of the new technology in order to bring postcards back into fashion in a new way, aiming to connect between Jews all around the world.


Ahead of Rosh Hashana, the Ministry offers Israelis the opportunity to send a holiday greeting on its new 'Shana Tova' website, and receive a personal 'Chag Sameach' greeting in return from someone in the Diaspora.


The website allows users to select the background for the card along with a short greeting, and add a few personal words as well.


ברכה לדוגמא מאתר "שנה טובה"

Greeting card from 'Shana Tova' website


The postcard is sent randomly to another registered user and automatically translated into the recipient's language. Within 24 hours, the sender will receive a greeting of his own from somewhere across the world.


The system has been programmed to translate the greeting into seven different languages: Hebrew, English, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish and German.


צילום מסך מתוך אתר "שנה טובה" 

'Shana Tova' website (screenshot)


Minister Yuli Edelstein, the project's initiator launched recently in a special lesson he delivered to sixth graders at a Jerusalem school which was broadcast live to a Jewish school in Rome.


"In an attempt to come up with a creative solution to tighten the connection between Israel and the Diaspora, we took the old-fashioned habit of sending postcards ahead of Rosh Hashana and update it to fit today's Internet world," explained Edelstein.


Double click on apple below to activate our Shana Tova greeting; turn on your speakers


"One of the innovations in this website is the feeling of surprise and uncertainty, which encourages people to create new connections. I believe this will help create direct communication between Jews worldwide, strengthening the message that we all share part of the great and wonderful story called the Jewish people."


Officials at the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs said the project was seen as educational and would be presented to school students together with the Education Ministry.


In addition, the project is being distributed worldwide through hundreds of Jewish organizations and communities.


Shana Tova!



פרסום ראשון: 09.28.11, 08:08
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