Happy Jewish New Year!
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Ramla Museum
Photo: Ron Peled

Exhibit traces old Shana Tova cards

From First Zionist Congress, through community life in Europe, Holocaust, waves of immigration to Jewish state, up to Israel's wars and admiration toward IDF. Ramla Museum displays Jewish New Year greetings documenting Israel's history

"Have a good and happy new year," declares a postcard sent in 1932, with a picture of young smiling couple – dressed in their best clothes - at its center.


At the time, this postcard was the pioneers' way of presenting the wonders of the Land of Israel to their relatives abroad – today it’s a historic item displayed as part of a new exhibition at the Ramla Museum.


As opposed to other traditions which have not survived throughout the years, Shana Tova greetings are still here, although most people prefer to use technology – text messages and emails – to convey their best wishes to their friends and relatives.


In the early decades of the 20th century, before the computer and cellular phone were invented, Rosh Hashana greetings were expressed in a few short lines on postcards and sent from the Jewish pioneers in the Holy Land to their families in the Diaspora.


"The Land of Israel will be built again!" declared the Zionist postcards, which usually included the smiling faces of the senders among pictures of the Negev and Galilee. The postcards themselves were very optimistic, with many grand words about redeeming the lands, as well as wishes for peace and serenity.


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


Postcards filled with happiness were also sent on the eve of the crucial UN vote in 1947, as well as after the Six-Day War, before the Yom Kippur War, and virtually every year. In fact, there are still some people who have not given up on the tradition to this very day.


The exhibition, which opened last week, provides a glimpse at the postcard sending custom in the past 100 years.


The curators collected letters from all periods and Israel's different sectors in a bid to reflect the spirit of each period and present Israel's history through New Year greetings - from the First Zionist Congress, through community life in Europe, the Holocaust, the emigration to the United States, the waves of immigration to Jewish state, up to Israel's wars and the admiration toward the IDF.


The postcards are already faded. Some present the country's scenery, including Rachel's Tomb, the Tower of David and the Western Wall, while others present portraits of the greeting's senders, staring at the camera with a wide smile on their faces.


One greeting card shows a group of pioneers sending warm regards to their brother in the Diaspora. Another is sent from the ghetto, as a sign of life.


"The exhibition offers visitors a personal nostalgic journey and a fascinating lesson of the history of the Jewish people and Land of Israel," says Dr. Yigal Sitri, the exhibit's curator.


"It's an experience for the entire family, as it allows visitors to send original greeting cards and retro cards or take pictures and produce personal cards on the spot. One can also buy envelopes and stamps and insert the cards into a mailbox placed at the museum courtesy of the Israel Postal Company."


The exhibition is scheduled to run until the end of October.



פרסום ראשון: 09.30.11, 08:11
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