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Shana Tova Cards – a Short History

Shana Tova greeting cards are a surprisingly ancient tradition – dating back to 14th
century Germany and preceding Christmas cards by nearly 500 years! They were
initially the privilege of the rich, until the introduction of postal stamps and post cards in
the 19th century popularized the custom.
Following is a rare collection of Shana Tova Cards from Beit Hatfutsot, the Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Stayer – spanning several countries and dating back more than 100 years.

1. “The Son of Zion” – Man Holding Zionist Flag New Year Card, New York, USA, 1906.

The Son of Zion. Man Holding Zionist Flag New Year Card. Scrap picture. New York, USA, 1906. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 130748 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

2. Boy and girl with flowers, New York (?), 1920’s

Boy and girl with flowers. New Year Card. New York (), 1920's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43849 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

3. Boy and girl with the Zionist flag – New Year greeting card sent to Glasgow, Scotland. Montreal, Canada 1910

Boy and girl with the Zionist flag. New Year greeting card sent to Glasgo, Scotland. Montreal, Canada 1910. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 38709 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

4. Family during Rosh Hashanah Eve – Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Co., New
York 1920’s

Family during Rosh Hashanah Eve. New Year card. Printed in Germany for WilliamsburgCo., New York 1920's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43847 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

5. Israeli Soldiers on Parade, 1950’s

Israeli Soldiers on Parade. New Year Greeting Card, 1950's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 38710 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

6. Family greeting the New Year – Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Postcard Co.,
New York 1920’s

- Family greeting the New Year. Postcard. Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Postcard Co., New York 1920's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43845 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

7. “Bat Zion” – Printed in Russia, mailed to England in 1904

Bat Zion. New Year card. Printed in Russia, mailed to England in 1904. (Haifa, Hayim stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43836 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

8. “Exile types” (Yiddish) – New Year card depicting scenes from Jewish life. Printed in
Germany for ‘Williamsburg Art’ Co., New York 1920’s

9. “Mitzvah-Dance” (Wedding Dance) New Year card – Printed in Germany for
Williamsburg Postcard Co., New York 1920’s

Mitzvah-Dance (Wedding Dance) New Year card. Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Postcard Co., New York 1920's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43842 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

10. Children with Simhat Torah flags, New Year Card, New York , USA, c.1920 Printed
in Germany for “Williamsburg Postcard Co.”

Children with Simhat Torah flags, New Year Card, New York , USA, c.1920 Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Postcard Co. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection)

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

11. Couple holding the Zionist Flags – New York 1900’s

Couple holding the Zionist Flags. Rosh Hashana Greeting Card printed in Germany. New York 1900s. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer collection) Photo Unit Number- 40977 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

12. Couple kissing after a visit to the synagogue – Printed in Germany for ‘Williamsburg
Art’ Co., New York, 1920’s

Couple kissing after a visit to the synagogue. New Years Card. Printed in Germany for 'Williamsburg Art' Co. New York 1920's. (Haifa Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Uni

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

13. New Year Card mailed from Eretz Israel to Ben Zion Seger in Asmara, Eritrea c.
1945. On October 19, 1944 the British sent 251 prisoners, members of the Irgun and
Lehi, to Eritrea and later Sudan and Kenya

New Year Card mailed from Eretz Israel to Ben Zion Seger in Asmara, Eritrea c.1945. On October 19, 1944 the British sent 251 prisoners, members of the Irgun and Lehi, to Eritrea

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

15. New Year Card, printed Printed in Germany, New York, c. 1920

New Year Card, printed Printed in Germany, New York, c. 1920

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

16. New Year Card. Collection of pictures of Kings and Prophets of Israel – Printed for
Williamsburg Art Co., New York 1920’s

New Year Card. Collection of pictures of Kings and Prophets of Israel

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

17. New Year Card – Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Art Co., New York 1920’s

New Year Card. Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Art Co., New York 1920's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43731 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

18. New Year Greeting Card. Geneva, Switzerland, 1930

New Year Greeting Card. Geneva, Switzerland, 1930. Postcard. (Beth Hatefutsoth Photo Archive, courtesy of Tamara Avneri, Geneva) Photo Unit Number- 43584 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Tamara Avneri, Geneva

19. New Year Card – Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Art Co., New York 1920’s
(Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection)

New Year Card. Printed in Germany for Williamsburg Art Co., New York 1920's. (Haifa, Hayim Stayer Collection) Photo Unit Number- 43805 © All Rights Reserved

Beit Hatfutsot, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, courtesy of Hayim Shtayer, Haifa

Beit Hatfutsot