Menachem Mendel

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Synagogue Postcards


For those who are interested in Jewish ephemera, also see the blog Ephemera, collecting Jewish-themed postcards is very popular. A hundred years ago postcard collecting was extremely popular, and Jewish-themed postcards were no exception. The two most common types of postcards are New Year/Shannah Tovah cards, and those with synagogues. A number of years ago the JTS Library had an exhibition of these postcards, with a beautifully illustrated accompanying book. As an outgrowth of my stamp-collecting I have begun to collect postcards, usually able to find many for between $5-$15 on Ebay. There are many rarer cards, usually of Europeans synagogues that are more expensive, but yesterday one was sold on Ebay for an incredible about of money. A postcard of Congregation Beth El of Borough Park (see this NY Times’ article about its construction) circa 1908 sold for $504.95! My guess is that it is an incredibly rare card or that there is some treasure map encrypted in the picture. If anybody is looking for a hobby, collecting postcards is fun, filled with history, and doesn’t take up much room.

2 Responses to “Synagogue Postcards”

  1. 1

    I’m still holding on to my Lubavitcher Rebbe rookie card from the original series of “Rebbe cards” 😉

    BTW, I enjoy your blog, please keep the interesting posts coming.

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel:

    At some point people were able to make postcards out of real pictures that they had, and on Ebay one can find picture postcards of some late 19th century rabbis. These are very rare and the seller usually asks hundreds of dollars. Thanks for the comments about the blog.




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