Sunday, October 2, 2016

Vintage Greeting Cards for a Sweet New Year

Happy New Year!  In October? Why yes, of course, because Rosh Hashanah starts tonight!

Rosh Hashanah is both somber and celebratory. Jews reflect on our past year, to begin the process of asking forgiveness. We pray, and listen to the blasts of the shofar, the ram's horn, that shakes us to our souls. Culinarily, we indulge in apple slices dipped in honey, and circular challah bread, round like the year.

Another colorful custom: For more than 100 years, Jews have sent each other Rosh Hashanah greeting cards.

Don't get me wrong, I treasure the musical e-cards I receive from friends and family -  but they'll never match the charm of the vintage paper cards from the late 1800s forward. Here's one I showed off a couple of years ago, found in my husband's family photo album

American patriotism is a common theme. I recently discovered a stash of vintage Rosh Hashanah greeting cards in Wikimedia. The next elaborate postcard from their collection also celebrates immigration and American patriotism:

The Yiddish, says "Happy New Year Ship Card." (Among other things). It's from about 1930. See details here.

Next, another immigration-themed card, a fabulous pop-up: 
A closer look.
The next pop-up card seems to be celebrating the end of WWII. It's dated 1950. Tanks appear to be rolling in to liberate a town? What town? Any ideas? See details.

Next, a simple but spooky pansy:
And how about this sweet standup lad with dozens of purple flowers?

Below, an incredibly elaborate synagogue popup: 
Aren't these wonderful? Want to see more? 
  • For more from Wikimedia's collection, travel here
  • To make your own fiber art Rosh Hashanah postcards, check out my blog post which includes a tutorial, here
  • To buy your own vintage cards, check ebay. Enter "Rosh Hashanah postcard" in the search window. Below are some amazing recent examples:
Above, children with a beautiful angel. Below, love and romance is another common theme: 

And finally, I wish all who celebrate it a happy, healthy, creative New Year! Or as Mr. Spock would say,
(Here's the entire fabric postcard:)
PS: To make your own Judaica of any kind, consider joining the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework.


  1. Cathy -- as usual you found exactly what I was looking for! Other than the creapy pansy they are wonderful! Major Shana tova to you, sister.

    1. Major sweet and happy new year to you and your family, too, Marla!!! Glad you enjoyed the cards, except the creepy pansy!!!