Since 1869, European and American Jews participated in the new postcard phenomenon.
As early as the 14th century, Jews sent New Year’s greetings. The Maharil, Rabbi Jacob of Moellin (1360-1427) documented the custom and recommended that, during Elul (the Hebrew month when the High Holidays are celebrated), Jews should include wishes for a good year in all written correspondence.
Both postcards and greeting cards are popular collectibles today. Researchers can find postcards of their ancestral towns and villages, or find greeting cards sent to their ancestors. A popular genealogy blogging event is the Carnival of Postcards, for which geneabloggers write about a postcard they might have. Find out more about postcards in general at Geneabloggers.com.
At JGSLA 2010, Professor Shalom Sabar of Hebrew University will present “Between Germany and Poland — Jewish Life and Rituals on Late 19th to Early 20th century Illustrated Jewish Postcards.”
a fascinating visual resource, Jewish postcards provide rare documentation of important events in Jewish life and Jewish history.
Sabar’s second lecture will be “Sephardi Ketubah – Before and After the Expulsion (as a research tool for genealogy) and Childbirth and Magic – Jewish Amulets and Popular Beliefs in the Pre-Modern Era.” Included in that program will be an exploration of Jewish midwife customs.