USPS and Israel Post released a joint postage issue comprising of a non-denominated (50¢) forever stamp and a 8.30-shekel stamp to celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The U.S. stamp was issued on 16th October in a pane of 20. The first-day ceremony was organised at Touro Synagogue, 85 Touro St., Newport, R.I. The venue is America’s oldest synagogue and a national historic site.
The US stamp features a menorah created using the traditional Jewish folk art of papercutting. A pencil sketch was created by artist Tamar Fishman. A fine blade was used to cut the two-dimensional image on white paper. Blue-purple and green papers were used for the background to highlight the central design. An ancient oil jug indicating the heart of Hanukkah is featured in the background. Dreidels — spinning tops used to play a children’s game during the holiday and a pomegranate plant with fruit and flowers are also featured. USPS art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.
The Israeli stamp features the same artwork with texts “ISRAEL-USA”, the denomination and “ISRAEL”. It was issued in a pane of 15, with a row of five decorative tabs below the bottom row of five stamps.
The U.S. black pictorial first-day cancel for the Hanukkah stamp features the menorah with the text “Hanukkah” on a banner. The blue-purple and green coloured first-day cancel features two large jugs near the word “Hanukkah.”
The festival commemorates the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem after it was destroyed by oppressors in the 2nd century B.C. During this festival people light one new candle on the menorah on all eight nights of the holiday.
Image Courtesy: The USPS