Joint Israel-US Chanukah stamp unveiled in Jerusalem

“Today’s joint stamp issue is a symbol of the shared values and the cultural affinity between the U.S. and Israel,” Friedman stated.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Stamp collectors will likely jump on this one like hot cakes… or pancakes, specifically Chanukah potato latkes.

Ahead of the eight-day Chanukah holiday, which begins this year at sundown on December 2, the United States Postal Service and Israel Post created a joint Chanukah stamp, celebrating the unity of the two nations over the past 70 years.

The stamp was unveiled Tuesday simultaneously at the American Center in Jerusalem and at Newport, Rhode Island’s Touro Synagogue. Also known as Congregation Jeshuat Israel, Touro, built in 1763, is the oldest synagogue  in the U.S. and an official historic site.

“Today’s joint stamp issue is a symbol of the shared values and the cultural affinity between the United States and Israel,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said at the event.

The stamp, featuring a a Chanukah menorah (chanukiah), with a beautiful green background, was created by artist Tamar Friedman, who used the Jewish folk art technique of papercutting.

The background features a shape that resembles an ancient oil jug symbolizing the oil miracle that occurred in Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, according to the Chanukah story. It includes elegant dreidels and a pomegranate plant with fruit and flowers placed around the menorah.

The U.S. has issued Chanukah stamps in the past, and this year’s project continues a rich tradition, which started in 1996, of issuing joint stamps with Israel.

In America, it will be sold as a forever stamp, which means its value will be equal to the first-class mail price no matter the rate.

“Starting today, this work of art celebrating the Jewish Festival of Lights will travel on millions of letters and packages, throughout America and around the world,” Postal Service Judicial Officer Gary Shapiro said in Rhode Island.

In Israel, the stamp will cost 8.30 shekels, the usual cost for a first-class stamp.