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September 06, 1991 - Image 80

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-09-06

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on a

Carol Weinstock's EthnoGraphics serves up
striking photography and tasteful humor
for Jewish holidays and special occasions.


Special to The Jewish News


arol Weinstock sends
more than just greet-
ings for the High Holy
Days. She mails out bits of
Jewish culture.
Ms. Weinstock is creator,
president and chief execu-
tive of EthnoGraphics,
known for a line of greeting
cards which uses vivid pho-
tographs of the Jewish ex-
perience in the United
States and other nations to
mark holidays and life cycle
events. This year, she added
humorous cards, Meshug-
genah Greetings, to show
the lighter side of Jewish
"I wanted to get rid of
stereotyping what Jewish
culture is all about and what
a Jewish person looks like,"
said Ms. Weinstock in a
telephone interview from her
office in Santa Barbara,
Calif. - ,
One of her favorite cards
shows a mother and a young
daughter, who happen to be
Irish, saying the blessing
over the Sabbath candles.
"People have become very
emotional over that and said
it conjured up memories of
when their mother lit the
candles with them," she
Other cards show acts and
artifacts of Jewish life. A
cantor and a young boy blow
shofars. Back to the camera,



a man holds a Torah open
over his head — six columns
wide. Children play dreidel
and light Chanukah candles.
Children study for bar and
bat mitzvahs and read from
the Torah. A father recites
the blessing over wine from
the Passover Haggadah.
Ms. Weinstock, 45, has
traveled to Ireland, Ethio-
pia, Israel and around the
United States to document
Jewish culture through her
photography. Her work has
been exhibited around the
world including displays at
the Irish Jewish Museum in
Dublin and the Museum of
the Diaspora in Tel Aviv.
"But with the cards, a lot
more people are seeing the
culture," she said.
This year, she teamed up
with writer Connie Wiener
and artist Jess Gruel, both
of Santa Barbara, to create
greeting cards with humor
for occasions from Passover
to Chanukah to a bris and

"She's added a
whole new
dimension to
Jewish greeting

—Anthony DeMasi


One card a ks: "Which is
worse? Fasting for Yom
Kippur or eight days of mat-
zah?" A wedding card shows

a bride and groom holding a
challah and says that who-
ever gets the biggest piece
will be the boss in the mar-
riage. And a Chanukah card
shows how the type of latkes
a person makes describes
their personality.
"We try to be clever, but
not degrading," Ms.
Weinstock explained.
And her approach with
photographic and humorous
cards has won praise.
"She's added a whole new
dimension to Jewish
greeting cards," said An-
thony DeMasi, editor of

Giftware News, a monthly
magazine for the -gift in-
dustry including greeting
cards. "But she has also
added a sensitivity to Jew-
ish greeting cards that was
not there before. And that's
surprising, considering that
the Jewish holidays have
been around for so long."
Mr. DeMasi, whose maga-
zine is based in Deptford,

Carol Weinstock's
greeting cards
use vivid
photographs of
the Jewish
experience in the
United States and
other nations to
mark holidays and
life cycle events.

N.J., said Ms. Weinstock's

cards are "authentic," rath-
er than homogenized like the
products of the big com-
panies. As a result,
EthnoGraphics has earned a
loyal and growing following.
"Every photography card
she produces is a work of art
that happens to be a
greeting card," Mr. DeMasi
Ann-Margaret Kehoe,
assistant editor of Party and
Paper Retailer, a Stamford,
Conn.-based monthly trade
magazine, admired Ms.
Weinstock's serious ap-
proach to her photography
cards and the respectful
humor in the Meshuggenah
"Run of the mill cards are
perfectly fine for some peo-
ple," Ms. Kehoe said. "But
her cards are a little more
When Ms. Weinstock was
growing up in post World
War II San Francisco, there
was no hint that she would
spend most of her adult
years in a business related to
Her mother and father
were far more interested in
the Rosenbergs —convicted
for stealing atomic secrets
— than in Rosh Hashanah.

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