Sets of postcards illustrating worldly concerns
were distributed to stimulate thought about specific
topics, such as "Jews in the First World War" and
"Jewish Deputies of Duma (Russian Parliament)."
"The Jewish postcards circulating in Russia shared
a distinctive feature," Ivanov says. "Apart from the
Russian language, captions were printed in Hebrew,
Yiddish and/or a European language."
The St. Petersburg center that put the postcard
exhibit together has brought two exhibits to the
Jewish community in Palm Beach. One of them fea-
tured images of synagogue architecture in Russia,
the other presented photos of Jewish life there.
the years, as the interest in postcards grew,
Special to the Jewish News
ties in towns and shtetls; "A Nation on the Way,"
the designs changed significantly," Ivanov says. "The
exploring connections outside Jewish communities;
photography improved with developments in tech-
ommunicating by postcard was common-
"Beyond the Pale," following Jewish businessmen
nology, and color could be added in new ways.
place among Russian Jews of the late 19th
and professionals who integrated into the non-
There are some beautiful views of Russian cities."
and early 20th centuries, but the hand-
Jewish culture; "Pogrom Is a Russian Word," provid-
Valery Dymshits, who was at the helm of the
written messages were not the only points
as director of the Jewish Heritage Center in
and "0 House of Jacob, Come and Let Us Go
St. Petersburg, will discuss the exhibit 6-8 p.m.
The postcard pictures, with Jewish subjects that
Forth," focusing on the Zionist movement.
Thursday, Sept. 4, as part of the opening reception
captured the lifestyles of the times as well as impor-
at the Media Union
tant people and places, also
Gallery. In addition, he
made an impact and
will speak on "The
helped turn the correspon-
Postcard as a Mirror of
dence into collectors items.
Russian Jewish Mentalite
Researchers at the Center
in the Early 20th Century"
for the Organization of the
4-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8,
Jewish Museum in St.
also at the gallery.
Petersburg came upon
Benjamin Nathans, asso-
groups of these collections
ciate professor of history at
in recent years and decided
the University of
to acquire examples for an
Pennsylvania, will add to
exhibit, "The Jewish World
the understanding of the
postcard designs by dis-
Some 235 images, from
cussing "Beyond the Pale:
Jewish neighborhoods to
Jewish Life in Pre-
Jewish political leaders,
became part of the display
Petersburg" 4-6 p.m.
of reproductions showcased
Sept. 24, in
at Russian venues and soon
the Frieze Building.
will be on view in the
"Even though pogroms
United States for the first
From left: Rosh Hashanah greeting postcard: "Toward the Synagogue"
occurred, there actually
"The Jewish World in
Theodor (Benjamin Ze'ev) Herzl (1860-1904): Founder of political Zionism, author and playwright
were many Jews who inte-
Postcards" will be part of
E. Fridrihson: "Homeless."
grated into Russian socie-
ty," says Nathans, whose
Petersburg: 300 Years of
book Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter With
"There seems to be more tolerance and a great
Cultural Brilliance," a yearlong University of
Late Imperial Russia (University of California Press)
interest in Jewish topics in today's Russia," Ivanov
Michigan festival that highlights the Russian city's
soon will be out in soft cover.
says. "This exhibit was the subject of a TV program
"The process began under the czars, and some
on one of our television channels."
The postcard exhibit is being brought to Ann
Jews were becoming as modern as their counterparts
Jewish postcards, originating in Warsaw, came to
Arbor by the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. It
Russia as firms opened branches outside their own
will be shown Sept. 2-26 at the Media Union
Nathans, who has spent long periods of time
Gallery and put in historical context by speakers
doing research in Russia, says that virtually all of the
This form of correspondence gained popularity in
who either have experience with the postcards or are
important trends experienced by Jews — Zionism,
experts in Russia's past. Taken together, the postcards Russia because of the general literacy of the popula-
nationalism, integration and Jewish revival — came
tion and the migration of people throughout the
show a range of Jewish assimilation that goes from
from Russia. Postcard art that has to do with those
Russian empire and abroad.
remaining apart in shtetls as depicted in Fiddler on
trends will be on view.
Postcards served as vehicles for the reproductions
the Roof to entering the intellectual quarters of St.
"The vast majority of Jews in the United State
of paintings done by Jewish artists, including Mark
their roots to Eastern Europe, and I think we
"These postcards have been arranged according to
to ourselves to get a sense of where earlier
categories that give insight into Jewish interests at
generations have been," Nathans says.
leading artist in the field.
the time they were circulated," explains Alexander
Michael Stanislawski, professor of history at
Political leaders, such as Theodore Herzl and Max
Ivanov, part of the team that worked on the display.
Nordau, were pictured on postcards to signify Jewish Columbia University, will cover "Mandelstam's Noise
"They cover an amazing diversity of themes."
of Time: Autobiography and History" 4-6 p.m.
contributions to the issues that involved them.
The postcards are arranged into six sections: "The
Ann Arbor exhibit depicts the often
vibrant lives of the Jews of St. Petersburg.