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West Palm Beach, FL - So Many Days Of Hanukkah, So Few Stamps

Published on: November 6, 2011 03:05 PM
By: The Palm Beach Post
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West Palm Beach, FL - Have you thought much about holiday stamp parity?

You have if you’re Ronald Scheiman, 74, of Boynton Beach, Fla., who has been fighting the lonely fight for more Hanukkah stamps for nearly 20 years now.

‘‘I think all the Christmas stamps are beautiful,’’ Scheiman said. ‘‘I don’t have an objection to them. I just think there should be equal respect and recognition for Hanukkah.’‘

The U.S. Postal Service, which issues a newly designed Christmas stamp every year, has had only four different designs for its Hanukkah stamp since 1996.

‘‘They can find hundreds of different styles of menorahs and dreidels to use,’’ Scheiman said. ‘‘It’s a simple matter of ‘Why not?’‘’

What are we, second-class?

Scheiman, a former postal clerk on Long Island, got involved with his stamp suggestion efforts after the U.S. Postal Service started issuing a Chinese New Year stamp.

‘‘It started as a joke with a co-worker,’’ he said. ‘‘I said, ‘Why not a Jewish New Year stamp?’‘’

That led to the realization that while the postal service had been issuing different Christmas stamps with a Madonna and Child theme every year since 1978, there was no Hanukkah stamp.

So Scheiman lobbied for the Hanukkah stamp in 1993, and three years later the postal service issued its first one, a colorful menorah design.

The Christmas stamps, which are reproductions of famous Madonna and Child paintings, continued changing, but the same menorah stamp was issued every year until 2003, when the postal service switched its Hanukkah stamp to a brown dreidel design.

Hoping for a miracle

The brown dreidel lasted for four Hanukkahs, until two years ago, when a new blue-background menorah stamp appeared.

Last month, the postal service replaced the 2-year-old menorah stamp ..

with one that spells out the word ‘‘Hanukkah’’ in colorful blocks, with one of those blocks in the shape of a dreidel.

‘‘The only reason they changed it this year is because they switched to the ‘forever’ stamp,’’ Scheiman said. ‘‘And I already know they’re not changing it again for next year.’‘

The stamp selection at the postal service is handled by a 10-member Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. Over the years, Scheiman has had a running commentary, via email, with his former employer about the lack of new Hanukkah stamp designs.

It hasn’t gotten him very far.

Monday, he got another polite rejection from the postal service.

‘‘Each year, the Postal Service receives suggestions from thousands of people for new postage stamps,’’ Christina Scacca, a consumer relations specialist, wrote him.

The committee weighs decisions on ‘‘national appeal and historical perspective,’’ she wrote.

‘‘Our ultimate goal is to create a yearly stamp program that reflects all that is great about America—from events and people that bind us together to the diversity of cultures which form the foundation of our nation.’‘

Scheiman doesn’t buy the argument that there’s just not enough demand for a new Hanukkah stamp every year. He answered the postal service’s polite rejection by inviting its administrators to explore the website he created: Hanukkahstampquest.com.

His quest continues.

‘‘I’m going to keep after this as long as I can,’’ Scheiman said. ‘‘My other issue is that some post offices don’t even stock the stamps. There are people who don’t even know there are Hanukkah stamps.’’


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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 06, 2011 at 03:22 PM Yossi Says:

Who really cares about Hanukah stamps..Not to many jews mail hanukah cards and if they do it usually gets mailed too late..Dont waste money on stamps that wont circulate enough to cover its cost..Jews are less then 1% of USA population and the goyim have more use of Kratzmech stamps..Lets fight for better causes..
We can use more Food STAMPS...lol

2

 Nov 06, 2011 at 04:55 PM a nelson Says:

what a stupid story. some people have too much time on their hands.

3

 Nov 06, 2011 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Wow. B"H there is someone defending yiddishkeit in America.
I think we should organize demonstrations (like the wall street demonstrators) for this cause. Where was the Aguda all these years not addressing this issue.
What a chutzpa from the United States Post Office. For the 5 million Jews
(out of 300 million) who live in the U.S. they only change the stamp a few times? It is so obviously anti-semetic. I think this is the reason Min Hashomayim that the Post Office is losing money and is are going bankrupt.
(Dear Postman Mr. Schieman in Florida - Please get a life)

4

 Nov 06, 2011 at 04:56 PM bucherel Says:

I always knew there are some bored people out there.

5

 Nov 06, 2011 at 05:35 PM dargu minein Says:

Nor azelce darges

6

 Nov 06, 2011 at 08:34 PM Mark Levin Says:

1, 2, 3 .....

WHO CARES???????????

7

 Nov 06, 2011 at 09:53 PM shulem Says:

Let him open a white house petition...

8

 Nov 07, 2011 at 08:27 AM SherryTheNoahide Says:

I guess I'm a little confused as to why everyone is making fun of this man! Saying mean things about him, "Some people have too much time on their hands" & etc!

I bought Hanukkah stamps last year... and I'm a gentile! But I'd much rather go out of my way LOOKING for Jewish stamps around Hanukkah season, than putting up with x-mas ones! It's worth it to me! And I'm willing to bet there's probably an awful lot of Jewish folks out there who would like to buy them too! What's so bad about that?!

Wow... it gets discouraging at times to see people be so rude & snide about EVERYTHING!

9

 Nov 07, 2011 at 11:08 AM shulem Says:

Reply to #8  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

I guess I'm a little confused as to why everyone is making fun of this man! Saying mean things about him, "Some people have too much time on their hands" & etc!

I bought Hanukkah stamps last year... and I'm a gentile! But I'd much rather go out of my way LOOKING for Jewish stamps around Hanukkah season, than putting up with x-mas ones! It's worth it to me! And I'm willing to bet there's probably an awful lot of Jewish folks out there who would like to buy them too! What's so bad about that?!

Wow... it gets discouraging at times to see people be so rude & snide about EVERYTHING!

I guess that to most of us, Chanukah is much less about stamps, and much more about the meaningful mitzvos and minhagim. Reading about someone going mad about an issue that is not connected to the holiday, cracks us up. It's just a little entertaining. About us being rude and snide, it's our sarcasm that has helped us through so many generations of persecution. Just get used to it. It's in our blood by now.

10

 Nov 07, 2011 at 01:41 PM anonymous123 Says:

I think everyone's point is - in the scheme of things, it's really not a very pressing issue. There are much more major things going on in our lives, individually, and collectively, that people really wouldn't make a big fuss about stamps. It's a nice gesture this man's doing, but most of us are too busy with more important issues to deal with. People shouldn't be rude but a lot of us just have stressful lives and take it out on these news websites!

11

 Nov 07, 2011 at 08:36 PM Dignity and Sensitivity are important Says:

Sherry,
I agree with you. I disagree that "it's our sarcasm that has helped us through so many generations of persecution." We are supposed to sensitive and refined. Unfortunately, those representatives of Jews on this site aren't always acting the way they should.... Please remember that this is an unfair representation over here. I myself feel sickened by the negativity; I think it's a sign of this man's Jewish spark that has him fighting for the hannukah stamps.

All the best

12

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