Israel: Benjamin von Weizl stamp

[from israel Post; this stamp will be issued September 9, 2014]
Wolfgang von Weisl

isr_weislDr. Benjamin Zeev (Wolfgang Johannes) von Weisl (1896, Vienna – 1974, Gadera) was a Viennese physician and a decorated WWI artillery corps officer, an international author and journalist and a renowned orientalist, as well as a Zionist leader, one of the founders of the Revisionist movement and a pioneer in the struggle for Eretz Israel.

Von Weisl was one of the most colorful and original figures in the history of the Zionist movement. Legends swirled around him and stories of his adventures and his intellectual heritage could fill volumes.

Zionism had only one meaning for von Weisl: living in Eretz Israel, participating in building the country and ensuring its independence in order to realize the greatest project in history – the return to Zion. He immigrated to Israel in 1922, calling on the Jews: “You see these mountains? There beyond the mountains lies your homeland. Pack up and go. Legal or illegal, go to the land of your forefathers. Before it is too late.”

From 1992-1948 von Weisl served as the first instructor in the Haganah’s first officers’ course. He travelled throughout the Arab countries, meeting with kings and sheiks in an attempt to persuade them to recognize Zionism. He was a pioneer in the struggle for the Western Wall, edited and founded newspapers, served as a delegate to Zionist conventions; a chairman of the HaTzohar revisionist party, he was arrested on “Black Sabbath” along with other leaders of the Yishuv and went on a hunger strike lasting 28 days on behalf of the Prisoners of Zion. All of these and more were milestones en route to his single and sole goal: the Jewish State.

The stamp depicts two of the many adventures of his life:

On Purim 1929 Jews and Arabs from all around the country as well as neighboring countries celebrated the Carnival in Tel-Aviv. When the whirring of the engines of the Zeppelin airship was heard in the skies over Eretz Israel, the traffic stopped and the crowds cheered at the sight of the latest technological wonder. Dr. Wolfgang Zeev von Weisl, the physician aboard the ship and the representative of the German newspaper conglomerate “Ullstein Verlag” poured 30 kilos of confetti from the ship, a contribution to the Purim merriment and then toasted the “State of the Jews” with a glass of Carmel Mizrahi wine, with German ministers, members of parliament and an Egyptian journalist who was onboard.

In 1948, at the age of 52, he participated in the battles to liberate the Negev. A column of Egyptian tanks was moving forward, threatening to cut off the Negev towns and was only a few kilometers away from the road to Tel-Aviv, which remained open and undefended. Von Weisl, who commanded an artillery battery of two of the four cannons that were allotted to the defense of the whole Negev, climbed a tall tree, binoculars hanging around his neck, and bellowed orders from the treetop. One shell exploded by the front wheel of the lead Egyptian tank. The tank stopped and the entire column of armored vehicles turned around and fled. Von Weisel said a “She’Hecheyanu” blessing and sent a postcard to his wife: “I aimed. God hit”.

His dream – to be a soldier in the founding army of the Jewish State – came true.

Niva von Weisl
Granddaughter of Benjamin Zeev von Weisl

The background of the stamp features a photo of Tel-Aviv in the 1930’s, courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.

Stamp tab and First Day Cover – photos of Benjamin Zeev von Weisl, courtesy of Niva von Weisl.

Technical Specifications:
Stamp Size (mm): H 30 / W 40
Plates: 956
Stamps per Sheet: 15
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France

Israel: Simchat Torah Flags stamps

[from Israel Post. These stamps will be issued September 9, 2014]
Festivals 2014 – Simchat Torah Flags

isr_simchatAs far back as the 17th century the children in Ashkenazi communities would come to the synagogue on Simchat Torah night waving flags. The Simchat Torah flags were part of a popular material culture of paper products such as Mizrach hangings, marking the east as the direction for prayer, and paper cutouts. Along with the homemade flags, paper flags were printed with images of traditional Jews and included pictures expressing the Sukkot and Simchat Torah holiday experience.

Eretz Israel, 1930’s
In the early 20th century these flags began featuring Zionist motifs which were incorporated into the traditional look. “For the Torah shall come forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” was printed as the title of the holiday flag printed here in Eretz Israel in the 1930’s. At the center of the flag stands the Holy Ark with images of Moses and Aharon leaning on it, and in front the four sacred animals who express “bold as a tiger, and light as an eagle, and runs like a gazelle and brave as a lion to fulfill the will of the Father in Heaven”. On the left stand three children, one of whom was characterized as a Yemenite youth with curly sidelocks – a biblical symbol updated for the modern Return to Zion. On the right stands a European boy wearing a cap and holding a blue and white flag, with the symbol of the “Maccabi” sports club on his shirt – an expression of the new Jew, the muscular man who rejuvenates the legacy of the Maccabees.

Israel, 1950’s
In the 1950’s the European tradition of decorating became the tradition among Jews from all ethnic groups. The yearning for the Tomb of Rachel and for the Western Wall became the scenes that decorated the Holy Ark – two cardboard doors, through which one could usually see a picture of Torah scrolls. A group of boys and girls who were stooped over the Torah emphasized the essence of the equal Israeli ethos, which suited most of the Israeli public.

Israel, 1960’s
The victory in the Six-Day War in 1967 presented and emphasized Simchat Torah in the image of the IDF as a savior. “Rejoice and be joyful on Simchat Torah” in the form of IDF soldiers carrying Torah scrolls and dancing around the Holy Ark. The people’s love for their soldiers, their adored heroes became the essence of the flag’s look.

Dr. Haim Grossman
Researcher of Israeli Culture

The three flags that appear on the stamp are from the Haim Grossman collection.

  • The 1950’s flag – drawn by Zvi Livni.
  • The 1960’s flag – drawn by Arie Moskovitz.
  • Photos of the flags by Pini Hamou.

Technical Specifications:
Stamp Size (mm): H 30 / W 40
Plates: 951, 952, 953
Stamps per Sheet: 15
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France

Israel: “Fiddler On The Roof”

[from Israel Post]

“If I were a rich man” enriches this September issue with scenes from the wonderful musical Fiddler on the Roof on the stamps marking 50 years since its first performance. Chaim Topol, famed for his powerful rending of the main role, Tevye the Dairyman, actually created the illustrations that appear on the stamps.

isr_fiddlerThese stamps will be issued September 9, 2014.

Press release:

Fiddler on the Roof – 50 Years
Fifty years ago, in 1964, the curtain rose on “Fiddler on the Roof” — the first large-scale Broadway musical based on a Jewish-Yiddish classic. The plot takes place in a Jewish town in Russia and is based on the stories of Tevya the Dairyman written by the greatest Yiddish humorist, Shalom Aleichem. The first of these short stories was published 120 years ago. The musical was written by Joseph Stein (book), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) and Jerry Bock (music). The director-choreographer was Jerome Robbins, and in the lead role — Zero Mostel.

Since the premiere in New York, “Fiddler on the Roof” has been performed tens of thousands of times all over the world. The first performance to take place in another country and in another language was in Israel, in Hebrew, in 1965. Yossef “Bomba” Tzur, Shmuel Rodensky and Chaim Topol were the first to portray the character of Tevya in Hebrew. Since then the show has been translated and performed in more than 20 languages, from Yiddish to Japanese, and many millions have seen and continue to see it with great excitement to this day. This year the Hebrew version is being staged for a fourth time in Tel-Aviv, with Natan Datner currently playing the lead role.

The American musical film that was produced based on the show starring Chaim Topol has been seen by more than one billion (!) viewers and continues to be screened again and again in movie theaters and on television worldwide.

Chaim Topol also played Tevya on stage in English in London, U.S.A., Japan and Australia.

Thus, thanks to the heartwarming magic of the musical stage show and film based on these wonderful stories filled with the humor, sadness and human warmth of literary genius Shalom Aleichem, over the past 50 years the world has come to know the special way of life in the Jewish world and Jewish towns which no longer exist.

Dan Almagor
Translator of “Fiddler on the Roof” to Hebrew

The three stamps in this set are based on drawings by Chaim Topol.

Technical Specifications:
Stamp Size (mm): H 30 / W 40
Plates: 957, 958, 959
Stamps per Sheet: 8
Tabs per Sheet: 4
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France

Israel: Israel’s National Heritage – Landmarks

February 11, 2014

From Israel Post:

isr_landmarksThe bond between the People of Israel and Eretz Israel has remained strong for thousands of years. Previous generations left behind a myriad of sites that tell us how the inhabitants of Eretz Israel lived during different periods. These sites attest to the cultural and historical heritage of the Jewish people in their homeland.

In 2010 the Israeli government initiated the Empowerment of National Heritage Infrastructure Project, whose goal is to rehabilitate and empower this infrastructure by investing in the preservation, restoration, development, study, publicity, advertising and marketing of historical assets and cultural treasures in order to strengthen Israel’s identity, cultural wealth and unifying strength. The Heritage Project includes hundreds of cultural assets, five of which are featured on the stamps in this series.

City of David, Jerusalem
The City of David, the first capital of the united Jewish nation, was captured from the Jebusites by King David 3,000 years ago. Located just below Mount Moriah, the City of David was the center of Ancient Jerusalem and served as the setting in which many of the events described in the Bible occurred.

The Heritage Project will present a nighttime display for the general public that will relate the incredible story of the City of David.
The stamp bears a bulla featuring the seal of Gemaryahu ben Shaphan (who is mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah) against the background of an aerial photo of the City of David.

The stamp tab features the Shiloach Inscription which describes the architectural feat of the digging of Hezekiah’s Tunnel inside of which the inscription was discovered.

Ein Keshatot, Golan
In the late 19th century, the remains of a Jewish village dating back to the time of the Mishnah and the Talmud were discovered in the southern Golan. A 5th century synagogue was uncovered in the center of the village, one of the most beautiful ever unearthed in Eretz Israel. The site, known today as Ein Keshatot, was destroyed in the 8th century by an earthquake. As part of the Heritage Project, the synagogue is being restored and the overall site is being developed. The stamp features the restored synagogue and the dais for the Holy Ark.

The stamp tab depicts the menorah engraved on the capital of one of the columns in the synagogue.

Synagogue, Peki’in
In the early 20th century, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi came to the Galilean village of Peki’in, where he met members of the Musta’arabi community, Jews who according to tradition never left Eretz Israel and continued to work the land. The Jews of Peki’in epitomized the preservation of the connection to the land of Eretz Israel. The synagogue located at the center of the village was renovated in the 19th century and two ancient stone tablets were incorporated into its walls. A menorah is engraved on one of the tablets, and a Holy Ark on the other. The Heritage Project is focused on documenting the history of the Peki’in community and on preserving the ancient synagogue.

The stamp features the Peki’in synagogue as well as the engraved menorah.
The stamp tab depicts a relief of the Holy Ark.

Detention Camp, Atlit
The restrictions imposed by British Mandate authorities on the entry of Jews into Eretz Israel forced Yishuv leaders and various immigration movements to act illegally and bring the Jewish immigrants in on dilapidated ships and under harsh conditions. The British did everything they could to capture the immigrant ships and transfer their passengers to detention camps which were constructed first in Atlit and later in Cyprus. The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, which maintains the camp, purchased and renovated a ship similar to those that served to bring the Jewish immigrants and built an exhibit inside, reflecting the immigrants’ living conditions. The site is being developed within the framework of the Heritage Project, including the renovation of the main buildings and the design of exhibits inside them.

The stamp features a ship similar to those used to bring immigrants against the background of barracks at the Atlit detention camp. The stamp tab shows passengers disembarking from the “Umot Me’uchadot” (united nations) immigrant ship onto the shore in Nahariya.

Independence Hall, Tel-Aviv
The “two-thousand-year-old hope to be a free people in our land” was realized on May 14, 1948 with the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel. The declaration ceremony was conducted in the home of Meir Dizengoff, one of the first homes built in Ahuzat Bayit, Tel-Aviv’s first neighborhood. The building was later turned into an art museum. David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence, which was signed at the bottom by members of the Provisional State Council. As part of the Heritage Project, the declaration hall was renovated and an Independence Museum is to be established there.

The stamp features the Declaration of Independence against the background of Independence Hall.
The stamp tab shows David Ben Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence as he announces the establishment of the State of Israel.

Description of the Stamp Sheet
All five stamps are issued in a special sheet, designed to emphasize the connection and the link between the different historical periods. The colored stripe running along the stamp tabs and the upper selvage of the sheet represents the timeline. The continuity of the Jewish presence in Eretz Israel is reflected in the faces of its residents and in artifacts from those times…

The top Margin of the stamp sheet depicts a signet ring from the First Temple Period featuring a warrior holding a bow and an ancient Hebrew inscription “Lachagav” (belongs to a man named Chagav), Beit Achikam in the City of David, the mosaic found in the ancient synagogue in Tiberias, the Aleppo Codex, a 19th century illustration of a Jew praying at the Western Wall*, young people carrying agricultural tools in the Jezreel Valley in the 1930’s, the Israeli flag and a crowd celebrating the announcement of the UN Partition Plan on November 29, 1947.

With Thanks
City of David Archive – Ancient Jerusalem, Zeev Radovan; Photos by: Zev Radovan and the Israel Antiquities Authority, Albatross Aerial Perspectives, the Israel Antiquities Authority, Yehoshua Dray and Ilana Gonen, Shem Barel, Neta Rosenblat, the Government Press Office, the Palmach Photo Treasury, the National Heritage Department in the Prime Minister’s Office, KKL-JNF archive, Yad Ben-Zvi.

* Jean-Léon Gérôme, Israel Museum, Jerusalem Collection, gift of Gerard Levy, Paris, in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of his sons Daniel- Joseph and Alexander-Judah, 1981. Photo: © Israel Museum, Jerusalem by Eli Posner.

“Discover important landmarks in Israel’s history with Israel’s National Heritage stamp series. These stamps are issued in a powerful special sheet representing sites of different periods in the history of Eretz Israel and the Jewish people.” — Mrs. Yael Koskas, International Marketing Manager, Israel Post

Israel: Makhtesh – Ancient Erosion Craters in Israel

February 11, 2014

From Israel Post:

isr_cratersThe dynamic earth has formed almost unique geological landforms in the Negev desert. Initially, a layered sequence of hard limestone and dolomite rocks was deposited over softer sandstone sediments. The sequence was folded into asymmetric folds, producing four parallel, northeast – southwest, topographical ridges. An erosion surface removed the hard limestone and dolomite rocks of the fold’s crest, exposing the underlying friable sandstone, which was eroded, forming a deep transverse valley. The creeks drain into the Dead Sea – Arava valley, through a single outlet, incised into the southeastern flank. The closed valleys are surrounded by steep cliffs, 200–400 m high. This type of breached valley or erosion crater is known as a “makhtesh”. A makhtesh is a “geological window” through which the ancient strata are revealed.

A makhtesh contains a variety of different colored rocks, and diverse “fauna and flora”. The area of each makhtesh has been declared a nature reserve, providing an ideal location for recreation and leisure with trails for hiking, cycling and jeep tours.

Makhtesh Ramon
Makhtesh Ramon, located near Mitzpe Ramon, is the largest crater, up to 40 km long, 9 km wide, and 500 m deep. It has been designated as a national geological park. The sandstone, multi- coloured clays and gypsum rocks were mined in the early days of the State of Israel, forming the basis of the ceramics industry in Israel. To add to the diversity of the geology, dark basalt volcanic rocks are exposed and eroded into hexagonal columns. The sedimentary rocks have been intruded by rare magmatic rocks with an unusual suite of metallic minerals.

Makhtesh Gadol
Makhtesh Gadol (the large crater), located near Yerucham, isthesecondlargestcrater,5kmby 10 km, and is drained by “Nahal Hatira”. The erosionhasexposedapetrifiedforest. Thevaried and colourful sand provides an opportunity to develop artistic skills by filling bottles with different sands. The white quartz sands are quarried for the glass industry.

Makhtesh Katan
Makhtesh Katan (the small crater), located near Dimona, is the most perfect of the Negev craters and is 5 km by 7 km. It is surrounded by steep limestone cliffs, and drained by Nahal Hatzera. To the east are rehabilitated rich phosphate rock quarries.

Josef Charrach, Geologist
President of the Gems, Minerals & Jewelry, Study Unit of the ATA
Member of the Royal Philatelic Society of London

Description of the Stamps
The Makhtesh Katan stamp design was inspired by photos from the collection of Josef Charrach.

“Unique geological landforms named a Makhtesh, are the topic of three attractive decorated stamp sheets. These Makhtesh – Ancient Erosion Craters are particular to Israel and create stunning backgrounds for hiking, cycling and recreation.” — Mrs. Yael Koskas, International Marketing Manager, Israel Post

The Halls of the Knights Hospitallers in Acre, Israel and Valletta, Malta

Joint Issue Israel – Malta

January 28, 2014

From Israel Post:

isr_knightsThe year 2014 marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Malta. Israel, which was still a young country when relations were established in 1964, shared the knowledge and experience it accrued during its 16 years of independence with Malta.

The relationship between these two peoples is ancient and special: friendly and cooperative relations between the Jewish people and the Phoenicians, the ancient inhabitants of Malta, were mentioned in the Bible – the Book of Books, which is extremely significant to both peoples.

There was apparently already a Jewish community in Malta before the Christian era and during the Middle Ages it is estimated that Jews made up approximately one third of the population of Mdina, which was the island’s capital at that time.

The heroic efforts by Malta’s residents in resisting the Nazi enemy and their proud stance in face of heavy bombings and siege were warmly appreciated by the Jewish Yishuv in Eretz Israel, many of whom took part in the fight against the Nazis who annihilated one third of the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

The two countries share a commitment to democracy and democratic values, as well as the same parliamentary system and they are also similar culturally, geographically and linguistically.

Relations between the two countries and their peoples continue to flourish in the areas of trade, technology, science, energy, culture and tourism.

The Order of the Knights Hospitallers, also known as the Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, developed in Jerusalem in the early 12th century around the church hospital building located south of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Members of the Order swore to dedicate their lives to helping Christian pilgrims who came to Jerusalem during the Crusader period, to provide them with medical care and to protect them from bandits and attackers along their route. In 1187, following the Crusader defeat in the Battle of Hattin, the Hospitallers were forced to leave Jerusalem and moved to Acre.

The city of Acre served as the capital of the Crusader kingdom from 1191-1291. The city was divided into quarters which were inhabited by the military Orders (the Hospitallers, the Templers and the Teutonics) and the Italian commercial communes. Each of these groups built grand buildings within its own area, reflecting Acre’s status as one of the most important cities in the world at the time. The Knights’ Halls built by the Hospitallers in Acre were unearthed in archeological excavations and have become a popular tourist site.

The most impressive building in the complex is the Order of the Knights Hospitallers’ dining room (the refectory). Its domes and arches intersect in the gothic style that developed in France and Italy in the 12th century and also appeared in Acre during that period.

In 1291, Acre was conquered by the Mamluks, led by Kalavun, and completely destroyed. The Hospitallers resided in Cyprus for some 20 years until they conquered the island of Rhodes from pirates in 1310, and there established their center. They fortified the island, defending it against Muslim attacks, and lived there for some 200 years until they were forced out by the Turks.

In 1530 the Hospitallers were granted control of the island of Malta by Roman Emperor Charles V and founded a sovereign state. The members of the Order, led by Jean Parisot de Valette, were widely praised when they successfully prevented Malta from being conquered and withstood the lengthy siege the Turks imposed upon the island.

After driving out the Turks, the Hospitallers founded a new city called Valletta, in honor of their leader, where they constructed a series of magnificent buildings. On the edge of the city, overlooking the Port of Valletta, they built a sophisticated hospital where dedicated members of the order treated hundreds of wounded and ill. Today the building serves as the Mediterranean Conference Centre, which can accommodate 1400 visitors in modern halls that preserve a sense of the past.

Description of the Stamp and the First Day Cover:
The stamp: on the right – the Hospitallers’ refectory in Acre (photograph:; on the left – one of the halls in the Hospitallers Hospital in Valletta. The first day cover: on the right – a section of the sea wall in Acre (photograph: Shutterstock); on the left: a section of the port fortifications in Valletta.

“The first joint issue of the year takes us back in time and conjures up dreams of Knights in shinning armor! This joint issue with Malta depicts the Halls of the Knights Hospitallers found both in Acre and Valetta.” — Mrs. Yael Koskas, International Marketing Manager, Israel Post

Israel: Resistance Radio (1939-1948)

February 11, 2014

From Israel Post:

isr_radioDuring the struggle against the British authorities prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, each of the three Jewish resistance movements, Haganah, Etzel and Lehi, operated clandestine shortwave radio stations meant to circumvent broadcasts by Kol Jerusalem, the radio station run by the British Mandate in Eretz Israel.

This station, which began broadcasting in 1936 in three languages (English, Hebrew and Arabic) was subject to British censorship and could not utilize its Hebrew programs to broadcast national and political messages. The resistance radio stations took it upon themselves to bring listeners vital and uncensored information, accompanied by material related to the unique activities of each movement.

Etzel, Kol Zion Halochemet (Voice of Fighting Zion)

The first resistance radio station to begin broadcasting was Etzel’s Kol Zion Halochemet (1939). The station broadcasted on and off until after the establishment of the State of Israel. In March 1944 the station was captured by the British secret police, but resumed its broadcasts in June 1946.

The content of the station’s broadcasts was similar to the Etzel proclamations that were distributed and hung on walls throughout the country, calling for the expulsion of the British and the establishment of an independent Jewish state.

Shortly before the establishment of the State, the station changed its name to Kol Hacherut (Voice of Freedom).

Haganah, Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel)

The Haganah’s radio station was called Kol Yisrael and it began broadcasting in the winter of 1940. After only three months, as Britain’s Middle Eastern battlefront positions deteriorated due to the fall of France and Italy’s entry into the war alongside the Germans, broadcasts were halted. They were renewed in the autumn of 1945, with the establishment of the Jewish Resistance Movement. On the eve of the establishment of the State, the Haganah operated a number of radio stations simultaneously: Kol Yisrael, Telem Shamir Boaz, Kol Hagalil, Kol Hamagen Ha’ivri (Jerusalem) and Kol Hahaganah (Haifa).

On Independence Day, the newly established state’s national radio adopted the name Kol Yisrael.

Lehi, Kol Hamachteret Ha’ivrit (Voice of the Hebrew Resistance)
The Lehi’s radio station was initially (1942) also called Kol Zion Halochemet. The name was later changed to Kol Hamachteret Ha’ivrit and during the last year of the struggle, its name was changed yet again to Kol Lochamei Herut Yisrael (Voice of Israel Freedom Fighters). In February 1946 the British discovered the station and arrested its operators, including broadcasters Geula Cohen and Natan Merfish. Geula Cohen managed to escape from prison and resumed broadcasting.

* **

All of the resistance radio broadcasts were conducted secretly and posed a great risk to their operators. Most of the transmitters were encoded inside suitcases that were moved from place to place. Broadcasts were generally short, lasting only 5-10 minutes, in order to prevent the British from pinpointing the stations’ locations.

In 1948 the resistance radio stations cleared the airwaves in favor of the national Israeli radio – Kol Yisrael.

Dr. Mordecai Naor

A “stamp telling the story of pre-state Israel is the Resistance Radio stamp. The resistance radio played a vital role in broadcasting uncensored information relating to the resistance movements.” — Mrs. Yael Koskas, International Marketing Manager, Israel Post

Israel: Red Gerbera Definitive

From Israel Post:

February 11, 2014

isr_gerberaThe Gerbera, or Transvaal Daisy, is an ornamental plant belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honor of German botanist Traugott Gerber and originates from the Transvaal region of South Africa.

Some 30 species of Gerbera grow in the wild and they are prevalent in South America, Africa and tropical Asia. The Gerbera is also known as the African Daisy.

The Gerbera has a large head with striking two- lipped ray florets in various colors. The flower heads can be as small as 2cm in diameter (mini) or up to 12cm (Gerbera ‘Golden Serena’). The Gerbera has a long stem and no leaves.

The Gerbera is extremely popular and is widely used as a decorative garden plant or as cut flowers, which last for a relatively long period of time. In recent years new Gerbera species have been cultivated which are designed to grow in flowerpots.

The cultivars are mostly crosses between different Gerbera species. There are some 1000 Gerbera cultivars, which vary greatly in shape and size. The range of colors includes hues of yellow, orange, red and pink as well as white. The center of the flower (the “eye”) may be red, green, brown or black.

The Gerbera also has commercial significance. It is the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum and tulip). Israeli flower growers produce some 20 million Gerbera flowers each year. Worldwide demand for exported Israeli Gerberas is greatest during the period between October and April.

There are five discernible types of Gerbera flowers, based mainly on the rows of petals and they way in which these are arranged: single, double or duplex, crested doubles, full crested doubles and quilled crested doubles.

Single – single flowers with non-corresponding petals and in most cases, a green center. This is the most common type of Gerbera.

Double/Duplex – this flower has a double row of petals, with the inner row being red, black or green.

Crested doubles – this flower has two rows of petals, those in the inner row are shorter. The center in this case is also red, black or green.

Full crested doubles – these flowers have two rows of petals as well, with the inner row being shorter, however there is an additional row of small inner petals, which hide the center of the flower from view.

Quilled crested doubles (also known as “spider”) – similar to the full crested doubles, however the petals are slightly curled.

Haim Hadad, 
Secretary General
Israel Flower Growers Association

* This stamp is part of the Gerberas definitive stamp series. The first set of stamps in this series was issued in February 2013.

“We present you with another Gerbera flower – low in value but high in beauty!” — Mrs. Yael Koskas, International Marketing Manager, Israel Post