Israel’s June 2016 Issues: Summer, Sports, Dogs, WWI

From Israel Post; click on the links for more information on the issues:
isr_summer“We celebrate long, lazy summer days, vacation time and fun with our stamp for Summer, picturing the beach, the sea and of course the sun!

“It’s also time for the Summer Olympics and for Rio 2016 we have chosen to feature three major sports for Israeli athletes – Track and Field, Judo and Sailing. Good luck to our team! These stamps are a must have for a collector of sports stamps.

isr_dog2“It’s time we say thanks to “man’s best friend”. Dogs not only make wonderful pets but they serve humans in many different ways. Our Service Dogs stamps feature Guide dogs for the blind and Search and Rescue dogs who save many lives.

“Continuing our historic series marking the WWI Centenary we are issuing a stamp on Aerial Warfare 1916. This is certainly an important issue for collectors of military and aircraft themes. This stamp tells the interesting story of aircraft used in Eretz Israel and features the German Rumpler C-IV airplane.

“Sisters Viki and Riki, from central Israel, model for our June ATM Adopt a Dog issue:”isr_svcdogatmThese stamps will all be issued June 21st.

Olympic Games – Rio 2016 (Israel 2016)

isr_olympicsThe ancient Olympic Games were held over a period of 1500 years. The Games were reestablished in the late 19th century by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the first modern Olympics took place in Athens in 1896.

Since then, the Olympic Games have been held regularly every four years, except during WWI and WWII.

The Summer Olympics constitute the largest event of any kind in the world.

The 31st modern Olympiad will commence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 5, 2016. This marks the first time that the Olympics have been hosted in South America.

Israel participated in the Olympic Games for the first time in Helsinki 1952. The infamous 1972 Munich games will eternally be mourned for the 11 members of the Israeli delegation who were murdered there – athletes, trainers and referees. Israel won its first Olympic medal in Barcelona in 1992 and its first gold medal in Athens 2004.

Israel’s Olympic medalists are:

Yael Arad – silver, Barcelona 1992; Oren Smadja – bronze, Barcelona 1992; Gal Friedman – bronze, Atlanta 1996; Michael Kolganov – bronze, Sydney 2000; Gal Friedman – gold, Athens 2004; Arik Ze’evi – bronze, Athens 2004; Shahar Zubari – bronze, Beijing 2008.

Track and Field – Triple Jump
isr_jumpTrack and Field – the queen of sports – is the most popular Olympic sport. Israeli athletes began participating in Olympic track and field in 1952.

Track and field includes 47 Olympic events – running, jumping and throwing. The triple jump begins with a run up start and is then comprised of the hop, the step and the jump.

In the triple jump event conducted at the first modern Olympics in 1896 all three stages started with the same leg. The current style was first instated in the Paris games of 1900.

The women’s triple jump was recognized as a world record event in 1990 and it became an Olympic event for the first time in Atlanta 1996.

The men’s world record – 18.29 meters – is held by Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain. The women’s world record – 15.50 meters – is held by Inessa Kravets of Ukraine. The Israeli men’s record holder is Nahum Rogel (17.20 meters) and the Israeli women’s record holder is Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko (14.78 meters).

Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko is the Beijing 2015 World Championship silver-medalist and she will represent Israel in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

—Rafi Peled
Chairman, Israel Athletic Association

isr_judoThe Japanese martial art of Judo became an Olympic sport at the 1964 Tokyo Games. Judo is now one of the most popular sports in Israel and throughout the world.

The Israel Judo Championships have been conducted regularly since 1969 for men and since 1976 for women.

Judo is one of the sports in which Israel has earned the most Olympic medals: Israel’s first two Olympic medals were awarded to Yael Arad and Oren Smadja in Barcelona 1992, and Arik Ze’evi won an Olympic medal in Athens 2004.

Over the years, and especially in recent years, Israeli judokas have won numerous medals around the world, among them Yarden Gerbi’s noteworthy 2013 World Championship gold medal, a first in the history of Israeli judo.

—Sagi Gur
CEO, Israel Judo Association

Sailing – RS:X Windsurfing
isr_windSailing is one of Israel’s most prominent sports. The most prominent achievement in this field is the Olympic gold medal for windsurfing.

The RS:X windsurfer replaced the Mistral model in 2005.

The RS:X was first used at the 2006 Israeli Championships and marked the transition to the younger generation of windsurfers: Gal Friedman, Olympic gold medalist from the Athens 2004

games (Mistral model) came in fourth, while Shahar Zubari won the competition. In the women’s competition, Maayan Davidovich beat former World Champion Lee Korzits. Israel was represented at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing by Zubari and Davidovich, both of whom qualified for the medal sailings and Zubari even won a bronze medal.

Lee Korzits won four consecutive world championship titles and was ranked sixth in the London 2012 games. She is Israelís most decorated athlete.

Israel will be represented at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by Israeli windsurfers Maayan Davidovich and Shahar Zubari.

—Smadar Pintov
CEO, Israel Sailing Association

Description of the Stamps
Track and Field – Triple Jump
Stamp design based on a photograph by Ariel Chissick.

Sailing – RS:X Windsurfing
Stamp design based on a photograph by Amit Schussel.

Stamp design based on a photograph provided courtesy of the Olympic Committee of Israel.

Official expression ìRio 2016î on the stamp: © 2016 International Olympic Committee.

The Olympic Committee of Israel logo on stamp and cancellation: © The Olympic Committee of Israel. Issue: June 2016

Technical Details:
Issue: June 21, 2016
Stamps Size (mm): H 40 W 30
Plates: 1020, 1021, 1022
Stamps per Sheet: 10
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France

Service Dogs (Israel 2016)

isr_dogpairThe connection between humans and ancient dogs (which evolved from wolves) began thousands of years ago. These dogs helped humans hunt and protected them and their possessions. The special bond has continued to grow and the dog is thought of as ìa manís best friendî. Dogs serve humans in many different ways: hunting, herding, transportation and guidance, defense and security, location, search and rescue, detection of drugs and explosives, aid to the disabled including guide dogs for the blind and even disease detection. In addition to individuals, dogs assist police and military security forces. These forces operate special canine units: the Israel Police Canine Unit and the IDF Oketz Special Canine Unit. These dogs go through a meticulous selection process from birth and later undergo significant training that requires great knowledge and patience.

Guide Dogs
isr_dog1Guide dogs allow blind people to be independent and increase their self confidence. They are chosen from breeds that have proven over time to be suited to working with blind humans. In Israel most guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers or a combination of the two.

Dr. Rudolphina Menzel began training service dogs in 1937 and in 1953 she established the first school for guide dogs in Kiryat Haim. At the age of 6-8 weeks, puppies are given to foster families who raise them during their first year in order to expose them to desired behavior at home and in public and to instill them with the appropriate tools.

At age one year, the dogs return to professional training schools for an additional five months of training and assessment of their suitability. In the final stage, dogs that are found to be suitable train with blind people in preparation for their lives together.

Training guide dogs is very expensive. While there are approximately 26,000 blind people living in Israel today, only some 300 currently have guide dogs.

These dogs “retire” at age 8-9. If possible, they remain in their human partner’s home even after a new guide dog arrives.

Search and Rescue
isr_dog2Search and Rescue dogs belong to various different breeds, including the Belgian Shepherd Malinois, which appears on the stamp. S&R dogs perform a large variety of tasks, including locating missing persons and people trapped beneath rubble. Dogs can move and maneuver quickly in places that are difficult for humans to access. Their sense of smell and hearing are much more acute than those of humans. Such dogs have saved many lives in disaster areas. They are loyal helpers and enhance their teams’ operative abilities.

Special bonds are formed in these units between the dogs and their handlers, who treat them with warmth and love. When the dogs finish their service they remain with the family of their last handler.

These dogs are included in the praiseworthy IDF Home Front Command Search and Rescue teams that are deployed overseas in times of disaster and improve Israel’s image.

—Dr. Yoni Yehuda
PhD in Psychology A.A.T

Our thanks to the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, Beit Oved and the IDF Oketz Special Canine Unit.

Technical Details:
Issue: June 21, 2016
Stamps Size (mm): H 30 W 40
Plates: 1025, 1026
Stamps per Sheet: 15
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France

Seasons in Israel – Summer (Israel 2016)

isr_summerOur calendar consists of twelve months – the amount of time it takes the Earth to complete one full cycle around the Sun.

The 365 days of the year are divided into four different seasons, each of which complements another: winter and summer, spring and autumn. Each season is characterized by its own typical weather, changes in the animals and plants and by its designated songs. Every season creates a certain type of atmosphere. In Israel the transitional seasons ñ autumn and spring ñ are short and often bring surprising weather changes.

Summer is the driest and hottest season of the year. The days are longer. The green and colorful landscapes give way to grey hues and dryness after the first heat waves.

“Oh my country, my homeland, bold rocky mountain”, wrote poet Shaul Tchernichovsky, who came from forested and water abundant Ukraine to the dry, brown-gold summer of Eretz Israel. But in the fields crops ripen and summer fruit appears in orchards, a celebration of flavors and colors. Naomi Shemer describes the fruit stalls in the “Market Song”: “There are mountains of watermelons next to hills of apples”.

Summer is children’s favorite season. They are finally on vacation, there is time for hiking, trips and having fun. Lots of free time. Summer means going to the beach, taking a dip in the cool blue water and building castles in the sand.

From the theme song for the children’s television program Carousel, which described the seasons of the year:

“So come whirl round on the carousel
Down and up and all around,
So come whirl round on the carousel
In summer, winter, autumn and spring”

—Leah Naor
Author, translator and poet

* All songs and poems have been loosely translated from the original Hebrew.

The stamp shows Tel Aviv beach.
Photograph © Shutterstock.

Technical Details:
Issue: June 21, 2016
Stamp Size (mm): H 30 x W 40
Plate: 1024
Stamps per Sheet: 15
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France.

WWI in Eretz Israel – Centenary 1916 – Aerial Warfare (Israel 2016)

isr_wwiplanesIn October 1914, a few months after the outbreak of WWI, the Ottoman Empire aligned itself with Germany and Austria against the allied nations (Britain, France and Russia). The Great War, as it was called at the time, lasted for more than four years and fundamentally changed the history of the world, including the situation of Eretz Israel. In early 1915, the Ottoman military waged a campaign in the Sinai Peninsula, intending to conquer the Suez Canal. But the attack failed and the Turks were forced to retreat back to Eretz Israel. During the retreat the Turkish force was attacked repeatedly by British aircraft stationed in the Suez Canal area and since it had no planes of its own, the Ottoman army was powerless against these strikes.

The Turkish and German commanders learned from this experience, moving a force of 14 German Rumpler C-1 aircraft, which were superior to the British planes, to Eretz Israel to take part in the renewed efforts to attack the Suez Canal. The German squadron took up its post in Beer Sheba in April 1916. Even after the offensive failed, the German planes continued to bomb British forces as they steadily made their way to the southern border of Eretz Israel.

The aerial warfare continued and intensified in 1917-1918. Both sides sent new and more advanced aircraft to the front in Eretz Israel, such as the Rumpler C-IV that appears on the stamp. These aircraft fulfilled various missions including aerial photography, patrols and bombing and even the occasional aerial battle, such as that described by Ze’ev Jabotinsky in his memoirs: “Two aircraft faced each other, circling around an invisible centerÖ filling the air with the clatter of machine guns and flakes of white cotton.”

The Bavarian 304th squadron, which was posted at the Merhavia Cooperative from November 1917, became a renowned part of the history of the Jewish Yishuv. Strong bonds were formed between residents and squadron members, who aided one another and even held joint dances. The Bavarians actively assisted Merhavia members, shielded them from the injustices of the Ottoman authorities and even purchased military surplus mules and wagons for them. On one occasion, Bavarian aircraft bombed Sulam, a neighboring Arab village, in retaliation for the murder of one of the Jewish residents.

Description of the Stamp and First Day Cover
The stamp features a German pilot in uniform. In the background ñ a German plane on the landing strip by the Merhavia Cooperative ñ photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, American Colony collection. The tab features the emblem of a Prussian pilot.

The First Day Cover features a photo of the Merhavia Cooperative Barn Museum, a significant portion of which is dedicated to the close bond between the Jewish residents and members of the Bavarian squadron. Photo by Moshe Rimmer. The background features a British military map exhibiting plans for conquering the Merhavia area in September 1918. Photo courtesy of the National Library of Israel.

Technical Details:
Issue: June 21, 2016
Stamp Size (mm): H 30 x W 40
Plate: 1023
Stamps per Sheet: 15
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of printing: Offset
Security mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France.

Israel’s April Issues

These stamps and the ATM label will be issued April 19th.

From Israel Post:

Take a tour through Jerusalem with our April stamp issues: start with the Bridge of Strings at the city’s entrance, through the Mahane Yehuda Market and the impressive Knesset Building. Plus read on for what else is in store…..

isr_spainThe Bridge of Strings in Jerusalem was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava so this makes for a most fitting visual image to express the bridge of friendship developed over 30 years between Israel and Spain.

You can just feel the hustle and bustle of the markets in our Markets in Israel stamp set. Vibrant colors, charming ambiance and many bargains to be found!!

Israel prides herself on her democracy and the Knesset Building is where is all happens. The building was inaugurated 50 years ago and, in addition to being the site of many historic events in the development of the country, it houses many famous works of art.

isr_springOur stamp for Spring stands out in this collection with its stunning red wildflowers. What a great season that symbolizes blooming and renewal!

In the past we have issued many Israeli Achievements stamps. This time we focus on the success in Printing. There are numerous start-up companies in Israel which promote and adapt printing technology to the needs of the 21st century.

Every year we remember the fallen in our Israel’s wars and battles. Our Memorial Day stamp this year illustrates the poignant poem isr_tavitdogby Natan Yonatan, “The Sand Will Remember”.

Our April ATM shows cute Bob from Central Israel. He looks like he’s having great fun!

More designs:



Israel’s February 9, 2016 Stamps

From The Israel Philatelic Service; links go to specific pages for those issues:

isr_winterOur February stamps celebrate Winter, Israel-Greece relations, influential writers and the importance of rescuing Turtles and Dogs!

Winter is upon us and in Israel we enjoy clear crisp air, sun-filled moments, much needed rainy days and green landscape filled with flowers. Everyone is excited when snow falls in Jerusalem and on the high mountain peaks.

The Israel – Greece Joint issue features our ports Haifa and Thessaloniki. Interestingly most of the Thessaloniki dockworkers were Jewish and when they immigrated to Israel they continued their expertise and hard work in the Haifa port. Israel and Greece celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations and have forged multidimensional partnerships in many fields.

isr_kishonAuthor, playwright, film and theater director, Ephraim Kishon is considered to be one of the greatest Israeli satirists of all time. This stamp celebrates his life and work which is enjoyed by millions around the world.

Our Pioneering Women stamp series continues this month with a writer and a poet: Nehama Pohatchevsky and Zelda. Both women have fascinating life histories and have been most influential in Israeli culture.

Let’s delve into the sea and discover the slow but sure Marine Turtles. These steady, harmless creatures are endangered due to human activity and Israel runs a national center for their rescue and rehabilitation.

isr_dogadopt1Our 2016 ATM labels pay tribute to man’s best friend and the importance of adopting rescue dogs. The first label introducing the Dog Adoption in Israel series features a beautiful silhouette picture showing the love between humans and dogs.

Willy from Southern Israel is pictured on February’s label. He’s just waiting for you to throw him the ball!

Dog Adoption ATM Labels (Israel 2016)

From The Israel Philatelic Service; links go to specific pages for those issues:

isr_dogadopt2Our 2016 ATM labels pay tribute to man’s best friend and the importance of adopting rescue dogs. The first label introducing the Dog Adoption in Israel series [issued January 1st and shown below]  features a beautiful silhouette picture showing the love between humans and dogs.

Willy from Southern Israel is pictured on February’s label. He’s just waiting for you to throw him the ball!

The issue date is February 9, 2016.

The first label in the series: isr_dogadopt1

Israel–Greece Joint Issue – 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations (Israel 2016)

Haifa and Thessaloniki Ports
isr_greeceThe issue date is February 9, 2016.

This year, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Greece. Both are modern democratic states, Mediterranean neighbors, with common values representing the proud independence of two ancient nations. The two countries have forged a multidimensional partnership with wide-ranging cooperation in all fields reflecting our peoples’ shared history, close cultural ties and common interests. This historic commemorative stamp symbolizes the close friendship between Israel and Greece as they strive to build a better future, working together to promote the progress and prosperity of our nations and our region.

— Irit Ben Abba
Israeli Ambassador to Greece

The Jews of Thessaloniki stood facing the sea, while other Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora and in Eretz Israel lived with their backs to it.

Yitzhak Ben Zvi, one of the forefathers of the Zionist movement and later President of Israel, visited Thessaloniki in 1914 and was amazed by the Jewish command of the port: “On the eve of the Sabbath, even before sunset, all transport halts at the port. At once, all the Jewish sailors fill the port with their rowboats, dinghies and ships, all sailing to shore… Sabbath!”

Due to the deep economic ties between Thessaloniki and the sea, which reflected the Jewish power on the docks and beyond, the “pearl of the Aegean” became known as “Jerusalem of the Balkans”, in other words – like a city in Israel whose Jewish residents were linked to nature and to physical labor.

The “Jewish muscle” exhibited on the docks of Thessaloniki led the Zionist leadership to include the Thessalonikians in the conquest of the sea in Eretz Israel. Between 1933 and1935 hundreds of Jewish dockworkers from Thessaloniki immigrated to Eretz Israel and helped to realize the national vision of Hebrew labor with their own hands in the key sea ports of Haifa and Jaffa. The routine daily work on the docks was both tedious and dangerous. During the Arab strike that broke out in 1936, Arab workers failed in their attempts to lock the gates of the Haifa and Jaffa ports. Haifa Port remained open thanks to the Thessalonikian dockworkers who continued to come to work despite the atmosphere of terror, and in Tel Aviv the Thessalonikians built the first Hebrew port, as an alternative to the striking Jaffa port. These heroic actions destroyed the Arab blockade of the transfer of goods, passengers and immigrants through the ports of Eretz Israel and garnered the Thessalonikians a place in the national pantheon for their key role in the realization of the Zionist vision during the period of the Jewish Yishuv as it moved toward statehood.

— Dr. Shai Srougo
Researcher of Jewish Communities of the Mediterranean Region
Lecturer, Department of Jewish History, Haifa University

Description of the stamp
The stamp features Haifa Port as represented by a typical freighter and cranes, with the Baha’i Gardens on the slopes of Mt. Carmel in the background; and the Port of Thessaloniki as represented by a typical cruise ship and cranes, with the ancient white tower on the beach in the background.

The stamp tab features the 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Israel and Greece logo, designed by graphic artist and illustrator Kelly Matathia Covo.

Turtles in the Marine Environment (Israel 2016)

isr_turtlesMarine Turtles are the largest reptiles in Israel. They live mostly in the sea, but the females come ashore on summer nights to lay dozens of eggs in cavities they dig in the sand. The offspring hatch in about two months.

In some turtle species, the offspring’s gender is determined by the temperature in the nest. In the 1920’s and 1930’s sea turtle populations suffered greatly, with some 2000 green turtles being hunted each year along Israel’s coast. Despite that, in the 1950’s 15 nests per kilometer were reported on Israel’s northern beaches. The fact that in 2011 only one nest per kilometer was found on average in those areas highlights the sharp decline in the marine turtle populations, despite conservation efforts and legal protections.

Marine Turtles are endangered for various reasons: adults are injured by ship propellers, by ingesting waste and plastic bags, by fishing nets and hooks; nests are harmed by vehicles driving on the beaches, by human activity on the beaches at night and by animal predators; reduced numbers of beach sites available for nesting and artificial lighting along the beaches deters females from laying their eggs, as well as causing the offspring to lose their innate sense of direction, which guides them to the sea upon hatching.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers and volunteers operate a national center that rescues and rehabilitates injured marine turtles. They also work to protect nests and when necessary, transfer eggs to protected incubation farms. The general public assists the Authority by reporting sightings of egg laying and injured turtles. (For urgent reports regarding injured turtles call: *6911).

Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricate
The Hawksbill Turtle is the smallest of the marine turtles and is considered to be the most beautiful, thanks to the brown, black and yellow scutes tiled on its shell. This species is endangered mainly due to hunting in Southeast Asia. The turtle’s narrow head allows it to extract prey from among the coral. The Hawksbill Turtle occasionally frequents the Gulf of Eilat. The background of the stamp features the seabed and sea creatures typical to the Gulf of Eilat. The stamp tab features a schematic sketch of the Hawksbill Turtle’s scutes and scales, and clearly shows its narrow head.

Green Turtle Chelonia mydas
The Green Turtle is the only marine turtle that is mainly herbivorous in adulthood. Only 15 nests on average belonging to this species are found along Israel’s beaches. However, 63 of the 192 turtles, dead or injured, that wash onto the shore on average each year are Green Turtles.

The stamp features the underbelly of the Green Turtle, with the surface of the sea as seen from underwater shown in the background. The stamp tab features the scutes and scales of the Green Turtle’s back shell.

Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta
The Loggerhead Turtle is the most prevalent marine turtle in the Mediterranean Sea and it lays the largest numbers of eggs along Israel’s beaches (some 135 nests per year in recent years). It is mostly carnivorous, eating jellyfish, fish and crabs.

The stamp features the Loggerhead Turtle near the sandy seabed, with barnacles clearly shown attached to its shell. The stamp tab features the unique scutes and scales pattern that differentiates this species from the Green Turtle, clearly showing the fifth scute in rows along the sides.

Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea
The Leatherback Turtle is the largest and heaviest turtle species in the world, measuring up to 3 meters in length and weighing up to 930 kgs. As opposed to other marine turtles, its shell is covered with hard skin rather than scutes. The Leatherback Turtle migrates great distances across the oceans, swims faster than all other marine turtles (up to 35 km/h) and can dive to a depth of 1280 meters. This species feeds mainly on jellyfish and only rarely appears along Israel’s shores, in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Eilat. The background of the stamp features jellyfish, which are the Leatherback Turtle’s main food source. The ridges on the turtle’s back are prominent. The stamp tab highlights this species’ hydrodynamic body.

—Prof. Amos Bouskila
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Description of the First Day Cover
A marine turtle hatching from an egg is in the foreground.

A newly hatched turtle making its way toward the sea, leaving typical tracks in the sand, is featured in the background.