The Gevatron (Folk Music Group) (Israel 2018)

This stamp will be issued February 6. From Israel Post:

The Gevatron – 70 Years

The Gevatron Chorus was founded in 1948 by a group of young people from Kibbutz Kvutzat Geva in the Jezreel Valley to perform at the dedication ceremony for a new basketball court.

When asked “How did the group come into being?” one of the original members replied, “We used to sing together in the granary”, uniting, strengthening singing that causes one to forget the poverty and the difficulty of daily life.

The group’s name, the Gevatron, was reminiscent of the popular Palmach troupe the Chizbatron (which is also being honored with a stamp). To this day, members of the chorus come from Kibbutz Geva or from nearby kibbutzim Beit HaShita and Kfar HaHoresh, the towns of Moledet, Kfar Tavor and Tamrat, and the city of Afula. Participants are all Volunteers.

At first, the troupe only appeared at Kvutzat Geva and in the surrounding area, performing songs about kibbutz life. Composer Nachum Heiman began working with the chorus in 1961 and diversified its repertoire. The group was initially accompanied by an accordion player and later by a number of musicians. Various musical arrangers worked with the troupe after Heiman, including Haim Agmon, Dov Carmel, Zvika Caspi and Ilan Gilboa, who has served as the chorus’ musical director for the past 28 years.

The Gevatron has a rich repertoire, comprised of songs written especially for the troupe as well as its own versions of familiar Israeli songs. The troupe is mostly identified with “songs of the homeland” and songs about settling the country, although it has recorded numerous styles and arrangements. Some of its most well known songs are: Yam Hashibolim (Sea of Grain Stalks), Emek Sheli (My Valley), Gvanim (Color Shades), Nitsanim Niru Ba’aretz (Flowers Appeared in the Land), El Borot Hamayim (To the Cisterns), Or Ve’Yerushalayim (Light and Jerusalem), Ha’Hita Zomachat Shuv (The Wheat Sprouts Again) and Bat Shishim (At Sixty).

Throughout most of its existence, the troupe was led by Rina Firstenberg, who took the managerial duties upon herself. The height of the troupe’s success came in the 1970’s and 1980’s, when it performed extensively in Israel and abroad, mostly on a volunteer basis.

On Independence Day 2007, the Gevatron was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and contribution to the State of Israel.

—The Gevatron

Description of the Stamp
The stamp design was inspired by a Gevatron album cover designed by and courtesy of Menachem Lasky. The stamp tab features a quote from the song Yam Hashibolim (Sea of Grain Stalks). Lyrics: YItzchak Kinan, Music: Haim Agmon.

Ha’Chizbatron (Folk Music Group) (Israel 2018)

This stamp will be issued February 6. From Israel Post:

Ha’Chizbatron – 70 Years

Ha’Chizbatron – The Palmach Troupe 1948-1950
“The Chizbatron Troupe was established from within the Palmach during Israel’s War of Independence and accompanied the paupers’ army that arose from the underground organizations to face intense war”, said poet Haim Gouri.

[The Palmach was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Israeli community during the British Mandate post World War II. —VSC]

Poet Haim Hefer, a veteran of the Palmach, knew and understood that the soldiers desperately needed a respite between the fierce battles. He knew of the Red Army military bands and the role they played during WWII and thought to establish such a band in Israel as well. He asked Palmach commander Yigal Alon for a budget of 10 GBP to purchase an accordion. Alon liked the idea and provided the requested funds. Thus began this important and successful troupe, which left its mark on musical masterpieces for generations to come.

The first production included improvised skits and foreign melodies to which Haim Hefer added well written texts. Shaike Ophir and Naomi Polany were recruited from among the Palmach ranks, accompanied by Yoel Zilber on the accordion. The Negev desert area was under siege at that time, and was accessible only via air. The troupe flew south and went from post to post, where they were received very warmly. While en route to Kibbutz Be’eri, the troupe’s truck drove over a landmine. Troupe member Ohela Halevy was seriously injured and recognized as an IDF disabled veteran. This event of course changed things and it was necessary to reorganize and even write new material. Director Shmuel Bunim came into the picture and new troupe members were recruited.

Hefer wrote lyrics for melodies by Sasha Argov, Moshe Wilinsky, Parshko and David Zehavi.

The Chizbatron’s most well known songs included: Hare’ut (The Friendship), Hayu Zmanim (There were Times), Hen Efshar (Yes, it’s Possible), Hey Ha’Jeep (Hey, the Jeep), Hakol Inyan Shel Ofi (It’s all a Matter of Character) and more.

The Chizbatron staged four productions during its military tenure and a fifth as a civilian theater. Shaike Ophir did not participate in the fifth production, because he left to study mime under Marcel Marceau in Paris. His absence was felt immediately and the fifth production was not popular among audiences, despite its high level material (which may have been overly political).

Some Chizbatron members went on to study at the Cameri Theater acting school and others returned to their private lives. We were left with wonderful memories which we carry with us to this day. Today there are only three living former Chizbatron members: Naomi Polani, Shlomo Bar-Shavit and Rivkaleh Kramer. We continue to meet monthly to reminisce.

— Rivkaleh Kramer

Description of the Stamp and First Day Cover
The stamp and first day cover feature a photo of the Chizbatron members performing in a tent. Courtesy of: the Palmach Museum. Part of a drawing by Arie Navon appears on the stamp, from the Israeli Museum of Caricature and Comics, Holon, courtesy of the family. The Palmach insignia is also featured.

WWI: Indian Cavalry (Israel 2018)

This stamp will be issued February 6. From Israel Post:

WWI in Eretz Israel Centenary – The Indian Cavalry, Haifa (1918)

When WWI broke out in August 1914, the Ottoman Empire formed an alliance with the Central Powers (Germany and Austria) against the Allies (Britain, France and Russia). The Great War, as it was known at the time, went on for more than four years and fundamentally changed world history in general and the situation in Eretz Israel in particular.

In early 1918, after an offensive in which the British conquered the southern part of Eretz Israel from the Ottoman army, the frontline between the two forces was drawn along the Abu Tellul ridge. Both armies were exhausted from their strenuous efforts during the previous several months. They were in need of a respite in order to regroup and renew equipment and supplies. Some of the British troops were transferred to the Western Front in Europe, and military forces from India were sent to Eretz Israel to replace them. The large British offensive to conquer the northern part of Eretz Israel began on September 19, 1918. British and Indian forces broke through the Turkish line near the Poleg River and proceeded rapidly northward along the coastal plain. By evening, the attackers reached the Tul Karem area, the next day they captured Afula and Nazareth and on September 21st British aircraft attacked the retreating Turks in northern Samaria, inflicting many casualties.

The British route of attack did not include Haifa, and conquering the city was not part of the plan at that stage. However, on September 22nd an erroneous report was received advising that the Turks had abandoned the city. When they attempted to enter the city, the British were met with fierce resistance and barely succeeded in extracting their troops. Following this failure, the Indian 5th Cavalry Regiment was ordered to conquer Haifa. On the morning of the 23rd the Ramchi Jodphur battalion began progressing toward Haifa, but was not able to achieve its goal. At 2:00 pm another battalion, commanded by Major Takhur Dalfat Singh was assigned the task. The battalion’s cavalrymen bravely charged the Turks’ machine gun positions, subdued them and successfully conquered Haifa. Major Dalfat Singh, who was killed during the attack, was posthumously called “The Hero of Haifa”. This battle is considered by the Indian military to be one of the cornerstones of its military history, and it is marked annually with ceremonies throughout India.

In the following days, the British continued their progress northward, which was concluded on September 30th, with the capture of Damascus. A short time thereafter the Ottoman Empire conceded, thus ending WWI on the Eastern Front.

Description of the Stamp and the First Day Cover
The stamp features an Indian cavalryman (Library of Congress, from photos of the American Colony in Jerusalem) against the background of the Indian Cavalry battalion in the streets of lower Haifa (Imperial War Museum). The tab features the insignia of the Indian army’s Ramchi Jodphur battalion.

The first day cover features a photo of the monument erected in the British Military Cemetery in Haifa in memory of the Indian soldiers who fell during WWI. The background features a British military map depicting the battle moves for capturing the Haifa area in September 1918. Photo: National Library of Israel.

Production of the WWI in Eretz Israel Centenary stamp series is aided by The Society for the Heritage of World War I in Israel, which researches the events of the war, publishes books on the subject and hosts conferences and tours for members of the society and the general public.

Yotvata Hai-Bar [Endangered Wildlife] (Israel 2018)

These stamps will be issued February 6. From Israel Post:

Yotvata Hai-Bar – 50 Years
[A larger version of the minisheet is at the bottom of this page]

A public association called Hai-Bar was founded in the 1960’s under the patronage of the Nature Parks Authority and managed by Avraham Yaffe and Uri Tson. The association’s objective was to restore wildlife species which had become extinct in Israel and repopulate endangered species. In the early 1970’s, an area of approximately 12,000 dunams (2965 acres) was fenced in within the Yotvata Nature Reserve, which preserves one of the salt flats in the Southern Arava. Large herbivores which had become extinct in Israel were brought in, as well as a number of species that did not exist in Israel but were endangered in the world, such as the wild ass, the white antelope, the Sahara oryx, the Arabian oryx , the African wild ass and the ostrich. It is a diverse habitat, rich in species and large acacia trees which grow in the western part of the reserve.

In the beginning of the 21st century a few thousand additional dunams were fenced in to the west of highway 90 in order to protect the world’s last population of Acacia Gazelle, which is endangered worldwide. This species is monitored carefully to preserve its existence.

Some of the wildlife species in Yotvata Hai-Bar are not being repopulated in Israel but are raised as part of an international preservation effort to prevent their extinction. The Hai-Bar also serves as an emergency veterinary facility as well as a rehabilitation and way station for animals injured in the wild, with the intention of releasing them back into nature once they’ve healed.

Some of the Hai-Bar’s most prominent species:

The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
The Arabian oryx is suited to extreme desert conditions. It can survive for many days without water, making do with only the liquids derived from its food. It lives in small herds with a hierarchy for males and for females. The size of the herd varies depending on the food supply. Acacia seed pods are the Arabian oryx’s main source of food and passage through the oryx’s digestive system improves the seeds’ germination success. In the late 1970’s a breeding core with four pairs of oryx was established at the Hai-Bar, and today there are more than 100 of these animals in the reserve. An estimated 100 others live in the wild in the Arava and in the Negev mountain area.

Wild Ass (Equus hemionus)
The Wild Ass lives in herds of females that move between the territories of the dominant males, while the young males live in bachelor herds. It feeds on desert vegetation but does need water. The number of male territories is determined by the available water sources. The Asian wild ass, a sub-species of the Middle-eastern wild ass is extinct, thus the breeding core established in Yotvata Hai-Bar in the 1960’s was based on a population made up of two other sub-species: the Persian wild ass and the Turkmenian wild ass. The re-introduction program began in 1982 in the Machtesh Ramon area and is considered to be a success. Today there are some 300 of these animals living in the wild.

Acacia Gazelle (G. gazella acacia)
The Acacia Gazelle was discovered in the Arava in the 1960’s by zoologist Giora Ilani. This is the rarest gazelle species in Israel and the population is only about 20 animals, which currently live in a fenced area of the Yotvata Reserve. Most of its food comes from the acacia trees, mainly the foliage and the fruit, which it can reach by standing on its hind legs. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority makes great efforts to preserve and nurture the Acacia Gazelle population in the hope that in the future it will grow and be able to return to the wild.

—Tal Polak, PhD
Ecologist, Arava region
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority

Israeli Television (Israel 2018)

This stamp will be issued February 6. From Israel Post:

Israel Television — 50 Years

The Six Day War not only added territory to the State of Israel, but also hundreds of thousands of Arab residents who had been exposed until then to television broadcasts from neighboring Arab countries. That was one of the motivations behind the Israeli government’s decision, after many years of indecision surrounding the establishment of a national public television station that would also broadcast in Arabic to the residents of the territories. The objective was to counter the propaganda which was being broadcasted from across the border.

The process was carried out quickly because the IDF parade in Jerusalem on May 1968, Israel’s 20th Independence Day, was selected to be the first broadcast. It was a race against the clock to recruit professional manpower and equipment, for broadcasting and recording that had not existed until then in Israel. That was a one-time broadcast, and regular broadcasting did not commence until three months later, in August 1968. Initially, broadcasts were provided three times a week, centered on the Mabat La’Hadashot news broadcast — the only program that was broadcasted continuously until the Israel Broadcasting Authority closed down.

For the first 25 years, Israel Television, which was also called the “General Television” and eventually “Channel One”, was the only channel and had viewer ratings that seem impossible today: the most popular shows were watched by 70%-90% of the viewers. The central news broadcast Mabat La’Hadashot was an element of social cohesiveness in those years, oftentimes determining the political, economic, social and cultural agenda.

Other shows that were cornerstones of the channel were: Kolbotek — a consumer magazine that uncovered bureaucratic and consumer wrongs and also had very high viewer rating; Amud Ha’Esh — a program that showed the history of Zionism from its inception to the establishment of the State of Israel and aroused large-scale response and public debate; Nikui Rosh — a satirical program that took on the government every week anew.

The national channel was required to reflect all aspects of the population in its broadcasts in the realms of news, sports, religion, children, documentaries, entertainment and drama. The television archive houses hundreds of thousands of articles, films, series, programs and broadcasts documenting the life of the State of Israel over the past 50 years. During those years, some Channel One employees were awarded the Israel Prize.

With the establishment of cable, satellite and commercial networks, came the first competition for the heart of the viewer and most viewers abandoned Channel One, until it was eventually shut down in May 2017 following the closure of the Israel Broadcast Authority by virtue of a law passed by the Knesset.

—Benny Ohry,
director, reporter, editor and producer,
Channel One

Israel’s February 2018 Issues

from Israel Post; click on the issue names for more details and larger pictures:

Israeli folk music, animals, trains and history are just a few of the popular topics that are included in the first stamp issues of 2018. Two bands which represent the Israel folk music are: “Ha’ Chizbatron” which was the Palmach and the IDF’s music and entertainment band at the beginning of its establishment, and it existed from January 1948 to 1950. It is considered the first military band established in Israel.”

The band consisted of a group of young actors and singers accompanied by an accordionist.

The Gevatron Chorus, the second band, was founded in 1948 by a group of young people from Kibbutz Geva in the Jezreel Valley to perform at the dedication ceremony for a new basketball court.

The Gevatron has a rich repertoire, comprised of songs written especially for the troupe as well as its own versions of familiar Israeli songs.

The Yotvata Hai- Bar was founded in the 1960’s under the patronage of the nature parks authority, the association’s objective was to restore wildlife species which had become extinct in Israel and repopulate endangered species.

When World War I broke out in August 1914, the Ottoman Empire formed an alliance with the Central powers (Germany and Austria) against the Allies (Brittan, France and Russia).

The Great War, as it was known at the time, went on for more than four years and fundamentally changed world history in general and the situation in Eretz Israel in particular.

Israel Television – 50 Years, the objective of the establishment of a national public television station which also broadcast in Arabic to the residents of the territories was to counter the propaganda which was broadcasted across the border.

[These stamps will be issued February 6th. —VSC]

This year we decided to issue beautiful new series of Trains ATM labels, on January and February we issued two sets: Trains in Israel and the Valley Railway, trains as we know is a very popular theme among collectors all over the world.