Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs 370.
If you haven’t already sent out your Rosh Hashana greeting cards, do not fear:
Thanks to the growing digital greeting card market, you still have plenty of
time and a multitude of options.
While sending e-cards via various
websites has been a popular way to send an instantaneous greeting for several
years now, this year there are several new options that have taken the
e-greeting phenomenon one step further by incorporating social media platforms
as an option for disseminating your New Year good wishes.
comes from the Ministry of Diplomacy and Public Affairs, which last week
announced a new, more modern spin on the classic Israeli “shana tova”
The glitter-embellished cards featuring simple drawings of
children eating apples and honey or a shofar adorned with flowers were once sold
only from makeshift stalls at the country’s key marketplaces. I remember
visiting Israel as a child and helping my parents stock up on them to send out
ahead of the holidays.
Now those images, which many people associate with
the early years of the Jewish state, have been transported into the digital age
– and even those with limited Internet experience will find it easy to work
though the ministry’s card-sending system to fill in their personal details to
email the card to relatives and friends or have it automatically posted on their
Available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian,
Dutch and Italian, the ministry’s cards are inscribed with the words: “And your
children shall return to their borders: A peaceful and happy New Year to you and
to the whole Jewish People. A year of peace and security.”
Users can also
include their own personal greeting in the body of the email that accompanies
If you want to send something beyond the traditional greeting
cards, it’s worth visiting the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
(JDC) Facebook page and clicking on the “JDC Holiday Hub.”
offers delectable holiday recipes from Jewish communities around the globe, such
as honey cookies from Argentina; apples with cider, nuts and honey from Russia;
Serbian Rosh Hashana honey cake and pkalia, or beef stew, from Tunisia – each of
which can be downloaded or sent to relatives as a kind holiday
AS WELL as sending out holiday greetings and other special
packages, an increasing number of applications and digital platforms have sprung
up in recent years to mark and educate about the High Holy Days in
Of course, there is no shortage of websites offering scholarly,
religious and historic information about these festivals, as well as guidelines
on how to understand or follow the various traditions and
However, now, with the invent of “apps” downloadable to portable
devices such as tablets and mobile phones, interactive platforms relating to
Rosh Hashana (try the “Shofar for iPhone” if listening to it only on the High
Holy Days is just not enough for you), Yom Kippur and Succot are certainly on
One such app is Jewish Interactive’s “Sukkah Challenge,” a
downloadable educational game that explores the basic roots and meaning of the
Feast of Tabernacles.
The app, which is available at the organization’s
website for free or for a small fee, is set to be released this week.
game involves two cartoon characters stuck in a desert, who can only survive by
building a succa, just like the Jews did when leaving Egypt. Players can choose
to explore a variety of Torah sources about the significance of a succa, why
they are built and how. They then search through various rooms for the essential
materials used to build the succa, purchasing them and then dragging them back
into the game in order to build their own huts.
Developers say that while
everything is presented in a lighthearted and entertaining way, the game is very
educational and packed with information.
This is not the first Jewish app
designed by the nonprofit organization, which has offices in South Africa,
London and New York. In addition, the group has developed educational software
focusing on other tenets of Judaism.
So, whether you are looking to
express your wishes for a happy New Year to loved ones or searching for a way to
help your children understand the significance of these holy days, it’s worth
checking in on the digital media front.
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