5: Greeting card, "Khanike-geld," Yiddish, date unknown.

5: Greeting card, "Khanike-geld," Yiddish, date unknown.

This photographic postcard from prewar Poland shows a man distributing money to his children (or grandchildren) in celebration of Chanukah.

Suggested Activity: Ask students to describe what they see. How are the people in the photograph dressed, and what can we learn about them from their dress? (Students may wish to note the girl’s frilly dress, hair ribbon, and polished boots as a sign of the family’s wealth and modern tastes, for instance. They may also note the father’s kapote (long black coat traditionally worn by male Jews in Eastern Europe) and beard as a sign of the family’s religious traditionalism. These two observations together might allow them to conclude that the family is both traditional and modernizing.) If they were to describe the holiday of Chanukah from this postcard alone, what would they say were the practices and ideas associated with the holiday? To what extent does the postcard suggest that Chanukah is about or for children?

Source: People of a Thousand Towns, Online Photographic Catalogue, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Used with permission from YIVO.