Waves Hebrew magazines

  • Issue: December 1993
  • Designer: A. Vanooijen
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 207
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

The Hebrew Press is usually dated from 1863, the year in which the "Halevanon" and Hakhavatzelet" newspapers of the Old Yishuv (Jewish Settlement in Palestine) first appeared.

Less than thirty years later, in December 1892, the first edition of "Olam Katon' (Miniature World) was published in Jerusalem. It was the pioneer of children's newspapers in Hebrew, not only in the Land of Israel but throughout the world.

On the pink cover of the paper, (by the standards of the times quite a luxury), the editors, who included Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of Modern Hebrew, stated their objective: "A newspaper for children, which will include stories, poems, fables and puzzles, information on nature and history, written with children in mind and within their comprehension". They hoped that the newspaper would help develop a new style of Hebrew writing directed at children, and that its distribution in the Yishuv would help promote the hegemony of the Hebrew language, particularly among the schoolchildren of the early settlements. To this end, the pages of the newspaper were full of new words and their meanings. There were, at that time, no more than twenty families in the whole of the country, who spoke Hebrew amongst themselves at home. The best teachers of the First Aliyah (Wave of Immigration) were involved in writing this newspaper, together with famous public figures such as Meir Dizengoff. The contribution of the women of the Yishuv was particularly noticeable: these included the writer Nechama Pochatschevsky of Rishon Lezion and Rachel Neiman from Ekron. "Olam Katon" came out irregularly for a period of 10 months, seven editions being published in all. Today they are extremely rare to find.

Towards the end of the last century Itamar Ben Avi, the son of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, edited a further attempt at publishing a children's newspaper called "S'fat Aver" (The Hebrew language), which was printed by hectograph. Its contributors were all young people. Its first and only edition was published in Jerusalem in 1897.

Ten years later, in 1907, Hemda and Eliezer Ben Yehuda published a children's newspaper called "Ha-Ivri Hakatan" ("The Little Hebrew"), as a supplement to the "Hashkafa" newspaper.

This also proved unsuccessful, coming to an end after only three editions. On the other hand, newspapers for children in Eastern Europe flourished and came out with regularity from the start.

In 1899 the first children's weekly in Hebrew, called "Gan Shaashu'im" ("Playground"), appeared in Russia. Its subtitle read: "A Newsletter on Education, Literature and Science published weekly for the pleasure and amusement of Jewish youth". Eighty five editions of this newspaper were published over a period of two years.

A few months later, in 1901, the weekly "Olam Katan" (Small World") was published in Warsaw under the editorship of the authors Sh. L. Gordon and Ben Avigdor. In this widely distributed newspaper, which came out regularly for four years, appeared the first works written for children by important Hebrew authors of the time. "Olam Katan" ("Small World"), the pioneer of children's illustrated children's newspapers in Hebrew, had an ornate graphic design, with a plethora of literary pieces written in a style attractive to children all over the Jewish world. Its four volumes (1901-1905) constitute a foundation stone of children's literature in Hebrew. The pictorial cover of "Olam Katan" is depicted on the new stamp, and underneath it, on the tab, appears the cover of "Olam Katan" from the Land of Israel. "Olam Katan" was inherited by the illustrated newspapers "Hachaim Vehateva" (Life and Nature), which was published in Lithuania in 1905-1906, and two years later by the popular children's weekly "Haprachim" (The Flowers) which appeared for around seven consecutive years (1907-1914).

A unique phenomenon in the field of children's newspapers, both in Hebrew and generally, was the publication of a daily children's newspaper, "Hechaver" ("The Friend") in Vilna, in 1908.

For about five months it appeared daily with full Hebrew vowel pointing, in a folio format, and after 106 editions became a weekly. These are some milestones of the beginning of children's newspapers in Hebrew. During the last hundred years over 100 children's newspapers in Hebrew have been published. Many did not last long, others survived for relatively long periods. The one which lasted the longest was "Davar Leyeladim" (the Hebrew newspaper "Davar" - Word - for Children), was published for 54 consecutive years (1931-1985) until it amalgamated with "Mishmar Leyeladim" (the Hebrew newspaper "Mishmar"- Guard - for Children) and "Haaretz Shelanu" (Our Land) to become a paper called "Koolanu" (All of us) which continues to appear.

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100 years of Hebrew magazines for children philately day