Hear why Canada’s first permanent Jewish postmark is from a town with no Jews

Disraeli, Quebec's new permanent special postmark designed by Irv Osterer of Ottawa issued on Nov. 8, 2021. (Canada Post photo)

Nathalie Fortier is the postmistress of Disraeli, Quebec. She runs the only post office in the small town, which was named after Benjamin Disraeli, the British prime minister who was born Jewish, faced antisemitism and supported a homeland for Jews. As far as Fortier knows, there aren’t any Jews living in Disraeli—and she had never heard of the namesake—until Canada Post approached her a couple of months ago, asking for Disraeli to become the first and only post office in the country with a special permanent Jewish postmark.

Released just in time for Hanukkah, the postmark shows four dreidels and a fully lit hanukkiah. And while it was only supposed to be available until the end of the holiday, like the miracle of oil that lasted longer than expected, the Disraeli postmaster loves the postmark so much, she’s decided to continue and broaden the initiative.

Irv Osterer, an Ottawa-based graphic artist and stamp collector, designed the postmark, and he joins today to share how he did it and what his hopes are for the future of this work.

What we talked about:


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