New Hanukkah Forever Stamp gets warm reception at dedication ceremony

by | Dec 5, 2016 | Other News

Music, dance, and a few, brief history lessons were part of the buildup which led to the colorful unveiling of the United States Postal Service’s 2016 Hanukkah Forever Stamp on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk.

An enlargement of the stamp was placed center stage, covered by a drop cloth, which remained in place until midway through the heartfelt stamp dedication ceremony.

Master of ceremonies Joel Rubin gave the 11 am event a celebratory tone, respectfully introducing guest speakers and performers while building anticipation about the stamp’s “reveal.”

Program dignitaries included the Air Force Langley Honor Guard, singer Rashida Robinson, Minister Sabrina Wooten and dancer Shannon Stokes. Chrysler Museum director Erik Neil welcomed the audience, Richard Bennett, Jr., Postmaster of Virginia Beach and Diana Branch, Postmaster of Norfolk gave the stamp dedication and closing remarks, respectively.

The local Jewish community was well represented at the ceremony, from guest speakers to audience members. Among the rabbis and other clergy who attended were Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin of Ohef Sholom Temple who performed a special Hanukkah song, and Rabbi Dr. Michael Panitz who discussed some of the historical relevance of the holiday. Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander also attended the ceremony.

Once unveiled, the stamp elicited applause. Simple, yet elegant, the design features a menorah—or more correctly the audience learned, a hanukiah—with nine, lit candles, positioned as if it’s inside a room, looking out on a snowy scene which contrasts with the warmth of the flames.

Following the dedication, audience members showed their appreciation for both the attention given to the holiday and the look of the stamp by purchasing multiple sheets of stamps to use this holiday, and for years to come. Classed as a Forever stamp, it can be used to mail First Class letters with no additional postage, even when postal rates increase.

Read more about the stamp’s design by visiting Purchase the Hanukkah Forever Stamp at local post offices, online at, or other area locations.

To see more photos from the stamp dedication ceremony, visit UJFTidewater/photos.