Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stamps Build Bridges of Friendship

Stamp collecting might sound like a throwback, a hobby geared for the days when people still snail-mailed letters to one another, and let their kids steam off the stamps and place them carefully in albums or scrapbooks for study and safekeeping. But philately is still a passion for many, and still has the potential to bridge even some of the widest gulfs, as full-time dentist, spare-time dedicated stamp collector Les Glassman recently discovered."

writes,"A collector for the last 48 years, he began with stamps of dogs and cats as a 4-year-old, then moved on to amassing a significant collection from the Portuguese colony of Mozambique, and expanded to stamps from Jerusalem, exhibiting the postal history of the city. Now a Jerusalemite himself, though raised in Johannesburg, Glassman and his siblings were encouraged by their stamp-collecting father. He learned about the world from his stamps, said Glassman, because  'stamps know no borders.' It was amazing to see all the different countries.”

Steinberg goes on to pen,"Glassman has exhibited his collection and won prizes throughout the world, and done so on behalf of the Israel Philatelic Society since moving here. But his most significant experience as a philatelist came in June, when he became an ambassador of sorts while exhibiting in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel."

"For many of the participants from Indonesia, Glassman was the first Jew they had ever met, never mind an Israeli, and one wearing a yarmulke at that, he said. And when he gave out starter stamp packets from the Israel postal society to local kids at the exhibition, he said, “it was like I gave them gold,” according to Steinberg.

Shown above, Les Glassman and his stamp exhibit.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM