JMM Insights: You’ve Got Mail
Communicating Across the Globe
In case you missed them, or want to share with others, we also now have available recordings of both American History Through a Baltimore Lens with Marvin Pinkert and South African Jewry: Before, During, After with Gavin Morris of the South African Jewish Museum available on our website!
Zoom (and other live streaming platforms) have been invaluable in breaking past boundaries of geography – but our ability to reach out to those far away has a longer history.
For this week’s JMM Insights, we’re looking at mail! Paper communications let us reach out not just across the space between us, as we send postcards to friends and greeting cards to loved ones (and maybe even the occasional romantic letter to a partner), but also across time. Our archives are full of letters, postcards, and photocards sent back and forth across oceans and continents, letting us explore the stories and lives of the past today. We’re sharing just a few of them from our collections and encourage you to explore more in our online database.
As a bonus, we’ve also put together a few mail-related activities for everyone to enjoy at the end of this missive, so make sure you scroll all the way through!
V-mail, short for “Victory mail,” was a special mail system used during World War II to communicate with American soldiers stationed abroad. Letters would be reviewed, censored for sensitive war-time information, copied to film and then printed at the original destination.
Learn more about V-mail at the National Postal Museum and the National World War 2 Museum.
“Dear Evylyn & Harry: We have enjoyed every country we have visited. At present we are in Jerusalem. Met a couple from Baltimore by name of Silberman, who knows you and your brother. Lovingly, Jeannie & Isidor Lauer”
>Write a letter to the Amazing Mendes Cohen – he’ll even write you back!
>Send a thank you card to someone you consider a hero in this Wondernauts activity.
>Be an Upstander and join Jewish Volunteer Connection in writing notes of support and encouragement to those who have been isolated by current circumstances.
Here are some other suggestions for putting pen to paper:
>Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper of choice – here’s the info for writing to the Baltimore Sun and the Jewish Times.
>Check out the Ivy Bookshop’s Young Pen Pals program.
>Share joy and support across the county with More Love Letters.
>Reach out to your government representatives about issues you care about – you can find your reps and contact info here.
Have you requested your mail-in ballot yet? JMM is joining with The Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Council to encourage everyone in the community to go online and take the quick step of requesting your mail-in ballot now.
Voting by mail has been proven time and time again to be a secure and reliable way of voting, and given the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is also the safest way to vote.
Request your mail-in ballot at voterservices.elections.maryland.gov or text VBM to 77788.