Aaron J. Feingold Judaica Collection

The Aaron J. Feingold Judaica Collection is a collection of approximately one-hundred postcards primarily portraying Jewish women, children and families dating back to the early Twentieth Century. The geographical origins of the postcards vary extensively, ranging the globe from Lebanon, Greece and Syria, to Palestine and Israel, as well as a select few from the United States. However, a large portion of these postcards feature Jewish women from the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, known as the Maghreb region of Africa. The postcards of these women were part of a larger culture of tourist postcards popular with travelers to the region.

The demographic dispersion of Jews is generally described in three categories: Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrahi. While Ashkenazi Jews make up the majority of world Jewry, the Feingold Postcard Collection focuses mainly on Jewish populations living in North Africa, which consisted of a combination of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. The term Sephardi designates the diaspora of Jewish people from Spain who migrated to Mediterranean regions, such as France and North Africa. Mizrahi Jews, on the other hand, originated in Persia and diverse locales in the Middle East and moved eastward. Mizrahi Jews were often seen as outsiders by both natives and other sects of Jews because they had dark skin, spoke different languages and had different customs.

The postcards seen here are a striking expression of popular stereotyping of African Jewish women through visual and written representation. The postcards often focus on the style and type of dress, as well as on their subjects’ surroundings, with the women often depicted in their home or amongst material possessions. These postcards provide a unique view into history during an era when global encounters and connections were occurring with ever-increasing frequency. Widely distributed, these postcards offered American and European Jews and other tourists an “exotic” peek into cultures they little understood.

All titles in this collection have been transcribed and translated, as the majority of these postcards are in French. Where possible, geographic location has been determined, as well as any thematic or cultural identifiers.


This postcard collection was generously donated by Aaron J. Feingold, Union College Class of 1972.

Digital project direction by Gail Golderman in collaboration with Annette LeClair; research, textual, and metadata support by Lauren Brown '13, 2012 Union College Summer Research Fellow and Matthew Connolly.


Alloula, Malek. The Colonial Harem. 21 Vol. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006; 1986. Theory and History of Literature

Boulouque, Clémence, and Nicole S. Serfaty. Juives d'Afrique Du Nord :Cartes Postales, 1885-1930. Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule: Bleu autour, 2005. Print. D'Un Regard l'Autre.

Deshen, S., and W. P. Zenner. Jewish Societies in the Middle East: Community, Culture and Authority. University Press of America, 1982.

Deshen, Shlomo. "Women in the Jewish Family in Pre-Colonial Morocco." Anthropological Quarterly 56.3 (1983): pp. 134-144.

"France: Dating Old Postcards." abelard.org. 07/25/2012 2012. .

Goldberg, H. E. Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries: History and Culture in the Modern Era. Indiana Univ Pr, 1996.

Goldberg, Ronald Allen. America in the Twenties. 1st ed. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2003. America in the Twentieth Century

Gordinier, J. X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but can Still Keep Everything from Sucking. Viking Press, 2008.

Graham-Brown, Sarah. Images of Women :The Portrayal of Women in Photography of the Middle East, 1860-1950. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

Hoffman, Frederick John. The Twenties; American Writing in the Postwar Decade. New York: Viking Press, 1955.

Holtz, G. T. Welcome to the Jungle: The Why Behind Ggeneration X. St. Martin's Griffin, 1995.

Julia Phillips Cohen, and Sarah Abrevaya Stein. "Sephardic Scholarly Worlds: Toward a Novel Geography of Modern Jewish History." Jewish Quarterly Review 100.3 (2010): 349-84.

Kark, R., M. Shilo, and G. Hasan-Rokem. Jewish Women in Pre-State Israel: Life History, Politics, and Culture. Brandeis Univ, 2008.

Khazzoom, L. The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage. Seal Pr, 2003.

Mark, Peter, and José da Silva Horta. The Forgotten Diaspora :Jewish Communities in West Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011; 2011

Medding, P. Sephardic Jewry and Mizrahi Jews. 22 Vol. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007.

Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City. "L-Publishers." Ed. Alan Petrulis. 07/12/2012 2012. .

---. "Pioneer Cards 1873-1897." Ed. Alan Petrulis. 07/07/2012 2012. .

Miller, Nathan. New World Coming :The 1920s and the Making of Modern America. New York: Scribner, 2003.

Mintz, Sharon Liberman, and Elka Deitsch. Past Perfect :The Jewish Experience in Early 20th Century Postcards : An Exhibition, October 7-December 30, 1997. New York City: Library, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1998.

Newton-Matza, Mitchell. Jazz Age :People and Perspectives. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Abc-Clio, 2009. Perspectives in American Social History.

Parrish, Michael E. Anxious Decades :America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992.

Rubens, Alfred. A History of Jewish Costume. New York: Crown, 1973.

Rudolf (Photograph) Lehnert, et al. Lehnert & Landrock: Orient 1904-1930. Umschau/Braus, 1998.

Salamon, H., and E. Juhasz. "“Goddesses of Flesh and Metal”: Gazes on the Tradition of Fattening Jewish Brides in Tunisia." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 7.1 (2011): 1-38.

Schreier, J. Arabs of the Jewish Faith: The Civilizing Mission in Colonial Algeria. Rutgers Univ Pr, 2010.

Silvain, Gérard. Deux Destins En Diaspora. Paris: A. Michel, 1984.

---. Images Et Traditions Juives :Un Millier De Cartes Postales (1897-1917) Pour Servir à l'Histoire De La Diaspora. Astrid, 1980. Print. Collection "Les Peuples Par l'Image".

Taïeb-Carlen, S., and A. Carlen. The Jews of North Africa: From Dido to De Gaulle. University Press of America, 2010.

Tytell, J. Naked Angels: The Lives & Literature of the Beat Generation. McGraw-Hill New York, 1976.

Wexler, P. The Non-Jewish Origins of the Sephardic Jews. State Univ of New York Pr, 1996.

Zumwalt, Rosemary Lévy, and Isaac Jack Lévy. "Memories of Time Past: Fieldwork among the Sephardim." The Journal of American Folklore 114.451 (2001): pp. 40-55.

Collection owner: Union College