JTA — The United States Postal Service has released a new series of Forever stamps honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Jewish Supreme Court justice and liberal icon who died in 2020.
The stamp, which became available for purchase on Monday, shows Ginsburg wearing her black judge’s robe and signature white collar. It was announced last year as part of the postal service’s 2023 lineup of new stamps, reflecting a jump on the service’s standard timeline for honoring deceased people.
The stamp’s release comes three years and two weeks after Ginsburg’s death at 87, after 27 years on the Supreme Court. Her death, from pancreatic cancer, came on the eve of Rosh Hashanah at a time of intense political polarization — which deepened as then-US president Donald Trump pushed through a conservative replacement despite a looming presidential election.
“Honor an icon of American culture with this new Ruth Bader Ginsburg stamp,” the USPS says on its website. It says about Ginsburg: “She began her career as an activist lawyer fighting gender discrimination. She went on to become a judge who was unafraid to disagree with her colleagues. Ginsburg gained a reputation as a respected voice for equal justice.”
The RBG stamp costs $0.66 but will hold its value over time as part of the Forever series. The portrait was drawn by Michael Deas, who has painted dozens of stamps, under the direction of the USPS’ Jewish art director, Ethel Kessler. The stamp will be celebrated at an official unveiling Monday evening at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
The US Postal Service’s special edition stamps commemorating notable Americans have included many Jews, including the physicist Richard Feynman in 2005, cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg in 1995 and, in 1991, comedian Fanny Brice, the inspiration for the musical “Funny Girl.” The series in which Brice appeared was drawn by the Jewish illustrator Al Hirschfeld. Last year, the service released a special-edition stamp featuring the Jewish poet Shel Silverstein.
The USPS has also offered a range of Hanukkah stamps and last year introduced a new one, its ninth since 1996. The new stamp, which remains available, was drawn by Jeanette Kuvin Oren, a Jewish artist who also designs ritual objects for home and synagogue use.