web analytics
May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Heeb — A Slur Of A Magazine



Dave Love of Sunburst Kosher Tours had a look of unmistakable disgust on his face as he handed the Monitor a copy of Heeb magazine. “Can you believe this garbage?” he asked, referring both to the publication’s content and some of the sponsors listed on its masthead.

If Heeb magazine were a person, it would be a creature of indeterminate gender and sexual preference, body festooned with numerous piercings and sundry other exotic modifications, given to mouthing swatches of radical and anarchist flapdoodle.

Launched in 2002 to a good deal of fanfare, Heeb was touted as an irreverent, in-your-face “alternative” to main stream Jewish media outlets, aimed at hip young Jews who viewed traditional Judaism and Jewish culture as hopelessly passé. The magazine’s founding editor hinted at what was to come when she told the Village Voice, “The official Jewish community has certain Jews it claims as its heroes, but we want to be out there picking up the refuse.”

That’s refuse – defined in our handy dictionary as trash, rubbish, garbage – and with Heeb it certainly is a case of garbage in, garbage out. Successful it’s not; intended at the start to be a quarterly, the magazine just recently put out only its fourth issue in two years, and its circulation is under 20,000.

How bad is Heeb? In issue number three – and bear in mind that a good deal of the content cannot be described in detail in a family newspaper – readers were treated to a letter to the editor from a moron who decided to have the family dog bat-mitzvahed and thoughtfully sent along a photograph of the proud pooch wearing a little tallit, which Heeb of course saw fit to publish.

Next, someone identified as a contributing editor edified readers with the observation that “Italians are basically Jews with better food. Just ask my boyfriend’s extended family, who spends every birthday, anniversary, and simcha sucking up marinara at Anthony and Mario’s checkered tablecloth in Jersey.”

Then there was the memorable profile of “ManWoman,” a biological male covered with more than 200 swastika tattoos of varying size and design who swears he’s no fascist, only someone earnestly doing his part to rehabilitate what he describes as “a good luck symbol known around the world.”

Another profile introduced Heeb’s readers to a poor soul claiming to be an “Orthodox comedian” whose act includes this line destined for the Comedy Hall of Fame: “A lot of people say to me, “Dave, how can you, an Orthodox Jew, use a Braun razor made in Germany?” And I say, “Hey, give credit where it’s due: Those people know how to take the beards off of Jews.?”

And let’s not overlook the piece by a Jewish woman who went to the West Bank as a “human rights observer” and writes of her shame that Jews “could be capable of perpetrating heinous crimes against other humans.”

Despite its negligible impact, Heeb deserves our fleeting attention, not so much for its product as for the cautionary tale it tells about what happens when organizational desk jockeys think they’ve found the key to being cool – and end up looking silly in the process.

Remember when network television discovered the counterculture in the late 1960’s? Middle-aged writers of dramas and situation comedies suddenly began inserting hippie-type characters into their scripts, with predictably laughable results. What viewers usually ended up getting was one of two extremes – either some fortyish actor foolishly trying to pass as a flower child (think Bob ‘Gilligan’ Denver in a Beatles wig) or some hideous long-haired villain straight out of the Manson family.

In the case of Heeb, the adults at seemingly sober organizations like the Joshua Venture Fellowship and the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation thought a magazine aimed at the fringes somehow spoke to a cross-section.

They weren’t alone: For the first two years of its existence, Heeb was also sponsored by UJA Federation of New York, which spent $108,000 on the magazine. After a recent flurry of negative publicity, UJA announced the funding would stop immediately, a year ahead of schedule. Heeb’s new editor says he’s determined to keep the magazine going.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Heeb — A Slur Of A Magazine”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PA flag at soccer game.
Pro-Palestinian Protesters Invade FIFA Congress
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

For a peace treaty with the PA, half the Israeli public would agree to divide the Jerusalem

As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.

What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.

The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.

Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.

Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion

Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Front-Page-051515

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/heeb-a-slur-of-a-magazine/2004/03/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: