So Much for Controlling the Media

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that will continue to provide trenchant analysis of world events, cultural critique of all that is Jewish and Goyish and countless photos of scantily-clad Israeli models under the leadership of newly named editor-in-chief, Erin Hershberg, culture editor, Jonathan Poritsky, creative director (former music editor), Arye Dworken, humor editor, David Deutsch and comics editor, Jeff Newelt.

The bad news is that we are suspending the print edition of Heeb Magazine.

As an original member of the editorial board, I can vouch for the fact that none of us back in 2001 would have imagined that Heeb would someday have a paid, full-time staff, an office overlooking the Manhattan skyline (okay, slightly obscured by a Con Edison power plant), advertisers, investors and celebrity editors. None would’ve imagined Jon Stewart name-dropping us on The Daily Show, suggesting that the best solution to international terrorism is to offer every international terrorist who turns himself in a free lifetime subscription to Heeb Magazine, or The Chicago Tribune naming us “one of the best magazines in America.”

Of course, we’re hardly just “throwing in the shmatte.” During the eight years we’ve printed the magazine, we’ve managed to endure the death of irony, the death of independent publishing and the death of print advertising (not to mention a barrage of ongoing attacks from Holocaust deniers, white power groups and perhaps most frighteningly, Abe Foxman). We responded to each challenge by evolving: In 2004, we started producing events for our readers all over the country–including our Christmas Eve bash, Heebonism, which we’ll again be producing with the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and New York City this year. In 2007, we started our own boutique ad agency and began serving businesses and organizations looking to reach the elusive Jews in their 20s and 30s with little to no connection to institutional Jewish life, which will continue to be helmed by ad svengali/schmendrick David Kelsey. And we’ve recently re-launched to enhance our readers’ online experience. (For example, we recently digitized the nearly-impossible-to-find issues 1-5 [“The first five books of Heeb”], which we will be giving to our current subscribers as a show of our gratitude for their ongoing support.)

This is also an apt opportunity to acknowledge the support of the individuals who have been so instrumental in the success of the print edition: specifically, Nancy Schwartzman, Michael Schiller, Jessica Honikman, Brian Abrams, Jessie Bodzin, Zack Sultan, Steve Gutierrez, Jon Feinstein, Seth Olenick, Mike Garten, Shana Liebman, Sarah Maxwell, Yasha Wallin, Rebecca Wiener and Oliver Noble; Jaime Wolf and the Fridman Law Group, because the expectations are pretty lofty when you’re Jewish lawyers representing the largest Jewish magazine in the world; Brett Ratner for asking me to direct the first-ever Jewish swimsuit calendar shoot; Seth Rogen for coming up with a better cover concept than we ever could for our Jonah Hill shoot; Roseanne Barr for her delicious cookies; Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb for their “anniversary gift”; and Sarah Silverman for posing nude behind a sheet with a hole in it. But most of all, we’d like to thank the magazine’s founder, Jennifer Bleyer, who had the vision and temerity to imagine an alternative universe in which bubbes were fashionistas, Manischevitz an aphrodisiac, and “heebonics,” an official language.

One final note: Heeb Magazine has never been about making Jewish “cool.” What we are big believers in, however, is making Jewish fun. We believe that in a world in which Jewish periodicals outdo themselves in attempting to highlight just how endangered Jews are, there should be one Jewish media outlet that actually makes its readers smile. So whether online, or in print, we like to think that we can all still have a little fun—and don’t worry, Ahmadinejad will still be waiting when we’re done.


Joshua Neuman

What do you think?

29 Responses

  1. Allen Salkin

    Much more to come, I know. AND what you all have accomplished stands as an important chapter in Jewish history that will be studied for millenia. Dissertations will be written.

  2. brad rubin

    Im not sure to send a tray or simply sit shiva in private. While I will greatly miss the touchy feely of the mag its self (now forced to find something else for bathroom reading) I expect nothing but the very best from your new format direction. CONGRATS!!! and thank you for doing what you do

  3. kiki valentine

    I love my HEEB and will continue to savor every word. Thanks for keeping it going and for the years of fantastic editorial and photos (even though you haven’t shot ME yet!)

  4. ck

    I’m not worried about you guys. I look forward to reading well into the future. This is a positive evolutionary step and I am thankful that at least a few trees will be saved as a result.

  5. jonathan lawson

    Josh! Well, you’re still in good company, along with ColorLines, Clamor, Punk Planet, etc, etc. Good luck in the pixel world and I’ll keep reading!

  6. Paul

    Probably a smart move, Josh. Now that you’re all digital, let me know if you want to do anything with

  7. jgk

    Kudos on 8 years. Looking forward to you changing the model for Jewish online zines!

  8. joe.attaboy

    OK, this is good news, I like all digital. But this goy wants to know where the “countless photos of scantily-clad Israeli models” are located.

  9. Pete Grossman

    “…there should be one Jewish media outlet that actually makes its readers smile…we like to think that we can all still have a little fun” Boy have you got that right! Thanks so much and thanks for inspiring Jewish related Infauxtainment posts. Keep up the amazing work!

  10. clw

    This is a sad state of affairs. Yours was the ONLY magazine I ever enjoyed reading cover-to-cover. Online reading is just not the same. I feel ripped off because I renewed my subscription & received only ONE issue…appparently the last, ironically named “The Future” issue. Bad news; bad news indeed. I think online content only is a poor substitute. Less content, harder to read. Bad form, Heeb. I’ll miss you.

  11. oy1

    what a shmuck. a few days ago i talked mom into buying me a subscription for my birthday!

  12. Jeffrey Justin

    I will tear my shirt and sit Shiva till Rosh hashanna. I just need to know if I am responsible for this ,after all the e-mails I wrote about when the next copy is and is my subscription up to date. Taking valuble time from some staffer on your payroll. please don’t close before Yom Kippur , maybe you might find something in the Book Of Life.if you need cheaper office space ,well I know a guy…..

  13. Hesed

    Too bad, it has always been one of the best looking magazines too. On the bright side, all my print mags are now collectors items.

  14. ilene

    I’m an elusive 64 years old and I will miss the excitement I felt when I got Heeb in the mail. So nu, when is the digital issue going to be here already ?

  15. Bob Rosenthal

    I’m disappointed in the news about suspending print publication. I wish you all the best in the continuation of online publication.

  16. ed mitchell

    all the best my friend- the computer is still media though- be proud of what you’ve done!!

  17. Michelle Hope Zimmer

    Okay. So I am a bit late on reading this. Darn! I got involved with HEEB back in 2001 while working for Jaime Wolf Esq.(HEEB’s attorney extraordinaire) he felt that Jenn Bleyer and I should know each other. I was involved in the first 5 issues (and am proud to say I still have all of them) I did everything from PR, write some Urban Kvetches, model, stuff envelopes,accompany Jenn Bleyer and then Music Editor Josh Neuman to the Howard Stern show, event plan the NYC and LA launch parties and helped produce “All about the Benjamins” by helping find subjects for the article(my dad Larry Zimmer(of blessed memory)and Lee Resnick aka MC Skill. Good times….good times.

  18. Cough - the candler blog

    […] We have no interest in seeing a return on our investment by way of Jewish marriages, Jewish babies, Jewish love for Israel or any of the other “goals” that a Jewish magazine could stand for. We don’t prescribe what Jewish life should be. All we aim to do is provide thought provoking writing about the Jewish experience in relation to whatever else is happening in the world. It can be funny, it can be offensive, it can be whatever we want. Former publisher Josh Neuman put it best when we suspended print last summer: […]


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