The premiere issues opens with "a word from Max," though Max is never identified. It could be Max Perkins, Max Beerbohm or Maxwell Smart. So I consulted the masthead. He turns out, along with the Mrs., to be the publisher. But the thrust of his missive -- that David is "for people whose understanding of history informs their contemporary identities"-- is a stretch.
I'm all for eclecticism, but don't see evidence of historic sensibilities in David's premiere issue -- though that could change. Nor how such a charge tallies with publisher Max Friedland's maxim of covering "the people and groups that live life to the fullest." Both are laudable aims; neither, however, fully addresses the mag's editorial and target audience: Las Vegas' Jewish community. As such, it covers Jewish life and interest in the city. And while it showcases Jewish diversity, it could appeal to a broader readership.
So let's see where the pastrami meets the rye: page 43.
The photo is a healthy serving (and by that I mean as big as your head) of pastrami on marble rye, served up nice at The Bagel Café -- an East Coast deli for West Coasters. The 14-year-old restaurant boasts such favorites as raspberry rugelach, matzo ball soup, knishes and potato pancakes. The lox platter, like a Grecian urn, is a thing of beauty -- only tastier and more accessible.
Now, Judaism is an ancient civilization -- and our contributions to the world are exemplary: medicine to entertainment, law to psychoanalysis. From Jesus to Freud to Spielberg, we're rocked almost everyone's world at one time or another. But food is a great leveler -- and if you want to understand a culture, get to know its cuisine. And the Bagel Café, should you visit Sin City, is a great place to start.
We're all aware that Las Vegas is expanding its reach. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," is a familiar refrain. At the same time, the city is a growing retirement and family center. Currently, it is the 28th-most populous city in the U.S. with an estimated 2009 population, per the Census Bureau, of 567,641. Which means there is ample subject matter.
Because this is a lifestyle monthly, launched with 20,000 copies being distributed throughout the Las Vegas Valley at over 100 locations, David covers health, dining, arts and shopping. Given the city's nightlife, there is a profile of nightclub entrepreneur Jason Strauss, who, with partner Noah Tepperburg, already runs an A-list club in the Hamptons. Together, they oversee the $20 million complex known as the Tao Nightclub and Asian Bistro.
But LV is not all glitz and glam; the article titled "Help" underscored the pub's larger aim of inclusion. Project Ezra, spearheaded by the Jewish Family Services Agency, is committed to giving Jews and non-Jews aid with job placement and training. The goal isn't just economic sustenance, but enhancing self-esteem.
Given its Jewish bent, David also includes candle-lighting times for Shabbat and synagogue options, covering every denomination from Reform to Hasidic-run Chabads. If Madonna is in town, she can check out the Kabbalah Center.
Personally, I got a big kick out of the ads; two in particular focus on funeral directors. I love the Kraft/Sussman tagline: "Who better to care than 2 Jewish mothers?" It's billed as the "No. 1 choice of independent Jewish funeral directors across America," adding: "Allow us to show you why." If Sarah Palin wins in 2012, they'll get their chance.
Published by: Jewish Ink
Web site: www.davidlv.com/