In his editor's note, Joshua Neuman vows to offer a sex issue that "doesn't suck," and says one of the best moments in the production of the issue was when photo editor Peter Svarzbein put an ad on craigslist looking for one circumcised and 35 uncircumcised models for "our ultimately nixed pictorial "Where's Waldman?""
This sense of humor is pretty consistent throughout the magazine. The front of the book, which is called "The Whole Megillah," offers one column called Urban Kvetch. One of the kvetchs (complaints, called "My Last Date" says, "I don't mind paying, but don't pretend I have a choice. Motioning oh so innocently toward your purse and asking me if you can pay half is not a sincere offer. Rather, it is a dual warning: if I let you pay half, I am a jerk, and when I decline to take your money, you owe me nothing, since you 'offered.'" Another, about Bill Murray, says, "Stop taking off your shirt. We get it. You're out of shape. It was funny for a while. And enough with the tracksuits and hot chicks." Other stories are about why Jewish women dominate the belly-dancing scene. (Think more to jiggle.)
There is also a clever chart called Kosher/Treyf (non-kosher): This month: Ass Play is kosher and Coldplay (the band) is treyf. There is also a hilarious interview with Triumph the Insult Dog, advice from Miss Israel on how to pick up Israeli women. ("I don't like when someone tells I'm very nice and very beautiful, but they don't say it in the right way.") and a spread of over-the-top bar mitzvah photographs which features a lot of short 13-year-old boys dancing with tall girls.
The feature well is equally clever. There is a story about Israel's only S&M club. "On a typical night, an orthodox Jew, bearded and kippah-capped stands at the bar, chatting with a kippah-less secular man and a woman. At one point, he gets down on his knees and kisses the woman's boots." In another feature called "Big Mouth Strikes Again; An Oral Report," writer Rachel Shukert deconstructs why Jewish women got the reputation for hating oral sex. There is also a great spread of interpretive illustrations devoted to great sex scenes in the Old Testament, and a good piece by Nancy Schwartzman about being raped in Israel. What makes the piece good is that she addresses a serious topic while keeping with the magazine's point of view and sense of humor.
Overall, Heeb is a fun read, and at a time when American cultural Judaism needs a new definition, it's hitting the right notes.