Jewish Living

When Lenny Bruce did his sketch -- Jewish or Not Jewish -- the Jews got it. Trailer parks? Not Jewish. New York? Jewish. Fruit salad is Jewish. Lime Jell-O isn't. Here's another: the name Rex. This is a moniker one finds at the Museum of Natural History, usually preceded by the letter T. It is not commonly found on a bar mitzvah invitation. It is, however, the name of the Jewish Living editor's son. I'm sure he's a good kid, and we don't name ourselves. But as my grandmother would have said, meshuggeneh.

Still, there's much to savor in the premier issue.

It is a welcome addition to the world of niche publishing and marketing. And frankly, it's all about niche these days. Spend 10 minutes online. It's a brave new world of every imaginable support group, including Since they desecrate the body, tattoos are a big religious no-go. For many Jews, it's among the ultimate taboos. The story "Under My Skin" gives a counterargument. I'm not persuaded -- but the article is interesting, augmented by a decoration vs. desecration sidebar. Various rabbis weigh in about everything from breast implants to piercings. Don't be surprised. We're Jews. We discuss! (Sometimes, loudly. My father exploded when I bought the Beatles' song "Hey, Jude." All he heard was "Hey, Jew!"

In fact, JL, which bills itself as a new lifestyle magazine for today's Jewish woman, is chock-full of lively stories about art, literature, ritual practices and food. "Kvell," the front-of-book section, is rather hip. Feature-wise, there's a touching story about Chinese girls adopted by Jewish families and even a list of potential green Chanukah gifts. There's also a profile of A.J. Jacobs. The guy who spent a year reading the Encyclopedia Britannica spent another going biblical -- which unnerved his wife and son. I'm not a fan of extreme sports; extreme religion is even scarier.

However, the story on raising children via Talmudic insights was enlightening -- and eminently practical. Here's a key lesson: We need to teach our kids to be good people, not just good at things. Sounds commonsensical, until you remember the thousands who work in the political realm, toiling to defy the Geneva Convention and time-honored constitutional safeguards. They clearly need a refresher course.

Conversely, for those who find Sandra Bernhard intimidating, including every member of "The View," take note: There's a kinder, gentler SB who celebrates Shabbat with her daughter and goes to synagogue every Saturday -- though I'd hate to sit in her seat by mistake.

Jewish Living is at once celebratory and thoughtful. It's the brainchild of Daniel Zimerman, a former creative exec at Foote Cone Belding. He designed the mag to offer inspirational style ideas and practical information on a wide range of topics. Launching with a rate base of 100,000, the bimonthly has an upscale bent, but an inclusive feel. What's not to like?


Published by: ZS Publishing U.S.

Frequency: Bimonthly

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