Apr 2, 2008

It just doesn't cut it.

I've tried really, really hard to like it, but I just can't bring myself to. I've read the stories, read the recipes, attempted to get past the WASPy nature of the the cover on the March/April issue. I really did, I mean, I want to love this magazine. But, folks, I just can't.

I mean, I understand that Jews come in all shapes, styles and colors, but the plastic barbie and ken stylings of this cover are nauseating. I mean, could that woman look any more uncomfortable? Like she'd ever seen a Haggadah before? Sigh.

Then I got all excited to see the "kvell: personal shoppers" section, because it featured Passover goods, right? Well, they list some handmade matzo and some chocolate-dipped macaroons, but are they kosher? Hell no. Not kosher. Matzo that isn't kosher!? The one thing on the page that *is* kosher (and for Passover) is some 5 Spoke Creamery cheese. The featured recipes are tres fancy, and I say that in an ironic fashion. Then there's the section on Jewish museums that, of course, highlights the big ones -- LA, DC, Chicago. But what about smaller operations? There are Jewish museums everywhere. We know about the big dogs. What about the small ones? The ones we *don't* know about? Everything just seems like it's trying to be so WASPy! Yargh!

Now, I will give credit to the magazine for using a lot of Jewish/Hebrew/Traditional terminology. I also will say mad props for the Pesach desserts -- this is a big issue with lots of folks because there aren't loads of delicious kosher-for-Passover stylings of desserts!

But I just. I don't know. I probably won't pick up this magazine again, simply because it isn't who I am. Maybe it's the upper crust NYC Jews or something, but it sure isn't what I'm familiar with.


JD said...

I totally agree with you. As an ardent reader of magazines I was interested to see a new Jewish magazine, but I've been very disappointed with the content. It's trite and many times just stereotypes. The staged photos are ridiculous and it really does feel like it's aimed at a certain section of the Jewish population that I am just not a part of. I'll continue to read Moment, Lilith, Tikkun (and when I'm feeling up to it, Heeb) and wait for the day when a Jewish lifestyle magazine will come out that is actually worth picking up. Jewish Living (and American Jewish Life, formerly Atlanta Jewish Life, for that matter), is just not cutting it.

Aliza Hausman said...

That's hysterical. I loved reading your response to the latest Jewish Living magazine. I think the issue is that it is a lifestyle magazine and it's a pretty weighty pursuit to try to market yourself to Jews everywhere. Waspy? The audience seems to be Jewish marrieds with kids in a certain socio-economic bracket. As a Latina American Jewish convert who's married but has no kids, I'm probably not their target audience but perhaps, I'll make it my business to be until there are more Jewish magazines that target me.


Schvach said...

I haven't seen this mag yet. As for traif for Passover foods, I've always been thrown by the sight of matzos labeled 'Not Kosher For Passover' in supermarkets. Who would even think of baking matzos that are fit for Passover, even if we do eat them all year round.

Jack said...

I don't see that magazine surviving.

Anonymous said...

Chaviva: This magazine definitely
offers NOTHING much for the not-married woman under the age of 35.
Jack: It's just not a guy thing.
From what I've found in the print version, its demographic is clearly upper-middle class "Real Simple" married with children women living in a mid-sized to large city or suburbs. Light on the religion (and what is Jeremy
Piven really doing there except as some excellent eye-candy exactly
for this demographic) and other issues. The advertising seems to is congruent with the demographic targeting. Content needs work.

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