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April 3rd, 2002 Caryn B. Brooks | Books
 

heeb:the new jew review

     
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(Vol. 1, No. 1, 68 pages, $4.50)

Sometimes a magazine comes along and perfectly mirrors the zeitgeist--The New Yo70s and Sassy during the 1990s come to mind. Heeb, which calls itself "the New Jew Review," will never be confused with any of these publications rker under Harold Ross, Rolling Stone in the 19 in relation to its timing. In fact, it could be argued that this is the worst possible moment since 1946 for a magazine that tickles American Judaism to leaven. It's hard to jump into a debate about whether The Simpsons' Krusty the Clown is "good for Jews" when there's an all-out war in Israel with terrorists operating under an anti-Semitic bomb-to-kill policy, or when journalists such as The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl are executed for bearing the Star of David on their foreheads.

If anything, it's precisely the same cultural Jews who would have formerly been interested in Heeb's topics du jour--Jewfros, how Pizza Hut's Twisted Crust pizza carries a name eerily similar to the Swastika's twisted cross, and a Neil Diamond centerfold--who are most likely seeking to fill in their incomplete education with real information on Jewish history and current events. So even if Heeb (the anti-Tikkun) isn't relevant right now, is it any good?

Heeb's crisp color and imaginative photo essays (the fashion show at the Jewish wedding stands out) are indeed alluring, but I'd argue that the plain, stapled 'zine Plotz written by New York's Barbara Kligman offers steadier hands at the bris. Where Heeb relies on sheer hipitude, Kligman, who created the form, is more able to connect the dots and bring some level of understanding about what it means to be a part of the new Jew world order. Caryn B. Brooks

 
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