Friday, November 18, 2005

New secular jewish magazine

Baltimore Jewish Times:

Guilt & Pleasure -- "A magazine for Jews and the people who love them" -- hits newsstands across North America this week, offering readers content ranging from long-form essays and memoirs to fiction, comics, photography and archival material.
The quarterly journal was created by Reboot, a three-year-old nonprofit network of young Jews that promotes projects exploring issues of identity and community. The magazine aims not only to inform and entertain, its creators say, but to get Jews talking about issues they think ought to be more fully explored.
"The magazine is a means to an end," said Roger Bennett, its publisher along with Reboot, and vice president at the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies in New York. "All of it is meant to be raw material that anyone, anywhere can use -- invite 20 of their friends round to their home to start to have an argument."
Observers of American Jewish culture say the magazine debuts during an unusual burst of cultural creativity among young North American Jews, and reflects these innovators' drive to assert themselves as distinctively, if not religiously, Jewish.
"It's very much a sense of recovering peoplehood and culture as distinctive elements in the lives of young Jews, even yong Jews who seem turned off by what they find in synagogues," said Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University.
"I think that Guilt & Pleasure in some ways is also part of that: You don't want to go to synagogue? Familiarize yourself with American Jewish literature, which will give you a feeling for Jewish culture," he said.
Each issue will revolve around a theme. The first, called Home & Away, will examine issues of "place and identity and the nexus between them," Bennett said, and includes original contributions from novelists Gary Shteyngart, Lara Vapnyar and Etgar Keret as well as graphic artist Ben Katchor.
The second will look at fights and battles; the third is about magic...

Silcoff said Guilt & Pleasure hearkens back to a Jewish tradition that has less to do with religion so much as wrestling with Jewishness.
"My mission is not continuity," she said. "It's not a magazine about keeping people Jews or getting people to marry Jewish people and have Jewish babies.
"What we're trying to do is rekindle a kind of youthful brand of Jewish intellectualism that I feel has lain dormant for quite some time."
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 11:27 AM

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