When I got the email announcing the birth of Jewish Living, “a smart, stylish and thoroughly modern magazine” celebrating Jewish culture “without religion or politics,” I almost gagged on my kreplach. (Fine. So it wasn’t kreplach, it was lasagna. And I was already gagging on it was because I made it almost two weeks ago. I am a good Jewish mother and I hate wasting food, but even I had to admit that brown spinach means it’s time to let it die already.) The cover smacked of the generic commercial exploitation of every women’s magazine I pretend not to read in line at the grocery store, and I’m so tired of the “We’re just like the goyim, except for the Jesus part” shtick.
But this rag ain’t half bad, even with glitzy graphics and glossy celeb photos: There’s a long article by Jonathan Safran Foer and guest editorials from everyone’s favorite Jews, from Bette Midler to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to Ben Stein. The masthead boasts a staff of real machers, including editor-in-chief Liza Schoenfein, who served as executive editor at Saveur and was the founding editor of Parenting.com. There’s your basic Judaism 101 info, fun projects to do with the kids, news about Jews around the globe and of course, a requisite chicken soup recipe. It’s definitely something I’d like to read while taking a long, hot bath while someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning.
It’s on the stands and online as of today; peruse it for yourself and let me know what you think.