Heeb
CategoriesSatirical magazine/website; Jewish themes
FrequencyQuarterly (magazine); daily (weblog)
First issue2001
Final issue2010 (magazine); weblog ongoing
CompanyHeeb Media, LLC
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Websiteheebmagazine.com

Heeb is a Jewish website (and from 2001[1] to 2010, a quarterly magazine) aimed predominantly at young Jews. The name of the publication is a variation of the ethnic slur "hebe", an abbreviation of Hebrew. However, in this case, the word "heeb" seeks to function as empowerment for the Jewish community, thus eliminating the hatred associated with the word.

Origin

The magazine was founded by Jennifer Bleyer, a graduate of Columbia University,[2][3] and backed financially by Steven Spielberg and Charles Bronfman.[4] Bleyer, who now writes for The New York Times, ended her association with the magazine in 2003.[5] Taking over for her as editor and publisher was Harvard Divinity School graduate Joshua Neuman. Neuman's goal was to spread the idea of Heeb as a "lifestyle magazine", incorporating events like a traveling Heeb Storytelling show in order to reach an underserved Jewish progressive market around the country.[6] The magazine's subtitle was "The New Jew Review".[7]

Highlights

It has become known for its satire and sardonic approach to reaching Jewish readers of all streams. In a late 2006 edition, a live pig was photographed running across a traditional Sabbath dinner table. Heeb’s satirist, David Deutsch, who used his own table to stage the photos asked his rabbi if it were kosher to use a live pig on his table for this purpose, as pig meat is considered unkosher. His rabbi said it wasn't a problem, but recommended that he wash the table afterwards.

The magazine is decidedly anti-establishment and left-wing.[8] It frequently criticizes mainstream American Jewish culture, most famously in an article entitled "Joe Lieberman is a Dickhead."[9] The author of the piece took Lieberman to task for favoring an increase in military spending. Other writers who have contributed to Heeb include Allen Salkin, who wrote "Where Have You Gone Sandy Koufax?",[10] an article about Jews obsessed with Jews in sports, and "Why are We So Guilty?".[citation needed]

Heeb has produced events around the world, including the Heeb Storytelling series.[11] The series has been attended by Natalie Portman, Rose McGowan, Kate Beckinsale and Colin Farrell.[12]

In March 2004, in its fifth issue, Heeb featured the photo spread entitled Crimes of Passion[13] that spoofed Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The spread included a half naked Virgin Mary (with pierced nipples) and a Jesus with his genitals wrapped in a tallit.[14]

The Catholic League, in its 2004 Report on Anti-Catholicism stated:

The Jewish magazine Heeb published a 10-page photo feature in its Winter 2004 edition mocking Mel Gibson's movie 'The Passion of the Christ' called 'Back Off, Braveheart'. The editors who introduced the spread said that the death of Jesus was 'summarily blamed upon the Jews', until this 'fondly held belief seemed destined to fade forever' after Vatican II. A sexually suggestive Jesus played by artist Carlos J. Da Silva wears a Jewish prayer shawl as a loin cloth, and the Blessed Mother was shown exposing her breasts and body piercing. The occupation of the model photographed as Mary Magdalene was described as 'Evangelist-cum-nymphomaniac country singer'. She was quoted as saying, 'Who killed Jesus? Ryan Adams.' The woman who was photographed as Pontius Pilate was quoted as saying, 'Christians believe the Jews killed Jesus; that is why there is so much anti-Semitism in the world. The church was created on that one simple anti-Semitic principle. Christians who say otherwise are making it up or misrepresenting their own religion.'[15]

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published a letter to Heeb decrying the spread as "blasphemous to both Christians and Jews".[16]

On the April 27, 2004, episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart remarked "the best solution to international terrorism? The giveaway. For any international terrorist who turns himself in—a free lifetime subscription to Heeb."

On June 17, 2004, the Chicago Tribune named Heeb one of America's "50 best magazines."[17]

In 2005, Ramones front man, Joey Ramone, posthumously received the Heeb Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award at the first Jewish Music Awards.[18]

In January 2006, Heeb was included as part of the Library of Congress' exhibition "350 Years of Jewish Life in America."[19]

A March 28, 2007, feature in The New York Times Business Section spotlighted how Heeb did creative work for advertisers seeking to reach a young Jewish demographic. The article was accompanied by a photo of three men dressed as Hasidic versions of characters from A Clockwork Orange.[20]

Robert Crumb and wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb illustrated the cover of the magazine's "Love Issue" in the Spring of 2007. As Aline told the magazine in an interview: "I had read Robert's work before I met him and I thought he was Jewish because he's just so whiny."[21]

Rush Hour director Brett Ratner guest edited Heeb's 2008 Summer Edition and included what the magazine claimed to be the first-ever Jewish swimsuit calendar, for the Jewish year 5769, "The Ladies of '69."[22] The calendar was photographed by Elle magazine cover photographer Gilles Bensimon and featured Israeli supermodels Bar Refaeli, Esti Ginzberg and Moran Atias, among others.[23] Ratner also photographed director Roman Polanski at Auschwitz, the site of the Polish-born director's mother's murder during the Holocaust.

In the Fall of 2008, Heeb released its "Politics Issue."[24] The cover, a group of coins being dropped into a hand, was designed by Shepard Fairey's Studio Number One and was a play on Fairey's iconic Obama "Change" image.[25]

In Heeb's Winter 2008 edition, Courtney Love told Heeb of ex-husband Kurt Cobain's legacy: "Every time you buy a Nirvana record, part of that money is not going to Kurt's child, or to me, it's going to a handful of Jew loan officers, Jew private banks, it's going to lawyers who are also bankers...."[26][27]

In 2009 Heeb released an anthology from its Heeb Storytelling Series titled Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish.[28] In 2009 and 2010, Heeb published its countdown list of "The 100 Greatest Jewish Movie Moments," which awarded its top spot to The Big Lebowski.[29][30]

Heeb ceased publishing the print edition of its magazine in 2010, but continues to publish a daily weblog.[31][32]

Trademark controversy

Heeb Media, LLC has owned the trademark registration for Heeb magazine publications since 29 June 2004.[33][34] On 1 February 2005, the application was submitted to receive another registration number for the use of Heeb for apparel and entertainment.[35] The original application was denied under Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C.§1052(a).[36][37][38] Heeb Media submitted an appeal to the Trademark Trail and Appeal Board (TTAB) at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 26 November 2008, but it was officially denied and abandoned in June 2009.[35] As record of evidence, Heeb Media submitted letters of their own, which stated that the magazine, although criticised by some Jewish and non-Jewish communities that may take offence to the name Heeb, it is widely accepted among the Jewish student population.[33][39] The Administrative Trademark judge, Karen Kuhlke stated in the official comments that although the applicant submitted sufficient information, it was still not foreseeable to justify the term Heeb as something non-derogative.[33] Kuhlke was also the judge for the Redskins appeal in 2014, in which she cited the Heeb case.[39]

Roseanne Barr controversy

In 2009, Heeb produced its controversial Germany Issue in which Roseanne Barr posed as Adolf Hitler in drag holding a tray of "burned Jew cookies." The photo invoked the ire of Bill O'Reilly on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor.[40] According to Heeb's publisher at the time, Joshua Neuman,[41] it was intended as means to see if joking about Nazis and the Holocaust still evoked the same reactions as in past years.[42][43] In 2011 Barr stated that it was intended to show that the Holocaust is just an every day thing and it is something that needs to be stopped. Additional controversy about the photos intentions came about in 2018 after the "Roseanne" revival aired and they were questioned during an interview.[44][45][46][47] Barr posted on social media, defending her position, but it was not taken lightly by viewers and through her comments to do so she made offensive remarks which resulted in ABC cancelling the show.[43][46][48][49]

Contributors

Notable contributors have included Shmarya Rosenberg,[50] Daniel Sieradski,[51] Andy Shernoff,[52] Eli Valley,[53] Myq Kaplan,[54] Moshe Kasher,[55] Noam Gonick,[56] Dara Horn,[57] Julian Tepper,[58] Ann Nocenti,[59] and Marisa Scheinfeld.[60]

Notable interviews

References

  1. ^ Becky Tuch. "L'chaim! Lit Mags for Jewish Thought". The Review Review. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  2. ^ Cotts, Cynthia (August 6, 2002) Fluff Jews 'Heeb' Magazine Mixes Humor and Politics Village Voice. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Jim (Feb. 6, 2002) Launching a Magazine That Asks "What's In a Name?" Boston Globe 3rd ed. F.4. Retrieved July 16, 2010. "A couple of years ago, Jennifer Bleyer, a year out of Columbia University, had this brainstorm: 'There should be a cool Jewish magazine,' she thought."
  4. ^ Tugend, Alina (2002-01-17). "Reaching Out, With Cheek, to Young Jewish Readers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  5. ^ Berrin, Danielle (April 17, 2008) "‘Heeb’ goes Hollywood" The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Werde, Bill (2003-10-13). "Media Talk; A Sardonic Jewish Magazine Expands Its Ambitions". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  7. ^ Berton, Justin (2009-02-26). "Heeb Magazine Storytelling: 1 story, 7 minutes". SFGATE. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  8. ^ Goldman, Dudi (2007-06-04). "In with the Jew?". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2023-02-17.
  9. ^ "Joe Lieberman Is (Still) A Dickhead". Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  10. ^ Salkin, Allen. "Where have you gone, Sandy Koufax?". Creative Loafing Charlotte. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  11. ^ Berrin, Danielle. "Stripping for HaShem, Heeb-style", The Jewish Journal, September 25, 2008.
  12. ^ "Caught in the Act!". Peoplemag. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  13. ^ "Crimes of Passion – Heeb". Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  14. ^ "Heeb Loses PR Agent Over Passion Riff". Jewschool. 2004-02-12. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  15. ^ "Media". Catholic League. 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  16. ^ "RIP, Heeb Magazine". The Forward. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  17. ^ 50 Best Magazines, Chicago Tribune, June 17, 2004.
  18. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (2022-12-21). "Watch Dave Grohl Cover 10cc's 'The Things We Do for Love'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2023-07-02.
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  20. ^ Newman, Andrew Adam. Marketers, Gingerly, Bite at Parody Bait, The New York Times, March 28, 2007.
  21. ^ Arazie, Ilana. Drawn Together Archived 2009-08-30 at the Wayback Machine, Heeb, Issue 12.
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  24. ^ "18 · The Politics Issue – Page 3 – Heeb". Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  25. ^ "Fairey Godpainter – Heeb". Retrieved 2023-02-26.
  26. ^ "Courtney Love Slams "Jew Loan Officers, Jew Private Banks" In Heeb, Heeb Responds". HuffPost. 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  27. ^ "'Courtney Love's comments anti-Semitic'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  28. ^ "Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish: The Heeb Storytelling Collection | Jewish Book Council". www.jewishbookcouncil.org. 2009. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  29. ^ "The 100 Greatest Jewish Movie Moments, Top 10 – Heeb". 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2023-10-17.
  30. ^ "Oy! It's Oscar Time! Heeb's 100 Best Jewy Movie Moments". Mediaite. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2023-10-17.
  31. ^ Kohn, Eric. "Heeb Magazine Suspends Print Edition, Goes On-Line Only". WSJ. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  32. ^ "Sitting Shiva for Heeb Magazine". Observer. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  33. ^ a b c "In re Heeb Media, LLC". h2o.law.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  34. ^ "HEEB Trademark of HEEB MEDIA, LLC - Serial Number 78250619 - Alter". alter.com. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  35. ^ a b "HEEB Trademark of HEEB MEDIA, LLC - Serial Number 78558043 - Alter". alter.com. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  36. ^ "15 U.S. Code § 1052 - Trademarks registrable on principal register; concurrent registration". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  37. ^ Moyer, Justin Wm (2017-08-01). "'We can change the meaning': Trademarks filed for n-word after Supreme Court decision". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  38. ^ "Trademark for n-word, swastika filed after legal ruling". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  39. ^ a b "How the case of 'Heeb Media' paved the way for the Redskins trademark decision". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-04-28.
  40. ^ Video clip of The O'Reilly Factor
  41. ^ "The Fashion Issue - GOOD". www.good.is. Retrieved 2023-07-03.
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  52. ^ "From Rock And Roll to The Rapture: Why Punk Pioneer Andy Shernoff Is Fascinated With The End Times". Retrieved 2023-04-03.
  53. ^ "And Now, The True Meaning Of Hanukkah". Retrieved 2023-03-29.
  54. ^ "Myq Kaplan – Chosen Books: "The Bedwetter"". Retrieved 2023-03-29.
  55. ^ "Moshe Kasher on Moshe Kasher: A Comedian Interviews Himself". Retrieved 2023-03-29.
  56. ^ "Elon Gold: I Don't Fly on Shabbos". Retrieved 2023-03-28.
  57. ^ "An Exclusive Heeb Excerpt From Dara Horn's A Guide For The Perplexed". Retrieved 2023-03-28.
  58. ^ "Get Acquainted with Julian Tepper's Balls". Retrieved 2023-03-28.
  59. ^ "Ann Nocenti Returns To Marvel With Storm Solo Series in May". bleedingcool.com. 2023-01-14. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  60. ^ "The Ruins of the Borscht Belt". Retrieved 2023-03-28.
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