April 26, 2007
Local Israelis dig glossy ‘zine
"Anachnu Beh America!" "We're in America!" proclaims the title of the nine-month-old Hebrew-language monthly glossy aimed at Los Angeles' Israeli community.
The magazine, which averages around 40 to 50 pages, is eye-catching. The February issue shows a boy kissing a girl holding a rose; December had a large white dreidel on the cover; last September, the second issue, showed Israeli supermodel Noah Tishby. |
Inside, the pages are also splashed with colorful headlines, bright photos and cartoony illustrations.
B'America is being distributed to more than 200 locations locally, targeting where Israelis shop, dine, learn and gather. An employee at Super Sal, an Israeli grocery store on Ventura Boulevard in Encino, said they receive weekly deliveries of about 100 to 150 magazines on Wednesday, and by Friday the waist-high stack of free glossies just outside the main doors vanishes.
David Mashiah, a 28-year old Israeli who works in private security, explains what compels him to pick up the magazine nearly every month.
"First, it catches your eye because of the colors," he said. "Second, it's interesting to read and it offers something that the Israeli newspapers here don't offer. Articles that are easy and fun to read. They're lighter than newspaper articles."
"This magazine is not about Israel," said Ori Dinur, Anachnu's editor-in-chief. "It's about Israelis that live here in America."
Dinur has a background in theater and has been living in Los Angeles for seven years; she said the target audience has been living in the United States for more than six months -- people who are building careers and families here and have no immediate plans of returning to their homeland.
Articles have included coverage of the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, advice on how to be a successful salesperson, a calendar section called "Poking Your Nose Out of the House," a regular feature answering immigration-related questions and a first-person narrative about a failed intermarriage.
"Our contributors write from their hearts about very personal things that Israelis here can relate to," Dinur said. Most of the magazine's regular contributors (there are 17 listed on the masthead), live in Los Angeles. They are not paid for their contributions and most have never been published elsewhere. Despite this, and the fact that the masthead lists a staff of just four, with only Dinur on the editorial staff, the magazine does not appear amateurish.
"We wanted to do everything top of the line," said Eddie Grimberg, one of the founders and owners of the publication. A Russian-born Israeli who has been living in the United States for 20 years, he said the magazine was not a commercial venture.
"We're doing this as a service to the Israeli community," he said. "We're filling a need."
Grimberg is very active in the Jewish community and is this year's chair of this Sunday's Israeli Independence Day Festival in Woodley Park.
"Our purpose is to entertain, educate, touch and improve people's lives., " said Dinur. And with characteristically Israeli passion, she added, "It's my baby! I'm in love with it!"
For more information, visit www.weinamerica.com