February 10, 2000
The (Not So) Mysterious Force Behind Olam Magazine
David Suissa's campaign for unity has one inspiration: He is madly in love with the Jewish people
But soon enough, as he sits at a gigantic white conference table in his hip Brentwood offices, his humility gives way to his passion. He is so inspired and ready to inspire others, that he can't stop the words, the hyperbole, from flowing.
"This is not our message, it's God's message. We're all supposed to be His children, and He's got to be looking down on us now and saying, 'This is not what I had in mind,'" says Suissa, 43. "We have to begin a new era."
Suissa, darkly handsome with thick gray hair and penetrating coffee-colored eyes, has summoned all the passion of his heart and all the power of his top-rated advertising agency to "make people fall in love with Judaism and their fellow Jews," he says.
It started with 1.1 million copies of his brainchild, Olam Magazine. The full-color publication swarms with articles by every kind of Jew Suissa could find, on every topic he could think of. He distributed Olam -- which means world and stands for One Light for All Mankind, or, One Label for All the Mishpacha -- throughout the country as an insert in both Jewish publications and select zip codes of subscribers to the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.
Along with the slickly designed magazine came the Web site, which is recording more than 30,000 hits per week, more advertising and billboards in the L.A. area, T-shirts calling for "Ashkefardicultrarefoconservadox" Jews to unite. Next came Cafe Olam, and soon a television ad in Israel.
"You hit 'em and you hit 'em and you hit 'em, millions of sparks of unity, nonstop, you just blanket the country with sweetness, not debate, with honey," says Suissa.