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Bridging Cultural Gaps with Playboy

The notorious American magazine is coming to Israel

Natalie Schachar
January 15, 2013

With the upcoming launch of an Israeli version of Playboy, the United States and Israel continue engaging in an important trans-Atlantic exchange that allows both countries to share the crème de la crème of their respective cultures.

Just as Hatufim portrays a much different reality than Homeland though, the newest edition of Playboy will tailor certain classically-American features of the erotic magazine to its Israeli readership. Daniel Pomerantz, the lawyer turned entrepreneur who bought rights to the magazine, is currently in the process of hiring Hebrew-speaking writers and columnists to generate original content, and editor-in-chief Neta Jakobovitz further elaborated with comments made to Haaretz.

“The magazine will be a mix of local and international content.. The first part of the magazine will combine all the leisure areas that appeal to men, like gadgets, styling and food, whatever interests the Israeli man and will give him a taste of the good life.”

…The women featured in the traditional centerfold – a nude photo across the magazine’s center spread – will be Israeli, the editors say. The magazine has already made contact with Israel’s leading modeling agencies and has uploaded a website on the Playboy domain inviting Israeli women to be photographed.

The covers will feature famous Israeli women, and negotiations with several local celebrities have already begun.

Luckily, as Haaretz mentions, modern Hebrew already counts the word shfananat, or bunny, in its lexicon. But it remains to be seen how the religious community will react to a racy magazine available on news stands everywhere.

Natalie Schachar is an editorial intern at Tablet. A recent graduate of Barnard College, she has written for the Times of Israel, The Atlantic, The Argentina Independent and Lilith Magazine.