A tipster informs us that Heeb—the favorite rag of Holocaust-mocking hipster Jews everywhere—is going kaput. Details? Email us. Update: Other tipsters paint a picture of a Heeb on the brink. If hasn't died yet, it probably will soon.
Editor-in-Chief Joshua Neuman denies that Heeb is in trouble—see the bottom of this post—but a number of tipsters beg to differ. You be the judge.
Tuesday morning update: Heeb's editorial director Yasha Wallin emails to say Heeb isn't "shutting down" pointing to parties and the web site, which seems to sidestep the question of the magazine. We asked her to clarify the future of the magazine and will update again if she gets back to us. Updated again: "We have the utmost confidence in assuring you that our Spring edition will be out no later than Rosh Hashanah." (For you goys, Rosh Hashanah starts on September 9 next year.)
We just put out our winter issue (The Future Issue) as well as our first Storytelling anthology, Sex, Drugs and Gefilte Fish. We're gearing up for Heebonism, our biggest party of the year, held in cities around the country on Christmas Eve, and we're working on a re-launch of our website for early 2010. So, no, we're definitely not shutting down.
According to one tipster who used to work at Heeb, rumors that the magazine is folding have been so commonplace among young Jews in the know that they're usually greeted with an eye-roll. But this time, "everybody in the Jewish world kind of knows" that Heeb is just about ferklempt. (Or whatever the word for "totally fucked" is in Yiddish.) The main sign, our tipster tells us, is that donors who have traditionally propped Heeb up are pulling out their money and are actively looking for new Jewish non-profits to give it to. Thanks, in part, to the recession. (and not, amazingly, the Roseanne-Barr-as-Hitler photo spread) Says our tipster:
[Heeb] was able to live high on the hog when there was a lot of money coming in, like around 2004 The fact that they were wasting money went kind of unnoticed by the Jewish organizations donating to them. But the recession hit them kind of hard. Now Lots of funders are asking very specifically for people to spell out where their money is going.
Heeb has indeed been wasting a lot of money if it is run as incompetently as our tipster suggests: For example, the magazine—supposedly quarterly—would regularly miss printing deadlines for no other reason than they couldn't get the issue out to the printer in time.
This one issue came out in September and the advertising guys sold a bunch of ads for Rosh Hashanah services at different places. But they missed the deadline so the issue didn't come out until after the holidays and they had to give all the advertisers their money back.
(Other tipsters have also mentioned how Heeb's irregular printing schedule has come to resemble last spasms of the near-dead.)
And it doesn't help that the Heeb offices are run extremely haphazardly by editor-in-chief Joshua Neuman, according to our tipster. "He ran off almost every good editor and writer who worked there. They were frustrated with him because he would pay some people for stories and not others based on whether he liked them."
A freelance photographer backed up this claim and offered further proof that the end of Heeb is near. After receiving a potential assignment via email from photo editor Mike Garten in August, she asked if there was a budget: Silence.
This was the second fake assignment (fake because it is presumably unpaid labor, including gas—they wanted me to drive to baltimore!?), so I presumed when I read this it was on its last legs.
The Heeb Magazine death watch starts now.
UPDATE The JTA's Fundermentalist blog has a statement from editor-in-chief Josh Neuman:
"I think they maybe they're reading a little too much into the cover of our Winter Issue. Like Tupac faking his own death or something. Whatever. The traffic will help us sell menorahs for Modern Tribe," he told The Fundermentalist late Monday night.
He added: "We've actually got some pretty giant initiatives in the near horizon. A new website on its way, our largest partnership, more and more video...Dude, we just started printing an Australian edition!!!!"