Culture, Sex & Gender

Changes at Zeek

Zeek, the journal of Jewish culture and thought, a source of insightful articles and art from the emerging generation of Jewish thinkers, has announced that it is going through some transitions. (Read on after the jump)
At a time when the print world is undergoing upheaval and online media growing, Zeek has ceased publication of its semi-annual print editions. That is quite a shame, as the fleeting nature of online publishing is not quite as satisfying nor as documentary of its time as the slim book. More importantly, the print edition was something one could hand to a member of the older generation who has yet to shift printed word consumption from paper to screen. A printed version of Zeek provided them crucial insight into the issues and concerns of their children’s misunderstood Jewish identity.
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser has also stepped down as Editor and Executive Director after several years of strengthening the organization and an online alignment with The Forward. Founding Editor Jay Michaelson is (temporarily) back at the helm.
Finally, they are ceasing their email newsletter in favor of a facebook page. I question the wisdom of this move on many levels, not the least of which placing an organization’s communication strategy so largely in the hands of Marc Zuckerberg. The spasmodic changes of the Facebook user interface and its increasing uselessness for organizations may be fine for some, but not everyone is on facespace, not everyone who is on it checks it, and those who do are increasingly bombarded.
Nevertheless, Zeek has played an important role in the Jewish Cultural Renaissance, as Jay Michaelson himself points out in their last newsletter (below) and one wishes them the best in this time of change and that they emerge a stronger, better publication.

As we navigate these transitions together, we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on the unique contributions Zeek makes to contemporary Jewish culture. We were the first publication to take the “independent minyan” movement seriously, the first to expose some of the most troubling aspects of ‘Christian Zionist’ organizations, and the first Jewish magazine to publish award-winning writers and artists who have since become household names. Zeek changed the Jewish world – which is one reason there are so many more high-quality Jewish magazines today than there were in 2002.

Indeed. May we all geek over Zeek.

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