Justice, Mishegas, Sex & Gender

Plant trees, ogle breasts.

From JTA:

The Jewish National Fund sent out a mass e-mail this month announcing that it would be auctioning off a one-year subscription to Playboy and an all-expenses-paid trip to a VIP party at the legendary mansion of the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner, in Holmby Hills, Calif.

Deborah Meyer, the executive director of Moving Tradition, an organization that helps young women become bat mitzvah, questioned the JNF’s decision to embrace Playboy.
“It seems like a bit of a lapse of judgment to offer as a prize a trip to the Playboy mansion,” she said. “You have to wonder what they are thinking about who are the members of the Jewish community and what message they think they are sending not just to young women, but to men, about Jewish values and what is appropriate in the year 5767.”
JNF officials dismissed such criticism, noting that other charities have offered similar prizes in recent years.
“If people don’t want to bid on it, they won’t,” said Anita Jacobs, the director of the JNF’s Greater New York branch, which is organizing the auction. “This is America.”
Asked if she thought Playboy objectifies women, Jacobs replied: “No, not at all.”

Full story.
Contact info for the folks at JNF:
Anita Jacobs, Director of JNF Greater New York
[email protected]
212-879-9300 (not direct line)
212-570-1673 (fax)
Heidi Damsky, board member with the marketing portfolio
(no email given, but maybe [email protected] based on the others?)

20 thoughts on “Plant trees, ogle breasts.

  1. Wow, that Shmuley Boteach interview was great. So it is not consistent with Jewish values for women to take their clothes off for the camera, but if people are willing to throw money down for charity for a chance to go to the mansion, that’s on them, right? That’s on their own conscience, if they want to corrupt their own ideas about women. So is the JNF promoting demeaning “propaganda”? Possibly, but I don’t think they are actually a religious institution. Its amazing what people will do for a buck, even for charity!

  2. Perhaps the JNF can offer a subscription to _PlayGIRL_ or _Hustler_ as well?
    The whole idea, while well meaning is not in the best taste for a charity like JNF. If JNF thinks that women aren’t objectified by Playboy, then maybe my money can be objectivly be better spent elsewhere.

  3. YOur money can be objectively better spent elsewhere. NO doubt. What a way to support Jewish values – this isn’t even a good way to support secular values….I am completely disgusted. JNF has recently been at the forefront of too many stupid and unethical projects for me. What the heck happened to them? What the hell is wrong with them?
    At least back when they were planting pine trees everywhere and creating monoculture all over Israel, they could merely be thought to be ignorant….

  4. This may be the dopiest thing I’ve ever heard of a “Jewish” bureaucracy doing. “What the hell is wrong with them” indeed! There is something foul in this.
    When you add this to the reports of the JNF giving away land to the UN and illegal squatters I think you’ve got to start wondering about the broader level of competence over there.

  5. Zionism never was about Jewish values, or Jewish anything. Zionism is about establishing a State for Jews in Palestine, and everything is kosher to achieve that end: haggling with Nazis, killing arabs, and yes, even playboy. What else is new?

  6. Unbelievable.
    This is a move I wouldn’t even expect from the folks at Heeb magazine. (And in their efforts to reach twenty-something Jewish hipsters, they make plenty of references that could be seen as pornographic.)
    Should we be worried about the lack of any redeeming value involved here?
    Or should we be more worried that the JNF is so hard up for money it feels compelled to reach out to this [apparent] sub-segment of Jewish society?

  7. A number of people have written to say that they’ve emailed Anita Jacobs and JNF about this. Please add your voice to the list!

  8. I wonder who came up with this idea. What really makes me mad is the kind of woman this magazine portrays. Do we all have to look like them?? This is not a very positive role model for young Jewish woman. Hopefully we can stand together and change this!!!

  9. it goes without saying that arabs will not be allowed to bid in this auction.
    official jnf policy and all that…

  10. >“Eric, which “illegal squatters” are you referring to?”
    There have been a number of reports over the last year of JNF land being turned over to the UN and illegal Arab builders in Jerusalem (and I would presume elsewhere). Some decent introductory stories I’ve seen are here and here. Considering the JNF’s namesake as the, er, Jewish National Fund this would seem to be an abdication of their mission and deception of their donors (at least by negligence) at best. I have not read of any serious JNF response, but maybe there’s something out there I’ve missed.
    Obviously large bureaucracies can make errors and they need not be automatically condemned for that, but this Playboy insanity does raise questions about the judgment of some of the people there.

  11. Here’s link to my open letter. People will have to step up and not just chatter on our own little message-boards, but show ignoramuses like Jacobs that there will be costs to their “brand.”
    & anyways, trees and breasts don’t go well together; now maybe if the org. was a save the Dead, Red Sea – wet, T-shirt contest. But seriuosly, it’s almost surreal how compromised mainstream orgs r.

  12. Very nice of moniker Last Trumpet to out the phone numbers and emails of JNF employees. A real risk taking moniker Last Trumpet is. Why not writer her number in the bathroom stall while you are at it?
    And it’s great that everyone has their panties in a bunch over this sort of thing…but you know what would be even better? If we had the same concern over the issue of peak oil. JNF actually does things to help the environment. More than the bike racers, by the way.
    It’s bad. And my feminist friends might want to learn to sew quickly. http://www.oilcrashmovie.com/film.html

  13. DK: Last Trumpet did no such thing. The contact info for JNF’s employees, including Jacobs’, is publicly and prominently available on its website– where there is also a button that says “contact us.”

  14. DK: Are you on something this fine Monday morning? Check out my link. JNF has already reversed course and “atoned”. Publishing publicly available emails/phone numbers is the EXACT type of action needed in this situation. Wake up.

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