I don’t think you’d have to look very far to find a rabbi who would condemn the content and the messages of such so-called teen magazines like Seventeen, CosmoGirl!, ElleGirl and YM (formerly “Young Miss,” currently stands for “Your Magazine”). Heck, I might condemn some of those messages. But clearly, there is a market (albeit small) for a magazine that focuses on articles about Jewish girls, and provides an outlet for their creative efforts. Now there’s a YM for the FFBs (hat tip to the JTA):
By day, 14-year-old Emily Larson lives the life of an ordinary teenage American girl. But as soon as her homeworkâ€™s done, Emily, a pleasant, soft-spoken and intensely focused teenager from Holliston, Mass., who is in the eighth grade at the Maimonides School in nearby Brookline, takes on her Hebrew name and morphs into Leah Larson, the publisher of Yaldah, a magazine for Jewish girls.
When her artwork was turned down for an American Girl cover contest in November 2003, Leah started playing around on her computer, turning disappointment into creative invention. That afternoon, she came up with the name and logo for Yaldah, and an outline for a magazine that featured stories and articles by and about Jewish girls.
Ten months later, on a shoestring budget and a prayer, Yaldah made the transition from Leahâ€™s computer screen to full-color glossy pages. She raised the money for the first issue herself by selling advertising. The first 150 copies sold out within two months, and Leah printed another 80 copies. The second issue â€” Winter 2005 â€” was published with a run of 200. Sheâ€™s now planning the spring edition, which she hopes to get out in time for Passover.
Before I discovered blogging, I thought about founding a magazine. I had two ideas, but wasn’t too sure which was the better market: a magazine/journal about dating, or a Jewish humor publication. I started researching it on the internet, and came to the conclusion that it was impossible to launch a magazine without thousands of dollars in advance capital. So I relinquished the effort. Luckily, I came across the blog-genre, and that partnership has yielded nothing but benefits.
But boy, does this girl make me feel like an underachiever.