These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

AMERICAN JEWISH SPIRIT: Celebrating a Sense of Community

New to the newsstand this week is American Jewish Spirit, a quarterly that published its first issue in January. It has an interesting editorial concept, focusing on inner values such as life's meaning and the attainment of happiness within Jewish traditions and religious beliefs. The magazine is intensely concerned with both the Jewish sense of community and the forces in American society that tend to push individuals out of that community, outwardly manifested in the failure to observe traditional practices and inwardly in terms of unhappiness and psychological isolation. The article I found most interesting is titled "The Most Happening Shabbat in Jerusalem." It's about a couple from New York who moved to Jerusalem and for two decades have invited anyone who wants to come to Friday night dinner and lunch the next day at their apartment, a traditional display of Jewish hospitality that they have extended to an almost implausible extent. They routinely host 50 or more strangers on these occasions, Jews and Gentiles, many of them students, tourists and the homeless, and a theme of the article is the number of non-practicing Jews (many from the United States) who have come and been so impressed with the traditions, generosity of spirit and sense of community they encountered at the meal that they have decided to return to their Jewish roots. Other articles in the issue are about getting children to understand and appreciate Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashana, what the Torah says about the concept of happiness, and efforts to get Jewish college students more involved in community activities. You'll find a couple of recipes, one for pomegranate chicken, the other for a cute napkin ring made of a challah roll. I always enjoy the ads in magazines that are about worlds largely unfamiliar to me, and one that really caught my eye here was for "rabbi trading cards." That's right: well-known rabbis are on the cards, not second basemen or running backs―and the ad claims that three million cards have been sold around the world! American Jewish Spirit, published in Phoenix, AZ, is offered in a national edition and in an amazing dozen regional editions (Arizona, Chicago, Long Island, Atlanta, Columbus, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Dallas, Pacific Northwest, Bucks County, Houston and St. Louis), which add about 15% local editorial content. Subscribers are asked to specify which edition they want. An annual subscription (four issues) is $14.95 from the publisher; you can get a sample copy of the national edition from us for $2.59.


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