By COLlive reporter
With publishers around the world trying to stay afloat in the changing media landscape, which is seeing the slow decline of print media, perhaps publishers should turn to Brooklyn for some tips.
A 5 year-old Crown Heights based magazine is enjoying a subscription boom like no other and is translated into 9 languages (Russian and Hebrew to be released soon).
So what’s the secret of The Tzivos Hashem Kids Magazine, read by some 250,000 Jewish families all over the globe?
For starters, the magazine offers something for everyone – Jewish children from various backgrounds and affiliations. Their parents as well, can be seen glancing through the pages in shul or at home.
Author and editor of many kids’ books for Hachai Publishing, Devorah Leah Rosenfeld has recently joined the able team of writers, illustrators and educators, as the editor of the magazine.
Each 28 page issue, beautifully rendered by the team at Spotlight Design, led by Gershon Eichorn, and printed by the Printhouse, is packed with the latest in graphics, ideas and games guaranteed to enthrall kids and adults alike and teach them about the upcoming holidays in a way they haven’t experienced before.
“Investing in this magazine is investing in our children’s future,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, who subsidizes the publication with a generous grant from The Rohr Family Foundation.
“The constant distractions that children in this day and age are faced with, challenges us to come up with more innovative and appealing methods to teach and pass along our heritage. This wonderful magazine does just that, and I am indeed proud of be part of it,” he told COLlive.com.
And that bring us to the second secret to its impressive success.
Its wide readership from Brazil to Wisconsin, from France to South Africa, and from Brisbane to Salt Lake City, depends on Chabad Shluchim worldwide who order it and offer the glossy booklet as an educational tool for children in their communities.
“I love the magazine, my community loves it and I haven’t missed an issue yet,” said Rabbi Mendy Mangel, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Camden County in New Jersey.
Mrs. Simcha Abergel, the Shlucha in Singapore and also a fan, said: “We love the magazine, and we can’t wait until it will be available in Hebrew so that our local Hebrew-speaking community will be able to enjoy it as well.”
In fact, the magazine is such a hit that schools have asked the publishers, Tzivos Hashem, to supply them with copies for use as textbooks for individual students. (The magazine is only available through shluchim and must be ordered by the local Shliach).
Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, Executive Director of of the youth network Tzivos Hashem, says that “Feedback from Shluchim has shown that the magazine still has tremendous opportunity to grow and has led us to a go back to the drawing board in terms of layout and content.”
One of the changes implemented is a choice of two covers, the first being the KIDS cover and the second using the name of the upcoming holiday as the magazine’s title.
“This coming Shavuos issue will be called the summer issue and will not only focus on the holiday but will also have features on basic Jewish concepts that come up during the summer time, such as ahavas yisroel and personal safety,” said Managing Director Zevi Steinhauser.
“These messages are, as usual, given across in fun and exciting ways with the help of comic characters such as ‘Joey,’ and fun activities on the games page,” he noted.
A simplified navigating system provided by chabad.org at TzivosHashem.org/shluchim allows Shluchim to personalize their edition with their organization’s logo, sponsorship information, and even local candle lighting times. 500 copies cost only $365.
Visit TzivosHashem.org/shluchim or call Zevi at 718-907-8864.