Hebrew Language Playboy Magazine Launches

Bob Johnson

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israelis can how have their hotties in Hebrew.

The first Hebrew language Playboy was officially launched in the Holy Land yesterday.

Owner and publisher Daniel Pomerantz debuted Playboy Israel at a press conference at the Brown Hotel, standing next to cover girl Nataly Dadon wearing the trademark Bunny ears and tail.

"Our target is men who want a taste of the good life and also women who are curious about the tastes of the men in their lives," Pomerantz said. "I believe that the special formula that has brought Playboy to a rare level of success throughout the world will continue to succeed in my new home Israel."

A U.S. attorney and entrepreneur, Pomerantz got worked up over the idea during a pilgrimage to Israel and secured the local rights to the publication along with several U.S. partners who’ve invested a million dollars in the publication.

In a pre-recorded message at the launch, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner lauded Israel as a country sharing the core values of his magazine.

“I'm proud to see Playboy Israel embark on its mission to play an important role in strengthening freedom of speech, freedom of choice and freedom of the press."

He added, "I am equally pleased that so many of the core values of the magazine are also the core values of the country, and the society that has so graciously invited us to be a part of its cultural landscape."

The premiere issue (that reads right to left) features an in-depth interview with Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter along with with a photo layout of cover girl Dadon.

"Playboy's been very successful all around the world, even with all the changes in the industry," Pomerantz said. "We've done our market studies and we know our audience, and what we found is there's a very high interest in this particular magazine."

Although adult material is available in the region, the success of an adult magazine like Playboy in the heart of the world’s three major religions is up for speculation, especially since no local models have been used until now. The more explicit Israeli edition of Penthouse reportedly flopped when it debuted in Israel in 1989.

But Pomerantz is confident his magazine will succeed. "Israel is a very complicated country with tradition and modernity and also with serious things and fun fashionable things and that is exactly the character of Playboy. It is a complicated and beautiful magazine for a complicated and beautiful country," he said.

"People will see just from the words Playboy Israel that we are a normal country, fashionable, modern, people who work every day with a passion and if you read Playboy magazine you see that it's not just beauty and fashion but it's also depth and politics and issues, people who care and think about the world they live in.”