Israeli Playboy Magazine Feeling the Heat

Bob Johnson

TEL AVIV, Israel — Less than a year after its launch, the Hebrew-language Israeli edition of Playboy magazine is already in hot water.

The magazine has reportedly lost its editor-in-chief Neta Jakobovitz-Keidar, missed delivering its November and December issues, and is in debt to its suppliers and employees.

A December/January issue is promised by the publishers but has yet to materialize.

New investors in the U.S. and elsewhere are being sought to stop the bleeding.

Despite its financial woes — blamed on outstanding payment delays to suppliers and employees during the overseas’ holidays — the company said in a statement that its website is doing well and its electronic issue subscriptions have grown to 20,000.

Although the magazine was launched with the novel idea of a woman editor, the publisher said the new editor Avi Ganor, replaced Jakobovitz-Keidar months ago over issues regarding her suitability for the job.

In the magazine’s announcement in early 2013, publisher Daniel Pomerantz was optimistic about the magazine despite prior men’s magazine failures in the Holy Land and its inclusion of nudes.

“We went to Hefner’s estate with the Israeli team to learn from the Playboy experts,” Pomerantz told Haaretz. “Hefner was very excited that there was a word [for bunny— “shfananat”] in Hebrew — it proved that there is a cultural link between the Playboy brand and Israeli culture."