Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Nice Jewish Girls Do…Swimsuit Calendar?

Nice Jewish Girls Do...Swimsuit Calendar?Love it, hate it, or some combination of the two, but you gotta pay attention to Heeb magazine’s “Girls of 5769″ calendar, featured in both the New York Post and Ha’aretz daily. The latter includes a video of an African-Amercian man looking at the pictures and remarking that “Jews should be respecting their women, and if they don’t respect them for this, he’s going to start respecting them himself!”
Personally, I love it, with a dollop of discomfort thrown in on the side. It’s just too easy to see what’s problematic here that it borders on taking cheap shots, but I do appreciate the concern. So let’s get the latter out of the way. Of course, it objectifies women, and no it’s not my greatest hope for my own three daughters, and yes, it violates certain norms of traditional Jewish modesty rules, blah, blah, blah… But it all pales in comparison with the up side here.
So what’s to love about this collection of bikini clad (why is it always “clad”, not “wearing”, or any other term?) beauties, one surrounded by lobsters and another sporting a fishing rod with lox dripping off the end? Here are three quick things to love about this spread, and I am sure that the list will grow.


First, the very idea of reclaiming Jewish sexuality and desirability to both Jews and non-Jews, is so healthy, it’s scary. This calendar smashes the idol of the “shiksa godess” – really the goddess part. We took care of the s-word earlier this week.
Second, it’s done with a wink and a nudge. The presence of the non-kosher lobsters for example, indicates that the folks who did this appreciate that it’s transgressive and can laugh about it. And for people to laugh at themselves is a good thing–it sure beats laughing at others.
Finally, “The Girls of 5769″ celebrates a deeply felt sense of Jewish pride and connection. Many of the models can, and do, make far more money modeling swimsuits for designers than they got for this layout. It really became a vehicle for the integration of the models’ professional and Jewish identities. The search for that integration is an entire industry in the spirituality world, and they pulled it off in a few pages. My hat goes off to their clothes being off.

  • Lucy Silver

    Having just returned from a visit to Israel, I am buzzing with thoughts about sexuality. I was struck at the difference between Tel Aviv bikinis and the definite modesty of Jerusalem. I firmly believe that being sexy is not at all stiffeled by modest dress. Sexual attraction can involve more than the body. Sexual attraction, believe it or not, may sometimes be governed by a lightening bolt that happens between two people who just “connect.” Modest dress dictates to whom your body may be given. If modest dress reserves it for your husband, that seems to me to be a statement that strengthens marriage.
    Of course a woman can be Jewish and bare her skin! For anyone who has a great body, go for it! I envy you! Not all of us are so blessed! But there is something to be said when certain attractions are left to the imagination. And attractions between people not only involve the body, but mind, heart, and soul.

  • rabbiswife

    But where the rabbi is correct, Lucy, is that it should be each Jewish woman’s choice what show and what not to show. While I wouldn’t dream for any of our daughters to be in the swimsuit edition, I am thrilled that Jewish girls and be proudly Jewish and do just that. I agree with you that modest can be sexy. Often sexier than immodest, to be honest. But Jewish is beautiful either way. And that is the lesson here, as I understand it.


    Hey at least they are wearing something!!
    You go girls-do not know how my daughter would feel about it but if it is as modest as it seems to be I would not be sad to see my grandaughter partake in this sort of thing-hey it is also a Jewish calendar and different from the normal religous pics so who is complaining!!
    Those whose religon would be against this would not know or care about the calendar anyway!

  • Annette Cavanagh

    I think that any objectification of women is bad. Till I see a
    Rabbi partially nude on the next Jewish calendar I will not applaud
    this calendar.

  • Cully

    The Rabbi said, ” It’s just too easy to see what’s problematic here that it borders on taking cheap shots, but I do appreciate the concern. So let’s get the latter out of the way. Of course, it objectifies women,…”
    Objectification (not sure if that’s a real word) doesn’t happen (in the case of this calendar) because of the women or what they are wearing. It happens in the eyes and/or mind of the observer. I dare say that the person who would look a the calendar and objectify the models would also objectify all women in one way or another.
    Jewish women are beautiful… and you’re only young once – If ya got it then show it off! I think that has been done in a tasteful way.



  • Dr. Thurman Ray

    These girls are beautiful! I have two grown daughters who love swimming, and all outdoor activities.(Both happily married) Yes, they wear Short shorts and look GREAT! This is NOT pornography….this is today’s norm. Enjoy the moment and be GOOD and Understanding parents! If you mentor your children….all will be well.

  • shane love appling

    …with all due respect, if those girls were my daughters I would send them to the Convent…
    Yours in Catholicism,

  • Scott R.

    Hayat made a bigoted comment that is not reflective of the Jewish people as a whole.

  • Marian Neudel

    Some rabbi whose name I no longer remember said, “It is better to look at naked women while thinking about Torah than to look at Torah while thinking about naked women.”

  • pagansister

    Why not? If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

  • Sally Hirsch

    You guys should check out Jamie Sneider’s Jewish Calendar – it’s a very sexy and it’s a real girl making a Jewish Calendar:

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