When Hadassah Magazine chooses a cover, we search for an eye-catching image that represents one of the issue’s stories. The cover we chose for our February/March issue was an artistic, dramatic shot of two dancers from the celebrated Batsheva Dance Company; it highlighted the arts story, “Feeling Is Believing,” about the Israeli dance company in that issue. Many of the letters we received from readers objected to our choice. Here is a sampling of their correspondence.
I have been a life member of Hadassah for over 20 years. I generally appreciate Hadassah Magazine’s diversity, but the February/March cover was both ugly and deeply offensive. I have no objection to dance as an art form, but the photograph of two nearly nude “dancers” seems to have been chosen only for its shock value; it could not possibly have been for artistic merit. Why do this? Hadassah is not sold on newsstands, you do not need to titillate your readers like the National Enquirer or Cosmopolitan.
A substantial portion of your readers (myself included) try to dress and behave modestly, both to reflect the sacred beauty of the human body and because we are sensitive to the values our communities cherish. You owe your readers an apology.
Chana (Mary Ellen) McCarthy
I find the cover of the February/March Hadassah Magazine disgusting and am ashamed to display it in my house.
Do mud-smeared, almost nude figures, including a man’s bare buttocks (and for entertainment, not, for example, Holocaust images) represent Hadassah, its ideals and its work, and is this the image Hadassah wants to present of itself, as a Jewish women’s organization, to the rest of the world?
I was truly shocked to see the cover of the February/March issue. It is almost pornographic! How could you think that this is appropriate to be sent to the homes of Jewish women? What were you thinking?
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