Compass

Lev Journal e.V.

Grant Awarded: 
2013
Country: 
Germany (Wuppertal)
Areas of activity: 
Adults,
20’s and 30’s,
Teens,
Children,
Grandparents,
Families,
Educators,
Students,
Interfaith
Background: 

The LEV Magazine is an initiative that was started by young German Jews born in the FSU, who decided to publish a bilingual quarterly magazine in order to educate young Jews across Germany about Jewish culture, heritage and Israel. LEV is the first post-War magazine in Germany written by and for young Jews and seeking to create a platform which allows Jews to write about their daily experience in Germany, voice their opinions and discuss current issues related to contemporary life in Germany.

Before LEV was originally launched, its founding members posted articles about their lives as Jews in Germany on Facebook. To their surprise the articles resulted in ongoing discussions where hundreds of people asked questions, added insights and left lengthy comments. Subsequently, a pilot edition of the magazine, was produced that allowed them to raise seed funding for a second edition. 

The magazine connects young Jews with like-minded peers, strengthens their sense of belonging, awakens an interest in Jewish roots and offers learning opportunities about Jewish history, heritage, Hebrew language and Israel. Produced both online and in hard copy, LEV is not just a magazine but also a lively social media platform where young Jews can discuss burning Jewish issues and get information about activities from all over Germany. This furthermore makes LEV accessible both to very engaged and knowledgeable Jews as well as totally unaffiliated persons who can read the magazine in the comfort of their own home. LEV seeks to become the mouthpiece of the young generation of German Jews.

LEV built a low-cost, effective network of volunteer distributors in all major German cities, who hand out printed copies of each new edition among their friends. The distributors report back with ongoing feedback they receive from their peers, suggest improvements and recommend topics for future features. This system allows LEV to adapt circulation and meet reader’s demands in real-time. The magazine is publicized through word of mouth and social media networks which significantly reduces marketing costs. LEV has already been adopted by local Jewish community leaders, Rabbis and Jewish institutions, who use Lev to reach out to young Jews and to inform them about upcoming activities. The founders of LEV would like to publish the magazine on a quarterly basis in the coming two years.

Capacity building project: 

Capitalizing on the open nature of social media and the internet, the LEV magazine is offering young Jews an opportunity to voice their opinions, ask questions and discuss current issues related to their Judaism and Jewish identity. This has emerged as an effective resource for the development of peer-support networks, sharing of ideas and public education. The magazine enjoys the support of other grassroots organizations based in communities across Germany. On a shoe string budget, LEV already reached impressive reader numbers, and it is quite likely that with core funding it will be able to enhance the quality, reach and distribution of the magazine further and develop it in exciting ways.