Tent DIY: Chiddush!

I was extremely fortunate to receive Tent: DIY funding for a collaborative zine project called Chiddush! Zines are a format I am comfortable in, but in these last months I was able to explore spaces on the page, in study, community and in design, that I had not been able to before. I intended to create a zine compilation as a space for Jewish discussion and creation, as many were either extinct (see below) or single-focus.

Chiddush (Yiddish, from the Hebrew Chadash) means something new, and something brilliant. That certain spark that pushes you forward and keeps you sharing!

I started by thinking about the role that Jews have played in zine publishing. Since late 1980s/ 1990s, with publications such as Plotz, Mazel Tov Cocktail, Heeb existing as moments in time before fading away - or Hashem forbid - transferring to an online-only format. Others like the long running and formidable Cometbus (written by Bay Area resident Aaron Cometbus and others) exists as a contemporary (and extensively recorded) form of longer traditions of story telling and challenging narratives.

Speaking of longer traditions! Did you know? That I have now found what I would call ‘Jewish Zines’ from as far back as Midrashic, Hasidic and Zionist texts?! In looking over Jewish publications for this project, not only were philosophical elements of zines carried through, but the format often had not changed much as well. In many of these texts, as in zines, there was an emphasis on preservation of minority opinion, alternative perspectives, and in general; it is a personal responsibility to share knowledge. Much like self-publishing!

In the actual zine making process, I was able to reach out to members of our existing Tent family, as well as local Portland people (through planned workshops at Portland Moishe House and other community outreach) and extended online zine/Jewish communities. After some background, we made zines together and everyone made something really different and amazing. It was everyone’s first zine.

With outreach I was getting more and more submissions from great people, connected to Tent, locally and from online Jewish and zine communities. When the Portland Zine Symposium was about a month and a half away, we began to format the zine - to be read from right-to-left. (This often stopped people when they picked it up and they would try to puzzle it out). A few submissions were still coming in, but it was almost set. My helper Sarah C.

the “guts”

the “spines”

We printed 250 copies in the first run. We tabled at PZS for two days, where we handed out the zine free of charge and talked about the joys of Tent and Jewish culture with people - Jews, non and in between.

With the few leftovers, we were able to distribute them to a few community members and packaged the rest to be mailed to contributors (after I finish this report!) - I now have about 10 left. They were overwhelmingly popular at the Symposium, and they also helped to foster a discussion I held as part of a workshop called Jews and Zines at the Symposium itself.

We had a great crowd who gathered for a Shabbos-friendly workshop based on reading and discussion.

Participants browsed a collection of Jewish zines I have amassed during this project (and also discussed the idea of my next project: a Jewish Archive of Zines) and chose one to read aloud in chavrutas.

(from top right:
gaza, Molly McClain
How to Make A Man Out of Tin Foil, Barry Deutsch
Reich, Issue Four, Elijah J Brubaker
Painful VIces: A TAle of Bad Habits, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg
I Cut My Hair…But It Grew Back, Issue No. 2, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg
A Passover Haggadah, Will Prahl
Merry Christmas, Jewboy, by David Figler, illustrated by Pete Sickman-Garner
Cometbus #51: The Loneliness of the Electric Menorah, Aaron Cometbus 

She Said, Judith Arcana)

They got a short history lesson, which included “zines” from the apocrypha, Vilna Gaon, Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and the Holy Land as it was forming. To connect, we had a wonderful discussion about Jewish engagement in Portland that tied in with the “DIY” nature of the event, and the entire project.

I plan to do another “run” of these zines and hold a release party, to get the Portland comment even more excited for Jewish zines, and especially hyped for issue 2! Which I plan to make happen in 5775, so stay tuned. Tent DIY has given me a way to connect to local and wider creative community and I anticipate maintaining those connections, even beyond the pages of Chiddush.



24 Hour Zine Challenge!!!! Coming this weekend!!!

In order to meet the challenge, the PZS 24hr Zine Challengers MUST make a 24-page zine of an original conception straight up to the final product in 24 hours straight. The zine should be of suitable size and technical difficulty so that this truly is a challenge for individual zinesters.

Register to be a 24 hour zine challenger!

Sponsor a challenger!

Information for challengers: 

We will have supplies (paper, glue, scissors, typewriters, etc.) available, along with some snacks.

We encourage you to reach out to friends and family to sponsor your challenge! Their pledges go to help supporting the Portland Zine Symposium. They can sign up to sponsor you here.

To bring: $5 registration fee, any zine materials you’d like to have, pillows/blankets/sleeping gear, any extra snacks/drinks you want

The IPRC has two copy machines (one is now in color!) on hand to help you create your fabulous zine black and white copies are 7 cents per side for members (trial membership is $35) and 10 cents per side for nonmembers. Color copies are 45 cents per side for members and 55 cents per side for nonmembers

(Moishe House Portland Zine Workshop, May 2014)


please submit to Chiddush!

a space for new-ish Jewish thought and creativity

looking for submissions for inaugural issue of this zine!

(Chiddush is Hebrew/Yiddish for a shift in tradition or brilliant innovation. Simply, something NEW).

seeking art, photography, writing of all kinds.

what makes Jewish meaning today? make it up!

(this can be a space for: storytelling, show and tell, swagger, text interpretation, poetry, language games, pretty/not so pretty pictures, and more…)

Sponsored by Tent: Encounters With Jewish Culture



It’s (almost) that time of year—the Portland Zine Symposium is just around the corner (July 12th-13th)!

To celebrate, we’ve put together 3 bundles of zines + buttons for 3 lucky winners!

The Rules:

-Each reblog counts as one entry! Reblog as many or little times as you please, three winners will be chosen at random.

-In your entry, please indicate which bundle you are placing an entry for. (Ex: Bundle 1, 2, 3, or any.)

-Must be following the Portland Zine Symposium Tumblr!

-Three winners will be chosen on June 30th, 2014. Please have your ask box open so we can contact you.

Questions? The PZS Ask Box is always open!

Good luck!

Haven’t found a Haggadah that fits quite right?

Though Pesach 5774 is almost at an end, I can’t let the Chag pass without a nod to the art of the Haggadah zine. The morning Passover began, I was fortunate enough to sneak one last bite of leaven with a dear friend. He handed me a family Haggadah, that he had typeset and bound himself; what could certainly be called a zine. I was thrilled to incorporate their curation of this narrative, along with the other voices at our table. Now a part of our permanent collection!

I know many young Jewish students are tasked with making their own Haggadah, or at least pieces of, and I think I would like to make one next year as well!

For next year, here is a popular Haggadah zine, titled Love and Justice In Times Of War: http://saltyfemme.wordpress.com/haggadah-zine/

Still not it? MAKE YOUR OWN!!! Chag Sameach!

Thank you to Will Prahl for the beautiful Haggadah.