The classic guitar players will all tell you that they first picked up a guitar to meet girls. I can’t remember the first time I picked up a pen to write (and whether or not anyone would consider me a classic anything is up for debate) but I surely didn’t do so with the expectation of meeting any girls from it. I suppose any girls I’ve met from my time on Jdate are a result of my finely-crafted essays (or was it the gratuitous pic holding a baby?) but nothing in comparison to the incredibly hilarious and surreal experience I enjoyed yesterday morning as a lucky blogger.
If you hadn’t heard, several employees of Maxim Magazine headed to Israel this week for a photo shoot of Israeli models, all in the name of a new kind of Israeli hasbara (talking points: OUT; curvy women: IN! IN! IN!) Sponsored by Israel21C and Israel’s Foreign Ministry, this yet-to-be released issue threatens to either to generate no more waves than the average issue of Maxim, or cause the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh to dance in the streets due to the biggest aliyah since Russia opened its doors in the early 90s. I can just imagine this conversation:
Israeli Government Official: “Prime Minister, deh demo-grah-feex proh-blem eez no lohn-ger! Meel-yons of American Jews ahr choo-seeng to leev their lives een Israel!”
PM: “To waht do you aht-tree-bute dees? Anti-Semitism in deh Diaspora? Spirituality?”
Be careful of Israeli women.
So sexy…yet so dangerous.
Between this and Hooters, it’s a good time to be an Israeli male. So when Israel21c Editorial Director David Brinn left me a message yesterday saying “Benji, I’m going to see the models, you might want to come too”…well, let’s just say I was excited. To put it into perspective, on the scale of “things that make your heart stop”, it ranked somewhere between “You just won the lottery!” and “Benji? It’s Aaron Spelling from the set of Melrose Place. We like your work and would love you to play the new romantic lead to Heather Locklear.”
When I arrived at the Hashalom train station to meet David and the staff, the possible scenarios were already running through my head: “Hey, baby…what’s your name? Come here often? Wanna play ‘Spin the Mezuzah’?” I met David and shmoozed for a minute until he pointed behind me and gestured “look!” A bikini-clad model stood on top of the ticket turnstiles, legs spread open. Suddenly, I felt an unexplainable urge to travel cross-country.
Next stop: my heart
Her name was Nivit Bash and for the next 30 minutes, I watched a photographer snap pictures, a light guy do something with light, a make-up girl do something with make-up, and so on. They were all very friendly and eager to visit Israel, almost all of whom were here for the first time. To my slight surprise, none of them expressed any hesitations or concerns despite Israel’s image in the media. I asked them what their biggest surprise was, what they enjoyed so far, what they thought of the nightlife, and of course, why Israelis are so hot. The answers included:
“I follow the news but it didn’t keep me from coming. I’ve heard so much about this country and really wanted to visit. I’m blown away by it; I’m not afraid at all.”
“It feels very Mediterranean but also Eastern, a real mix of cultures. And I’m looking forward to the game tonight!”
As for the beauty…”They’re a mixture of cultures who are all so unique and different. People have arrived from 90 countries: Ethiopia, Russia, Europe, South America, North America…” That’s the standard explanation. Here was another: “They’re not as hung up as American girls. Their personality affects their beauty.” (Hey, I’m just the messenger.)
Here’s a shot of Nivit doing…WHO CARES??????????
Fortunately, I had some time to compose myself before meeting the model. Otherwise, this conversation might have happened.
Model: “My name eez Nivit Bash. What is yours?”
This woman gets paid to rub cream on her stomach.
I really need a new job.
C’mon, Nefesh B’Nefesh career placement…hook a brotha up!
More pictures and details to come tomorrow including a surprise which, if realized, should leave tongues hanging across the Jewish world (or will at least impress of all my friends). Check back for Part II.
(Part II here.)