Editorial designer Anthony Green working on the page you’re now reading... see how it has altered from concept to finished layout

We turn the spotlight on ourselves and go behind the scenes at ESRAmagazine

HOW do we do it, issue after issue? That’s the question many of those involved in the production of ESRAmagazine are asked once people know of their involvement in the production of the publication.
As this is our landmark 200th issue, we thought it would the ideal occasion to give our readers a look behind the scenes and briefly explain how we bring you five editions of ESRAmagazine a year.
To start at the very beginning, there would indeed be no magazine if it wasn’t for our army of contributors.
As well as commissioning articles, editor Merle Guttmann constantly receives features from people inside and outside Israel, all hoping that their contributions will make the grade and appear in these erstwhile pages.
This is where the Editorial Board comes in. This august body – many of them contributors themselves – meet every time an issue is printed to select the pieces which will appear in the next and subsequent editions.
Sadly, some articles will be rejected – in printing parlance, ‘spiked’ – never to see the light of day again.
Those that do cut the mustard are checked for spelling, grammar and facts by our volunteer proofreaders, and are forwarded to production assistant Elisheva Harris whose job it is to knock them into a uniform shape as Word documents ready for the next step.
Advertisements are also an integral part of the magazine, and it’s ESRA volunteer Neville Friedland who liaises with advertisers, old and new. He also handles the administration of the magazine and deals with the advertising accounts.
At this stage our graphic designer Nitzan Krivine is busy designing ads, large and small, which you see dotted around the magazine’s pages. Once approved by advertisers, these are then forwarded to the editorial designer Anthony Green for inclusion on the pages. His main job is to project the raw editorial copy into eye-catching layouts with headlines to match, and also prepare and select photographs which are to be used to illustrate the stories.
Designed pages are then sent electronically to the editor, who then forwards them to the various writers to check their own contributions.
With some 60 contributions per issue, this processes takes approximately four weeks, by which time the pages – which always total 108 – are assembled ready to be forwarded to our printer Ilan Hauser in Givatayim who has worked with ESRA for 29 years.
It’s there that the editor sees page proofs – or blueprints – and gives them a final check.
Once approved, the printers prepare the pages for the presses.
A week later, the wrapped magazines are taken to our offices in Herzliya, where volunteers label and envelope them, before they are sent out for hand distribution to ESRA members’ homes and the ESRA shops.
Meanwhile, webmaster Myra Olswang and Dennis Kaliser are busy preparing the online edition of the magazine.
A few weeks go by, everyone takes a well-deserved breather, and then the whole process starts all over again.
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About the author

Anthony Green

Anthony Green made aliyah from Leeds, England, with wife Tay in July 2012. He has spent most of his working life in newspapers first as a reporter, then as a sub-editor on a regional paper, and lat...
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