Who are you?
I’m Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, where I cover politics, religion and culture. The small stuff, in other words. I’ve tackled everything from national politics in America and Israel to Muslims and Jews in comic books to Jews in baseball to the translation of Harry Potter into Yiddish, and my work has been published in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. I’ve covered elections on multiple continents, won a few awards, and once got the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a correction on a point of Jewish history. Oh, and in my spare time, I troll Nazis on the internet and compose original Jewish music.
Why a newsletter?
For years, readers have asked me to create an email list so that they can be sure to catch each of my articles, wherever they might appear. I have resisted, because this would entail more work on my part, and I am lazy and would prefer to just blast out my writing on social media. These days, however, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become increasingly problematic places to distribute my work and discuss it—whether due to algorithms arbitrarily deciding what to show and what to bury, or bad faith trolls blowing up the conversation. And so I’ve realized that it’s important for me and my readers to have our own forum where we can tackle the things that are important to us on our own terms, away from the toxic online cacophony.
That’s what this newsletter and its community are all about.
What can I expect?
There are two types of subscriptions—free and paid—and you’re welcome to choose whichever suits your needs. All readers will receive:
Links to all of my latest articles, in whatever outlets they might appear.
Announcements about my forthcoming speaking events across the country and around the world.
Thoughts too complex for Twitter, but not long enough for full article treatment. There are a lot of important stories out there worth discussing which do not merit 1000 words yet cannot be reduced to a 280-character tweet. This is where I’ll talk about them.
Highlights from lesser known writers, artists, and activists that I’ve stumbled across in my work that I think deserve a wider hearing.
Sneak peaks at my future projects. I compose, sing, and record music; you folks will be the first to hear it. I’m working on a book; in the newsletter, I’ll field test some of its ideas and sharpen them against your feedback. I’m mulling a podcast; subscribers will be the first to know if it goes live.
Q&A with readers, writers, and critics. One of the most fascinating places on Twitter for me is one that most folks never see—my direct messages inbox. Naturally, I get all sorts of delightful anti-Semitic abuse there. But I also get lots of questions from all kinds of people about Jews, politics, religion, and other stuff I’ve written about. “Where should I look to get an accurate perspective on anti-Semitism across Europe?” “Is Judaism a religion, a race, or something else entirely, and what can I read to learn more?” “How can I best respond to this particular anti-Jewish conspiracy theory among my friends?” Until now, those exchanges have been useful for the individuals in question, but otherwise unseen by anybody else. But I figure, why not share them? At the same, I hope newsletter readers will send in their own queries, and make this an ongoing conversation.
Paying subscribers, meanwhile, will get access to additional content, in appreciation for helping make all this work possible with their support. Perks include:
Monthly Ask Me Anything chats where we discuss my work, the latest headlines, and whatever else is on your mind
Advance access to some of my biggest projects, like my six-part explainer video series on antisemitism
And of course, subscriber-only posts
The good news for you is that given that I am, as previously mentioned, lazy, you do not have to worry about large amounts of spam from me piling up in your inbox. I only intend to send out emails when I’ve got enough worthwhile stuff to say, so this will be a pretty low volume mailing list, with hopefully a better signal-to-noise ratio.
Thanks for reading this far, and I do hope you’ll come along for the ride!