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 Muslims and Jews in comic books to political anti-Mormonism 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, from America to Israel, 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.
Why a newsletter?
For years, readers have been asking me to create an email list so they can make sure that they catch each of my articles. I have resisted, because this would entail more work on my part, and I am lazy. But as social networks like Facebook and Twitter have increasingly become problematic places to distribute my writing and have a conversation about it—whether due to their algorithms arbitrarily deciding what to show and what to bury, or due to bad faith trolls blowing up the discussion—I’ve realized that it’s important for me and my readers to have a forum where we can tackle the things that are important to us on our own terms. Hopefully, that’s what this newsletter will be!
What can I expect?
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, and especially 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.
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!