Yair Rosenberg is an American journalist and a senior writer at Tablet magazine. He is a regular speaker and commentator on anti-Semitism in the modern era and on strategies to combat abuse on online platforms.
Rosenberg was born and raised in New York City, the son of two Jewish educators and the grandson of Holocaust survivors. He attended Harvard, where he majored in Jewish studies and history, and served as the films editor of The Harvard Crimson. Rosenberg wrote his senior thesis on Albert Einstein's 20-year friendship with an eclectic Orthodox rabbi, translating the two men's German correspondence and conversations about the Talmud, Zionism, race, and God.
Rosenberg covered the 2012 and 2016 U.S. elections, as well as the 2014 Israeli elections, and his work on these and other subjects has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal, among other outlets. He has interviewed and profiled multiple White House chiefs of staff and cabinet members. He also elicited a correction from the US Supreme Court on a point of Jewish history.
As of 2018, he is a senior writer at Tablet magazine, where he covers politics, culture, and religion, tackling topics ranging from American Jewish responses to modern critical scholarship of the Bible, to contemporary Islamophobia to the forgotten history of Mormon-Jewish relations. In particular, he has chronicled the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe and in America. He is also known for his satirical send-ups of anti-Semites on Twitter, and more serious efforts to combat abuse on online platforms.
A frequent speaker and commentator on these topics, he has addressed audiences in locales as varied as New York, Seattle, Austin's South By Southwest, Jerusalem's Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, and the Limmud conference in Melbourne, Australia. Rosenberg has been interviewed and cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, CNN, Fast Company, CBC News, and the Rachel Maddow Show,, among others.
Rosenberg's writings have received awards from the Harvard Center for Jewish Studies and the Religion Newswriters Association. In 2017, he was named as one of "36 Under 36" by New York's Jewish Week newspaper.
Target of Anti-Semitism
In 2016, a report by the Anti-Defamation League's Task Force on Journalism and Harassment identified Rosenberg as the second-most targeted Jewish journalist receiving online anti-Semitic abuse due to his critical reporting on Donald Trump's candidacy, following conservative writer Ben Shapiro, and ahead of journalists Jeffrey Goldberg, Sally Kohn and Jake Tapper. "My parents didn't raise me to be number 2," he later wrote in the New York Times. "Fortunately, there's always 2020."
Since the report's publication, Rosenberg has focused extensively on the issue of online harassment and anti-Semitism, including through the creation of the "Impostor Buster" Twitter bot that exposed neo-Nazi trolls masquerading as minorities on the platform, which received coverage from the New York Times and other global news outlets. Rosenberg also wrote about his experience and efforts to combat online abuse in the Times.
Rosenberg is a singer and composer of original Jewish music. In March 2020, he released his first two singles, Shalom Aleichem and Lecha Dodi, and announced a forthcoming album. His collaborators include singers Arun Viswanath and Abbaleh Savitt, as well as producer Charles Newman. "Rosenberg is not the only musically inclined member of his family," reported Jewish Insider, "his grandfather was a Hasidic composer who, as a young man, escaped Nazi Europe with the assistance of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who issued him a visa. In time, Rosenberg’s grandfather ended up in China, eventually making his way to the United States."