This is an adaptation of our weekly Shabbat newsletter, sent by our editor-in-chief on Friday afternoons. Sign up here to get the Forward’s free newsletters delivered to your inbox. And click here for a PDF of stories to savor over Shabbat and Sunday that you can download and print.
Shortly after I took this job, I started purposely capitalizing the “F” in “looking Forward” when signing off emails. Pun intended, I’d say. Never gets old!
I love the movement and optimism inherent in the name of our venerable publication (note the exclamation point on the first front page, below). I imagine its founding editors and early readers, immigrants from Eastern Europe looking Forward to their news lives as Jewish-Americans at the dawn of the 20th century. And I am both energized and humbled by our present opportunity and responsibility, looking Forward as we reinvent a 21st century digital platform to inform, entertain, inspire, engage, challenge and connect our diverse and divided American Jewish communities.
Hence the new name of this newsletter, part of a redesign aimed at better serving you, our loyal readers. What started nearly two years ago as a vehicle to share a printable PDF of the week’s best stories has become, essentially, a weekly column of my musings off the news and life. Today, we make that official with a new look, new format, and new name.
I started writing this newsletter almost exactly a year ago, with a short note on April 3, 2020, about my husband’s experimental challah baking and our pre-Passover essay collection and Zoomversation on “The 11th Plague.”
Since then, I have reflected on my kids’ Zoom-Mitzvah; what the late Saeb Erekat taught me about the peace process; Ella Emhoff’s non-Jewishness; my reluctance to return to a pre-pandemic normal; Bruce Springsteen and David Schoen; virtual snow days; the 25th amendment; the orange on the Seder plate; TikTok; Peloton; smoked fish; the sin of typos; Flight 93; and, most recently, matzo brei (more on that below).
It’s become a valuable outlet for me — and, if my inbox is to be believed, a meaningful part of many of your Friday afternoons. So we decided to make it more of a thing.
What you’ll get
Each week you’ll continue to see a letter from me, hopefully more readable in this bigger type and better design. The free PDF to download and print stories to savor over Shabbat and Sunday is still here, but now you can actually see the beautiful cover of said PDF — and have simple one-click options to either get the PDF or read them online.
I’ll still be highlighting our live-journalism events, and updating you about news from our newsroom. I’m also planning to share more of your voices and feedback, and to regularly ask for your questions and input. And we’re debuting a new feature, quote of the week, selected by our staff. (Feel free to send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org as you read throughout the week.)
Thanks to Angelie Zaslavsky, our designer, for creating this new look, and for her tireless and careful work making each week’s PDF beautiful and readable. Thanks also to Mira Fox, who helps me put the thing together each week. And to Deena Kuperman and Jay Ehrlich, our marketing director and digital-operations chief, who have made the transition to our new, better email platform possible.
It’s an auspicious time for this new brand. It is spring, and the bulbs I planted in September are starting to peek through the mulch, a promise of what is to come. The world is reopening, with a quarter of Americans fully vaccinated — and I myself am headed to get my first shot as soon as I hit the “publish” button on this newsletter.
We’re all Looking Forward in so many ways that did not seem possible yesterday. I’d love to hear what you’re most looking forward to in this next phase of the pandemic: email@example.com. Shabbat Shalom!
Your Weekend Reads
(You can download and print a PDF of these stories by clicking here.)
Jodi Rudoren became Editor-in-Chief of The Forward, the nation’s oldest independent Jewish news organization, in September 2019 after more than two decades as a reporter and editor at The New York Times. She is helping lead a transformation of the storied 123-year-old institution, a nonprofit that went digital-only in early 2019.
Looking Forward: Introducing a new format for our Editor-in-Chief’s weekly newsletter