It is now 100 days since we launched The Times of Israel – and we’re marking the occasion by launching our free newsletter, the Daily Edition.
Those 100 days have gone by in a flash for a start-up site that, at the same time, feels like it has been around for ages. Powered by word of mouth, emails, Facebook posts and tweets, we’re drawing tens of thousands of unique users to the site on even relatively quiet days, and hundreds of thousands on dramatic news days.
We set out to produce fair-minded journalism, to enable informed debate over the challenges and the choices that face the Jewish state, to contribute to a well-rounded picture of our fast-changing, unpredictable regional environment, and to serve as a must-read, must-visit current affairs website for the interconnected Jewish people worldwide. We’ve got a long way to go, but the feedback thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you!
We’re covering the Jewish world with the promised prominence: reporting hard news — sometimes, very hard news, such as the Toulouse murders; interviewing key players from the Democratic and Republican parties ahead of the US elections; and meeting remarkable individuals — from the ex-mobster who became Orthodox in prison, to the New York artiste who integrates burlesque with her masters in Jewish education. Our Jewish Planet global tourism guide is rolling out, city by city, most recently to include Chicago and Buenos Aires.
At home, we’re constantly breaking ground – exclusively publishing the text of Mahmoud Abbas’s bitter letter to Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to central figures in the anguished debate about tackling Iran’s nuclear drive, providing authoritative news coverage and savvy analysis of mini-wars from Gaza, political battles over national service for the ultra-Orthodox, and, just this week, the flare-up of tensions with African migrants in Tel Aviv.
In the last few weeks alone, our Arab affairs reporter conducted a memorable interview with a leader of Syria’s exiled Muslim Brotherhood, our archeology reporter highlighted new finds hailed as proving the veracity of the Bible, and our lifestyle reporter investigated whether US citizens in Israel are more likely to be audited by the IRS. We’ve kept you informed on everything from how the Iron Dome missile defense system overwhelmed its critics to where to find the finest falafel in the country.
We’ve been quoted everywhere from The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Brisbane Times, and our staffers have been interviewed by networks from the BBC to Al Jazeera. The focus in many of those cases was on Israeli politics and regional security. Some of our most-read articles, by contrast, have dealt with more obscure matters, including the sexual orientation and religious affiliation of Omar Sharif’s grandson, and a Mexican village’s Easter-time “Burning of the Jews” celebration.
We’ve run opinion pieces by ex-Mossad chiefs, former Canadian justice ministers, world-renowned Arab affairs analysts… and disgruntled Anglo immigrants. More than 350 people have opened blogs on our pages – and we reiterate our invitation to you to do likewise. As the overwhelming response to Benji Lovitt’s Independence Day “Sixty-four things I love about Israel” underlined, there’s a whole world out there, thirsting for compelling reading.
Now we are introducing the newsletter – our Daily Edition. Delivered to your inbox, it rounds up the news, features and comment pieces that matter most on the site each day. We have been inundated with readers’ requests for a daily newsletter since we launched, and we’re delighted to oblige. True to the same clean, easily accessible format as the site itself, the Daily Edition presents a curated selection of our key, fresh content – the big news, the rich features, the improbable tales, the provocative comment pieces — sent out at mid-afternoon Israel time, first thing in the morning US time.
The Daily Edition is free – you simply sign up here to register. Indeed, while other sites close off more and more of their content behind paywalls, everything on our site remains free of charge. Enjoy it. Share it. Spread the word from Jerusalem.