Although Jews lacked a political "locus standi" for a communication system in the Middle Ages and early modern periods, their involvement in trade and the close relations among Jewish communities fostered the development of effective channels of communication. This process responded primarily to security and socio-economic considerations, but it has important implications for the development of communication systems as well. This collection presents the main developments in communications in the Jewish world before the era of mass media. It reconsiders the principal means of communication among the Jewish communities in the Islamic world, Christian Europe, the Ottoman Empire and the New World, from the 7th until the 19th centuries.
Sophia Menache, Ph.D. (1981) in Medieval History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is currently Chair of the Department of History at the University of Haifa, Israel. She has published extensively on medieval communications.