Communication in the Jewish Diaspora

Two Thousand Years of Saying Goodbye Without Leaving

The Jewish diasporic experience stands out in its remarkable scope, duration and cohesiveness. Communication is the dynamic mechanism that negotiates the interplay of these factors; hence this volume on Jewish Diasporic Communications. The Jewish Diaspora is unique in another way too: through most of their exilic experience, Jews did not have a geographical center to which they could orient themselves. The perspective guiding this volume is that the center of the Jewish Diaspora has been the communicative network linking its scattered communities in space, and the media serving its continuity through historical time. This Diasporic network has sustained a common flow of shared content between Jews and Jewish communities, let alone the imagination of connectedness. Thus, Diaspora Jews as Jews, and the People they comprise, existed—to invoke John Dewey—“in communication.” The studies in this volume, spanning antiquity and modernity and crossing disciplinary boundaries, provide together a broad-ranging and in-depth account of how a People can survive for millennia, without a homeland, but in communication.

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