Menahem Blondheim

Menahem Blondheim
Full Professor

Academic Background and Fields of Interest

I’m a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the Department of History in the Hebrew University. My research explores the role of communication in American and in Jewish history, as well as the history of media. A former entrepreneur and executive in the high-tech industry in the dawn of high-speed digital communications, I also study the development, performance, and meaning of communication technologies, new and old. I received my BA degree from the Hebrew University, MA and PhD degrees from Harvard University, and have won fellowships from the NEH, Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and the University of Pennsylvania.


I was the head of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. Previously I was head of the Department of Communication and Journalism, and I served for 5 years as the director of HU’s Smart Family Institute of Communications. My public activities include serving as head of Israel’s new National Library’s Advisory Committee on Digitization, chair of the academic committee of the Spielberg Jewish Film Archives, and analyst on American affairs for a bunch of media outlets.


My research grants sponsor a series of projects, including:

  • Between the Lines: Intersectional Communications in the American Civil War
  • Cultural origins of high-tech entrepreneurship in Israel and North America.
  • Global News Mining and the Transformation of Online Journalism.
  • ‘One People Scattered’: Communications in the Jewish Diaspora.
  • Social Network Analysis of American and European Responsa
  • Global News Mining and the Transformation of Online Journalism


Selected Publications:

  • News Over the Wires: The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844-1897. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
  • Copperhead Gore: Benjamin Wood’s Fort Lafayette and Civil War America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006
  • The Toronto School of Communication Theory: Interpretations, Extensions, Applications. Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Magnes Press, 2007 (edited with Rita Watson).
  • Telling News Stories: Perspectives on Media Discourse in Israel. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2008 (Hebrew, edited with Motti Neiger and Tamar Liebes).
  • Voices, Discourse, Communications: Language as Medium and Media as a Language.  Magnes Press, 2012 (Hebrew, edited with Michal Hamo and Tamar Liebes)
  • Communication in Jewish Culture, vol. I: From Antiquity to the Middle Ages; vol. II: From Modernity to the Digital Age (in preparation).