This chapter discusses the main purpose of this book, which is to present a study of Jews in small-town communities in a specific place across time. The twenty-four communities that are strung along the entire length of the Ohio River may not be the subjects of the study, but serve to be integral to it as regional Jewish centers. A study of small-town Jewry is considered critical to understanding the American Jewish experience to the fullest. The discussion points out that American Jews have always been urban dwellers in a much higher proportion than the population as a whole.
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