For a very long time, writers have sneered at the suburbs. They have looked down on suburbanites for being materialistic, unimaginative, and boring. They have complained about the social and physical monotony of the suburban scene while deploring its individualism and lack of community.
Although most Americans take pride in being ‘a nation of immigrants’ (a slogan apparently popularized by John F. Kennedy), the process of immigration causes perennial controversy in the United States. That is true even in New York City, which would not exist without it, and which stars in many historical narratives of it.
Much of the scholarship on American Jewry focuses on New York, the city that attracted the vast majority of Jewish immigrants. Yet a significant proportion of Jews settled in other cities, small towns, and even tiny outposts. Eric L. Goldstein and Deborah R.