With historic images, John S. Fine and Frederic J. Krome document the growth, development, and history of Cincinnati's Jewish community.
Cincinnati, also known as the Queen City of the West, was first settled in 1788. The first permanent Jewish residents arrived sometime around the year 1817, when Joseph Jonas established himself in business as a watchmaker and silversmith. The first congregation, K. K. Bene Israel, was formally organized and incorporated in 1824 and is now the oldest synagogue west of the Alleghenies. The Jewish community occupies an important place in the history of Cincinnati, where Jewish businessmen were among the most important leaders in establishing the city as a major manufacturing center of ready-made clothing and as the hub of an extensive trading network throughout the western and southern United States and adjacent territories in the period leading up to the Civil War. Cincinnati Jewry also played an important role in the development of American Reform Judaism.