Unlike the works of the “old masters” in the fine arts, often seen as the apotheosis of the creative spirit of their and all time, works of historiography have a much briefer shelf life. It is in the nature of scholarship to subject forebears to critical scrutiny; few works hold up beyond a generation or so. We are charged in this forum with reconsidering one of the “old masters” of Jewish historiography, Salo Wittmayer Baron, whose formidable mastery of languages and sources and his prolific output position him as one of the preeminent twentieth-century historians of the Jewish people. Has Baron's three-volume The Jewish Community, a masterpiece of historical synthesis first published in 1942, still retained its scholarly relevance? What is striking about this work is how much ahead of his time it was in certain respects, and how, in this work on a subject so central to understanding pre-modern Jewish life, Baron's construction was ahistorical in crucial dimensions. Baron's Jewish Community has fallen into disuse, so much so that in the Hebrew collection, Kehal Yisrael (2004), intended to portray specific Jewries and their communal lives, the latter two volumes, comprising dozens of essays and over 800 pages, written by leading Israeli scholars, contain only two references to Baron, in the notes. This blatant example of ignoring Baron's treasure trove is true not only of Israeli scholarship: most recent studies of Jewish communities make scarcely any use of it. Is the neglect deserved?