People everywhere live tucked within concentric circles which affect them and on which they have an effect. From family to friends, school, shul, camp, work, each plays a role in varying degrees depending on the person. It seems to me, though, that in a community like this, the "gravitational" force which connect those circles to the individual are that much stronger.
When a student in our school is seriously injured, everyone is hurt, everyone is jolted. When the seat in shul next to his father is empty, everyone feels the loss. When he appears at the community Barbeque contest, everyone notices. When he is welcomed back to shul, everyone cheers. When he comes back to school, he is embraced.