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Cantor Jordan Shaner

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Globe covered with flags of many countries resting in the palm of someone's hand

Imagine for a moment that Jewish history had developed along slightly different lines than it did. Imagine that alongside Zionism, the modern movement dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish homeland, another movement, this one focused on building Jewish life outside the Land of Israel, also flourished. It would serve as a counterpart to Zionism, helping to establish a second center of Jewish life.

This thought experiment is not so hard to imagine, considering that throughout much of Jewish history, our people had two centers of civilization: eretz Yisrael, the land of origin, and...

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