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The Land of Israel has been referred to by many different names throughout its history- Canaan, Judah, Judea, Israel and Palestine. Each of these names has deep historical significance based on the inhabitants or conquerors of the land. Though modern day Israel was established in a land known as Palestine, named by the Romans who took control in the Second Century CE, its inhabitants have been historically Jewish since biblical times. No matter where Jewish people live across the world, the land of Israel continues to be their homeland.

Big Ideas

  1. Each of the names for the Land of Israel has deep historical significance.
  2. Recognizing the significance of these historical names helps shape the dialogue about the modern State of Israel. 
  3. Regardless of where Jews live and have lived in the world, the land of Israel continues to be their homeland.

Essential Questions

  1. In what ways can a country’s name reflect its nature?
  2. How can historical context shape modern political dialogue?
  3. What makes Israel a Jewish homeland?

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