For 50 years, Mark Chernin had been walking through the front doors of the old synagogue on Prince Street and seeing the same things every time. It was like home to him, or a part of home. He knew the place that well.

It was where he had his bar mitzvah. Where he went to Hebrew school. Where he learned, as a child, that nobody could escape the all-seeing gaze of old Mr. Lipkus, one of the Jewish elders.

Mr. Chernin is 53 now, and when he walked into The Congregation Sons of Israel Synagogue in Glace Bay, N.S., two weeks ago, the place he knew was not there anymore.

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