aesthetics  →
being  →
complexity  →
database  →
enterprise  →
ethics  →
fiction  →
history  →
internet  →
knowledge  →
language  →
licensing  →
linux  →
logic  →
method  →
news  →
perception  →
philosophy  →
policy  →
purpose  →
religion  →
science  →
sociology  →
software  →
truth  →
unix  →
wiki  →
essay  →
feed  →
help  →
system  →
wiki  →
critical  →
discussion  →
forked  →
imported  →
original  →
[ temporary import ]
please note:
- the content below is remote from Wikipedia
- it has been imported raw for GetWiki
{{redirect|Shul}}{{Jews and Judaism sidebar|religion}}File:Scolanova Synagogue.jpg|thumb|right|Scolanova Synagogue, TraniTraniFile:Synagogue Florence Italy.JPG|thumb|right|Great Synagogue of FlorenceGreat Synagogue of FlorenceA synagogue (pronounced {{IPAc-en|ˈ|s|ɪ|n|ə|g|ɒ|g}}; from Greek , {{transl|grc|synagogē}}, 'assembly', {{transl|he|bet kenesset}}, 'house of assembly' or {{Hebrew|בית תפילה}} {{transl|he|bet tefila}}, "house of prayer", Yiddish: shul, Ladino: {{transl|lad|esnoga}} or {{transl|lad|kahal}}) is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship.Synagogues have a large place for prayer (the main sanctuary) and may also have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices. Some have a separate room for Torah study, called the {{Hebrew|בית מדרש}} beth midrash "house of study".Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh (the entire Hebrew Bible, including the Torah) reading, study and assembly; however, a synagogue is not necessary for worship. Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. Worship can also be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.


Israelis use the Hebrew term {{transl|he|beyt knesset}} "house of assembly". Ashkenazi Jews have traditionally used the Yiddish term {{transl|yi|shul}} (cognate with the German , 'school') in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews generally use the term kal (from the Hebrew Ḳahal, meaning "community"). Spanish Jews call the synagogue a and Portuguese Jews call it an . Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews also use the term kenesa, which is derived from Aramaic, and some Mizrahi Jews use kenis. Some Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Jews use the word "temple". The Greek word synagogue is used in English (German, French and most Romance languages) to cover the preceding possibilities.Judaism 101: Synagogues, Shuls and Temples.


Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, communal worship in the time while the Temple still stood centered around the korbanot ("sacrificial offerings") brought by the kohanim ("priests") in the Temple in Jerusalem. The all-day Yom Kippur service, in fact, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol ("the high priest") as he offered the day's sacrifices and prayed for his success.During the Babylonian captivity (586–537 BCE){{citation needed|date=July 2018}} the men of the Great Assembly{{dubious|No proof it ever existed, possible date of creation hardly reaches that far back, no source quoted. Rubbish.|date=July 2018}} formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers. Prior to that people prayed as they saw fit, with each individual praying in his or her own way, and there were no standard prayers that were recited.Johanan ben Zakai, one of the leaders at the end of the Second Temple era, promulgated the idea of creating individual houses of worship in whatever locale Jews found themselves. This contributed to the continuity of the Jewish people by maintaining a unique identity and a portable way of worship despite the destruction of the Temple, according to many historians.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}Synagogues in the sense of purpose-built spaces for worship, or rooms originally constructed for some other purpose but reserved for formal, communal prayer, however, existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple.WEB, Donald D. Binder,weblink Second Temple Synagogues, {{Unreliable source?|date=July 2017}} The earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of very early synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE prove that synagogues existed by that date.WEB, Donald D. Binder,weblink Egypt, {{Unreliable source?|date=July 2017}} More than a dozen Jewish (and possibly Samaritan) Second Temple era synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel and other countries belonging to the Hellenistic world.Any Jew or group of Jews can build a synagogue. Synagogues have been constructed by ancient Jewish kings, by wealthy patrons, as part of a wide range of human institutions including secular educational institutions, governments, and hotels, by the entire community of Jews living in a particular place, or by sub-groups of Jews arrayed according to occupation, ethnicity (i.e. the Sephardic, Polish or Persian Jews of a town), style of religious observance (i.e., a Reform or an Orthodox synagogue), or by the followers of a particular rabbi.(File:Purim 2018.jpg|thumb|Reading from an open Torah scroll)It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish–Roman War; however, others speculate that there had been places of prayer, apart from the Temple, during the Hellenistic period. The popularization of prayer over sacrifice during the years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CEBOOK, Schiffman, Lawrence, From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, March 1991, Ktav Pub Inc, 0881253723, 159, 1st, had prepared the Jews for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship.BOOK, Schiffman, Lawrence, From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, March 1991, Ktav Pub Inc, 0881253723, 164, 1st, Despite the possibility{{dubious|Nobody seriously negates their pre-70 CE existence. Only the purpose changed.|date=July 2018}} of synagogue-like spaces prior to the First Jewish–Roman War, the synagogue emerged as a stronghold for Jewish worship upon the destruction of the Temple. For Jews living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews worshipped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had previously served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple.BOOK, Schiffman, Lawrence, From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, March 1991, Ktav Pub Inc., 0881253723, 164, 1st, File:ZodiacMosaicTzippori.jpg|Mosaic in the Tzippori SynagogueFile:Ruins of the Ancient Synagogue at Bar'am.jpg|Ruins of the ancient synagogue of Kfar Bar'am

Samaritan synagogues

Name and history

The Samaritan house of worship is also called a synagogue. During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora by Samaritans and Jews was the same: proseucheµ (literally, a place of prayer); a later, 3rd or 4th century CE inscription, uses a similar Greek term: eukteµrion (prayer house). The oldest Samaritan synagogue discovered so far is from Delos in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel and ancient Samaria in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the very end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine period.JOURNAL, Pummer, Reinhard, How to Tell a Samaritan Synagogue from a Jewish Synagogue, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1998, 24:03, Center for Online Judaic Studies,,weblink

Distinguishing elements

The elements which distinguish Samaritan synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are:
  • Alphabet: the use of the Samaritan script
  • Orthography. When the Samaritan script is used, there are some Hebrew words which would be spelled in a way typical only for the Samaritan Pentateuch, for instance "forever" is written 'lmw instead of l'lm. When Greek is the language used in inscriptions, typically, Samaritans may contract two Hebrew words into one, such har (mountain) and Gerizim becoming, in Greek, Argarizein.
  • Orientation: the facade, or entrance of the Samaritan synagogue, is typically facing towards Mount Gerizim, which is the most holy site to Samaritans, while Jewish synagogues would be oriented towards Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
  • Decoration: the mosaic floor and other architectural elements or artifacts are sometimes decorated with typical symbols. As the Samaritans have historically adhered more strictly to the commandment forbidding the creation of any "graven image", they would not use any depictions of man or beast. Representations of the signs of the zodiac, of human figures or even Greek deities such as the god Helios, as seen in Byzantine-period Jewish synagogues, would be unimaginable in Samaritan buildings of any period.

A representation of Mount Gerizim is a clear indication of Samaritan identity. On the other hand, although the existence of a Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim is both mentioned by Josephus and confirmed by archaeological excavation at its summit, the temple's early destruction in the 2nd century BCE led to its memory disappearing from Samaritan tradition, so that no temple-related items would be found in Samaritan synagogue depictions. Religious implements, such as are also known from ancient Jewish synagogue mosaics (menorah, shofar, shewbread table, trumpets, incense shovels, and specifically the facade of what looks like a temple or a Torah shrine) are also present in Samaritan ones, but the objects are always related to the desert Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant within the Tabernacle, or the Torah shrine in the synagogue itself. Samaritans believe that at the end of time the Tabernacle and its utensils will be recovered from the place they were buried on Mount Gerizim and as such play an important role in Samaritan beliefs. Since the same artists, such as mosaicists, worked for all ethno-religious communities of the time, some depictions might be identical in Samaritan and Jewish synagogues, Christian churches and pagan temples, but their significance would differ.
Missing from Samaritan synagogue floors would be images often found in Jewish ones: the lulav (palm-branch) and etrog (lemon-like fruit) have a different ritual use by Samaritans celebrating Sukkot, and do not appear on mosaic floors.
  • Ritual baths near the synagogue after 70 CE: Jews abandoned the habit of building mikva'ot next to their houses of worship after the 70 CE destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, but Samaritans continued with the practice.

Archaeological finds

Ancient Samaritan synagogues are mentioned by literary sources or have been found by archaeologists in the Diaspora, in the wider Holy Land, and specifically in Samaria.


  • Delos: a Samaritan inscription has been dated to between 250 and 175 BCE.
  • Rome and Tarsus: ancient literature offers hints that Samaritan synagogues may have existed in these cities between the fourth and sixth centuries CE.
  • Thessaloniki and Syracuse: short inscriptions found there and using the Samaritan and Greek alphabet may originate from Samaritan synagogues.

The wider Holy Land

  • Sha'alvim synagogue, discovered in Judea, northwest of Jerusalem. Probably built in the 4th or 5th century CE and destroyed in the 5th or 6th.
  • Tell Qasile synagogue, built at the beginning of the 7th century CE
  • Beth Shean, "Synagogue A". A room added to an existing building in the late 6th or early 7th century CE served as a Samaritan synagogue.


  • El-Khirbe synagogue, discovered c. 3 km from Sebaste, was built in the 4th century CE and remained in use into the Early Islamic period, with a break during the late 5th-early 6th century
  • Khirbet Samara synagogue, c. 20 km northwest of Nablus and built in the 4th century CE
  • Zur Natan synagogue, c. 29 km west of Nablus and built in the 5th century CE

Jewish-Christian synagogue-churches

During the first Christian centuries, Jewish-Christians used houses of worship known in academic literature as synagogue-churches. Scholars have claimed to have identified such houses of worship of the Jews who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah in JerusalemBOOK, Oskar, Skarsaune, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity, 186, 2008, IVP Academic, 9780830828449,weblink 1 September 2018, and Nazareth.BOOK, Joan E., Taylor, Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins, 338, 1993, Clarendon Press, 9780198147855,weblink 1 September 2018, BOOK, harv, Chad Fife, Emmett, 1995, Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth, 22,weblink 237, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Geography Research Papers (Book 237), 978-0-226-20711-7, 1 September 2018,

Architectural design

File:Exterior of kaifeng synagogue.JPG|thumb|right|Aerial view of the synagogue of the Kaifeng Jewish community in China.]]There is no set blueprint for synagogues and the architectural shapes and interior designs of synagogues vary greatly. In fact, the influence from other local religious buildings can often be seen in synagogue arches, domes and towers.Historically, synagogues were built in the prevailing architectural style of their time and place. Thus, the synagogue in Kaifeng, China looked very like Chinese temples of that region and era, with its outer wall and open garden in which several buildings were arranged. The styles of the earliest synagogues resembled the temples of other cults of the Eastern Roman Empire. The surviving synagogues of medieval Spain are embellished with mudéjar plasterwork. The surviving medieval synagogues in Budapest and Prague are typical Gothic structures.With the emancipation of Jews in Western European countries, which not only enabled Jews to enter fields of enterprise from which they were formerly barred, but gave them the right to build synagogues without needing special permissions, synagogue architecture blossomed. Large Jewish communities wished to show not only their wealth but also their newly acquired status as citizens by constructing magnificent synagogues. These were built across Western Europe and in the United States in all of the historicist or revival styles then in fashion. Thus there were Neoclassical, Neo-Byzantine, Romanesque Revival, Moorish Revival, Gothic Revival, and Greek Revival. There are Egyptian Revival synagogues and even one Mayan Revival synagogue. In the 19th century and early 20th century heyday of historicist architecture, however, most historicist synagogues, even the most magnificent ones, did not attempt a pure style, or even any particular style, and are best described as eclectic.In the post-war era, synagogue architecture abandoned historicist styles for modernism.{{multiple image
| align = center
| direction = horizontal
| header =
| header_align = left/right/center
| header_background =
| footer =
| footer_align = left/right/center
| footer_background =
| width =
| image1 = 20080909 K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Temple and Obama security detail.JPG
| width1 = 200px
| caption1 = K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Temple in the Chicago neighborhood of Kenwood
| image2 = TemplesholomChicago.jpg
| width2 = 200px
| caption2 = Temple Sholom in Chicago's neighborhood of Lakeview

Interior elements

Bimah (platform)

All synagogues contain a Bimah, a large, raised, reader's platform (called (reading dais) by Sephardim), where the Torah scroll is placed to be read. In Sephardi synagogues it is also used as the prayer leader's reading desk.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}File:BialyBimah.JPG|Bimah at the Bialystoker Synagogue with Torah Ark in background.File:SPAmster.JPG|Interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam) showing Tebah in the foreground, and Torah Ark in the background.File:Inside old synagogue Krakow.JPG|Cast-iron Bimah of the Old Synagogue in Kraków

Table or lectern

In Ashkenazi synagogues, the Torah was read on a reader's table located in the center of the room, while the leader of the prayer service, the hazzan, stood at his own lectern or table, facing the Ark. In Sephardic synagogues, the table for reading the Torah (reading dais) was commonly placed at the opposite side of the room from the Torah Ark, leaving the center of the floor empty for the use of a ceremonial procession carrying the Torah between the Ark and the reading table.WEB,weblink The Bimah: The Synagogue Platform,, en, 2019-05-30, Most contemporary synagogues feature a lectern for the rabbi.WEB,weblink Synagogue Background & Overview,, 2019-05-30,

Torah Ark

{{unreferenced section|date=September 2018}}The Torah Ark, called in Hebrew {{Hebrew|ארון קודש}} Aron Kodesh or 'holy chest', and alternatively called the heikhal—{{Hebrew|היכל}} or 'temple' by Sephardic Jews, is a cabinet in which the Torah scrolls are kept.The ark in a synagogue is almost always positioned in such a way such that those who face it are facing towards Jerusalem. Thus, sanctuary seating plans in the Western world generally face east, while those east of Israel face west. Sanctuaries in Israel face towards Jerusalem. Occasionally synagogues face other directions for structural reasons; in such cases, some individuals might turn to face Jerusalem when standing for prayers, but the congregation as a whole does not.The Ark is reminiscent of the Ark of the Covenant, which held the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. This is the holiest spot in a synagogue, equivalent to the Holy of Holies. The Ark is often closed with an ornate curtain, the {{Hebrew|פרוכת}}, which hangs outside or inside the ark doors.

Eternal Light

File:Ner tamid.jpg|thumb|A ner tamid hanging over the ark in a synagogue]]Other traditional features include a continually lit lamp or lantern, usually electric in contemporary synagogues, called the ({{Hebrew|נר תמיד}}), the "Eternal Light", used as a way to honor the Divine Presence."Ner Tamid: The Eternal Light." Chabad. 28 August 2018.

Inner decoration

A synagogue may be decorated with artwork, but in the Rabbinic and Orthodox tradition, three-dimensional sculptures and depictions of the human body are not allowed as these are considered akin to idolatry.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}


Originally, synagogues were made devoid of much furniture, the Jewish congregants in Spain, the Maghreb (North Africa), Babylonia, the Land of Israel and Yemen having a custom to sit upon the floor, which had been strewn with mats and cushions, rather than upon chairs or benches. In other European towns and cities, however, Jewish congregants would sit upon chairs and benches.Maimonides, Mishne Torah (Hil. Tefillah 11:4), who wrote: "Synagogues and houses of study must be treated with respect. They are swept and sprinkled to lay the dust. In Spain and in the Maghreb (North Africa), in Babylon and in the Holy Land, it is customary to kindle lamps in the synagogues and to spread mats on the floor on which the worshipers sit. In the land of Edom (i.e. Christian countries) they sit in synagogues upon chairs." Today, the custom has spread in all places to sit upon chairs and benches.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}Until the 19th century, in an Ashkenazi synagogue, all seats most often faced the Torah Ark. In a Sephardic synagogue, seats were usually arranged around the perimeter of the sanctuary, but when the worshipers stood up to pray, everyone faced the Ark.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}

Special seats

Many current synagogues have an elaborate chair named for the prophet Elijah, which is only sat upon during the ceremony of Brit milah.WEB, Zaklikowski, David, The Chair of Elijah and Welcoming the Baby,weblink, 13 September 2018, In ancient synagogues, a special chair placed on the wall facing Jerusalem and next to the Torah Shrine was reserved for the prominent members of the congregation and for important guests.The Interactive Bible, Synagogue Moses' Seat: Metaphor of Pride This might be what Jesus referred to as the "seat of Moses" or "chair of Moses" ({{Bibleref2|Matthew 23:2-3}}), or is mentioned as the "chief seats in the synagogues" elsewhere in the Gospels ({{Bibleref2|Luke 11:43, 20:46; Matthew 23:6}} etc.). Such a stone-carved and inscribed seat was discovered at archaeological excavations in the synagogue at Chorazin in Galilee and dates from the 4th–6th century;Israel Museum, Elaborate seat, Chorazin synagogue another one was discovered at the Delos Synagogue, complete with a footstool, reminiscent of {{Bibleref2|James 2:1–6}}: "... you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool.”"

Rules for attendees

Removing one's shoes

In Yemen, the Jewish custom was to remove one's shoes immediately prior to entering the synagogue, a custom that had been observed by Jews in other places in earlier times.Joseph Kafih, Jewish Life in Sanà, Ben-Zvi Institute: Jerusalem 1982, p. 64 (note 3) {{ISBN|965-17-0137-4}}. There, Rabbi Kafih recalls the following story in the Jerusalem Talmud (Baba Metzi'a 2:8): “Yehudah, the son of Rebbe, entered a synagogue and left his sandals [outside], and they were stolen. He then said, 'Had I not gone to the synagogue, my sandals would not have gone-off.'” The custom of never entering a synagogue while wearing one's shoes is also mentioned in the Cairo Geniza manuscripts: "While he is yet outside, let him take-off his shoes or sandals from his feet and then enter barefoot, since such is the way of servants to walk barefoot before their lords... We have a minor sanctuary, and we are required to behave with sanctity and fear [in it], as it says: And you shall fear my hallowed place." (v. Halakhot Eretz Yisrael min ha-Geniza [The Halacha of the Land of Israel from the Geniza], ed. Mordechai Margaliot, Mossad Harav Kook: Jerusalem 1973, pp. 131–132; Taylor-Schechter New Series 135, Cambridge University Library / Oxford MS. 2700). Today, the custom of removing one's shoes is no longer practiced in Israel.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}

Gender separation

In Orthodox synagogues, men and women do not sit together. The synagogue features a partition () dividing the men's and women's seating areas, or a separate women's section located on a balcony.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}

Denominational differences

Reform Judaism

File:Emanu-elNYjeh.JPG|thumb|Congregation Emanu-El of New YorkCongregation Emanu-El of New YorkThe German-Jewish Reform movement, which arose in the early 19th century, made many changes to the traditional look of the synagogue, keeping with its desire to simultaneously stay Jewish yet be accepted by the host culture.The first Reform synagogue, which opened in Hamburg in 1811, introduced changes that made the synagogue look more like a church. These included: the installation of an organ to accompany the prayers (even on Shabbat, when musical instruments are proscribed by halakha), a choir to accompany the hazzan, and vestments for the synagogue rabbi to wear.Rabbi Ken Spiro. "Crash Course in Jewish History Part 54 - Reform Movement", Aish.comIn following decades, the central reader's table, the Bimah, was moved to the front of the Reform sanctuary—previously unheard-of in Orthodox synagogues.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}Gender separation was also removed.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}

Synagogue as community center

Synagogues often take on a broader role in modern Jewish communities and may include additional facilities such as a catering hall, kosher kitchen, religious school, library, day care center and a smaller chapel for daily services.

Synagogue offshoots

Since many Orthodox and some non-Orthodox Jews prefer to collect a minyan (a quorum of ten) rather than pray alone, they commonly assemble at pre-arranged times in offices, living rooms, or other spaces when these are more convenient than formal synagogue buildings. A room or building that is used this way can become a dedicated small synagogue or prayer room. Among Ashkenazi Jews they are traditionally called (, pl. or , Yiddish for "little house"), and are found in Orthodox communities worldwide.Another type of communal prayer group, favored by some contemporary Jews, is the Chavurah (חבורה, pl. chavurot, חבורות), or prayer fellowship. These groups meet at a regular place and time, either in a private home or in a synagogue or other institutional space. In antiquity, the Pharisees lived near each other in chavurot and dined together to ensure that none of the food was unfit for consumption.Alan F. Segal, Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World, Harvard University Press, 1986, 125.

List of "great synagogues"

Some synagogues bear the title "great synagogue".{{dubious|What is the definition?|date=July 2018}}



Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

File:Хоральная Синагога (Москва) 1.jpg|thumb|right|Interior of the Choral Synagogue of Moscow ]]


Czech Republic


missing image!
- Szegedzsinagoga2.jpg -
Interior of the Synagogue of Szeged





France and Belgium


missing image!
- Sinagoga di firenze, interno, cupola 02.JPG -
Dome of the Great Synagogue of Florence


Bulgaria and former Yugoslavia


Turkey (European part)

North Africa


{{div col end}}

World's largest synagogues

{{more citations needed section|date=July 2013}}File:Belz World Center Inside.jpg|thumb|Interior of the Belz Great SynagogueBelz Great Synagogue


  • The largest synagogue in the world is probably the Belz Great Synagogue, in Jerusalem, Israel, whose main sanctuary seats up to 10,000. Construction on the edifice lasted for over 15 years.
  • Kehilat Kol HaNeshama, a Reform synagogue located in Baka, Jerusalem, is the largest Reform (and largest non-Orthodox) Jewish synagogue in Israel.NEWS, Nathan Jeffay, January 12, 2011, The Heart of Israel's Reform Judaism, The Forward,weblink


  • The Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary, is the largest synagogue in Europe by square footage and number of seats. It seats 3,000, and has an area of {{convert|1200|m²|sqft|abbr=on}} and height of {{convert|26|m|abbr=on}} (apart from the towers, which are {{convert|43|m|abbr=on|disp=or}}).NEWS, Out of Darkness, New Life, The New York Times,weblink 2008-03-12, Nicholas, Kulish, 30 December 2007,
  • The Synagogue of Trieste is the largest synagogue in Western Europe.
  • The Great Synagogue of Rome is one of the greatest in Europe.
  • The Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam, also called "Esnoga", was built in 1675. At that time it was the largest synagogue in the world. Apart from the buildings surrounding the synagogue, it has an area of {{convert|1008|m2|sqft|abbr=on}}, is {{convert|19.5|m|sp=us}} high. It was built to accommodate 1227 men and 440 women.BOOK, Snyder, S. C., Acculturation and Particularism in the Modern City: Synagogue Building and Jewish Identity in Northern Europe, 2008, University of Michigan, 9780549818977,weblink 2014-12-07,
  • Szeged Synagogue is located in Szeged, Hungary, seats 1,340 and has height of {{convert|48.5|m|abbr=on}}.
  • The Sofia Synagogue is located in Sofia, Bulgaria, seating about 1,200.
  • The Subotica Synagogue is located in Subotica, Serbia, seating more than 900.
  • Great Synagogue (Plzeň) in the Czech Republic is the second-largest synagogue in Europe, and the third-largest in the world.

North America

World's oldest synagogues

File:Sardis Synagogue courtyard.JPG|right|thumb|The Sardis Synagogue in Manisa, TurkeyTurkeyFile:Duraeuropa-1-.gif|thumb|right|Fresco at the Dura-Europos synagogue, illustrating a scene from the Book of EstherBook of Esther
  • The oldest synagogue fragments are stone-carved synagogue dedication inscriptions found in Middle and Lower Egypt and dating from the 3rd century BCE.
  • The oldest Samaritan synagogue, the Delos Synagogue, dates from between 150 and 128 BCE, or earlier and is located on the island of Delos.WEB, Donald D. Binder,weblink Delos, {{Unreliable source?|date=July 2017}}
  • The synagogue of Dura Europos, a Seleucid city in north eastern Syria, dates from the third century CE. It is unique. The walls were painted with figural scenes from the Old Testament. The paintings included Abraham and Isaac, Moses and Aaron, Solomon, Samuel and Jacob, Elijah and Ezekiel. The synagogue chamber, with its surviving paintings, is reconstructed in the National Museum in Damascus.
  • The Old Synagogue in Erfurt, Germany, parts of which date to c.1100, is the oldest intact synagogue building in Europe. It is now used as a museum of local Jewish history.
  • The Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, located in Kochi, Kerala, in India. It was built in 1568 by the Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin. Paradesi is a word used in several Indian languages, and the literal meaning of the term is "foreigners", applied to the synagogue because it was historically used by "White Jews", a mixture of Jews from Cranganore, the Middle East, and European exiles. It is also referred to as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue. The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town and is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use.
  • Jew's Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln, England, is arguably the oldest synagogue in Europe in current use.

Oldest synagogues in the United States

File:Sinagoga-kahal-zur-israel-recife.jpg|thumb|right|The Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue (1636), located in RecifeRecifeFile:Touro Synagogue, Newport, RI.jpg|thumb|right|Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue building in the U.S.]]File:Emanuel de Witte 002.jpg|thumb|right|Painting of the interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam) by Emanuel de WitteEmanuel de Witte

Other famous synagogues

  • The Worms Synagogue in Germany, built in 1175 and razed on Kristallnacht in 1938, was painstakingly reconstructed using many of the original stones. It is still in use as a synagogue.
  • The Synagogue of El Transito of Toledo, Spain, was built in 1356 by Samuel ha-Levi, treasurer of King Pedro I of Castile. This is one of the best examples of Mudéjar architecture in Spain. The design of the synagogue recalls the Nasrid style of architecture that was employed during the same period in the decorations of the palace of the Alhambra in Granada as well as the Mosque of Córdoba. Since 1964, this site has hosted a Sephardi museum.
  • The Hurva Synagogue, located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was Jerusalem's main Ashkenazi synagogue from the 16th century until 1948, when it was destroyed by the Arab Legion several days after the conquest of the city. After the Six-Day War, an arch was built to mark the spot where the synagogue stood. A complete reconstruction, to plans drawn up by architect Nahum Meltzer, opened in March 2010.
  • The Abdallah Ibn Salam Mosque or Oran, Algeria, built in 1880, but converted into a mosque in 1975 when most Algerian Jews had left the country for France following independence.
  • The Nidhe Israel Synagogue ("Bridgetown Synagogue") of Barbados, located in the capital city of Bridgetown, was first built in 1654. It was destroyed in the hurricane of 1831 and reconstructed in 1833.WEB, Nidhe Israel Synagogue, planetware,weblink
  • The Curaçao synagogue or Snoa in Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles was built by Sephardic Portuguese Jews from Amsterdam and Recife, Brazil. It is modeled after the Esnoga in Amsterdam. Congregation Mikvé Israel built this synagogue in 1692; it was reconstructed in 1732.
  • The Bialystoker Synagogue on New York's Lower East Side, is located in a landmark building dating from 1826 that was originally a Methodist Episcopal Church. The building is made of quarry stone mined locally on Pitt Street, Manhattan. It is an example of federal architecture. The ceilings and walls are hand-painted with zodiac frescos, and the sanctuary is illuminated by {{convert|40|ft|m|2|adj=on}} stained glass windows. The bimah and floor-to-ceiling ark are handcarved.
  • The Great Synagogue of Florence, Tempio Maggiore, Florence, 1874–82, is an example of the magnificent, cathedral-like synagogues built in almost every major European city in the 19th century and early 20th century.
  • Boston's 1920 Vilna Shul is a rare surviving intact Immigrant Era synagogue.Vilna Shul
  • The Congregation Or Hatzafon "Light of the North", Fairbanks, Alaska, is the world's northern most synagogue building.WEB,weblink Congregation Or HaTzafon,, 2014-12-07, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-09-20,

Image gallery

File:Alte Synagoge Erfurt.JPG|The Old Synagogue (Erfurt) is the oldest intact synagogue building in EuropeFile:GerardDoustraatSynagogue.jpg|The Synagogue in the Gerard Doustraat in Amsterdam, Netherlands.File:Berlin Neue Synagoge 2005.jpg|The New Synagogue in Berlin, Germany.File:Basler Synagoge(ws) retouched.jpg|The Great Synagogue of Basel in Basel, Switzerland.File:Moscow 05-2017 img31 Choral Synagogue.jpg|The Choral Synagogue in Moscow, Russia.File:SynagogueSantiago.jpg|The Great Synagogue of Santiago, Chile.File:EsnogaAmsterdam.jpg|The Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam, Netherlands.File:Synagogue - Budapest.jpg|The Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary.File:Great Synagogue Plzen CZ general view.JPG|The Great Synagogue of Plzeň, Czech Republic.File:Frankfurt Hauptsynagoge 1885.jpg|The main synagogue of the city of Frankfurt am Main (Germany) before the Kristallnacht.File:Köln synagoge pano.jpg|The Roonstrasse Synagogue in Cologne, Germany.File:Lesko synagoga.jpg|The Lesko Synagogue in Lesko, Poland.File:Synagoga Bobowa.JPG|The Bobowa Synagogue in Bobowa, Poland.File:Sinagoga Kadoorie10.jpg|Kadoorie Synagogue in Porto, Portugal. The largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula.File:Besht Shul1 Medzhibozh.jpg|The Baal Shem Tov's shul in Medzhybizh, Ukraine (c. 1915), destroyed and recently rebuilt.File:Belz hasidic synagogue.jpg|The Belzer synagogue of Belz, Ukraine. It no longer exists.File:Synagoge auf Gelaende der Universtaet Tel Aviv.jpg|The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center at Tel Aviv University.File:Kherson-Synagogue01.jpg|The synagogue of Kherson, Ukraine.File:Or Zaruaa synagogue, founded by Rabbi Amram Aburbeh in Nahlat Ahim, Jerusalem, Israel exterior photo; showing location on 3 Refali street..jpg|Or Zaruaa Synagogue, Jerusalem, Israel founded in 1926.File:Hurva synagogue.jpg|The Hurva Synagogue towered over the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem from 1864 until 1948, when it was destroyed in warFile:Hakhurba-synagogue01m.jpg|The remains of the Hurva Synagogue as they appeared from 1977 to 2003. The synagogue has been rebuilt in 2010.File:Istanbul Ashkenazi Sinagogue Interior.JPG|The Ashkenazi Synagogue of Istanbul, Turkey, founded in 1900File:Karaite synagogue cali.jpg|The interior of a Karaite synagogueFile:Central Synagogue Lex jeh.jpg|The Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, New York CityFile:Temple Emanu-El Synagogue.jpg|Temple Emanu-El, Neo-Byzantine style synagogue in Miami Beach, FloridaFile:SynaStPersburgExt.JPG|The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg, RussiaFile:Jewish synagouge kochi india.jpg| The Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, Kerala, IndiaFile:Kiev34.jpg| The Great Choral Synagogue in Podil, Kiev, UkraineFile:Great Synagogue of Rome 01.JPG|Great Synagogue of Rome, ItalyFile:RoyLindmanAbuhavSynagogueZefatIsrael 001.jpg|Abuhav synagogue, IsraelFile:Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue, exterior.jpg|Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue, IsraelFile:RoyLindmanSantaMarialaBlancaSynagogue 002.jpg|Santa María la Blanca, SpainFile:RoyLindmanCordobaSynagogue 003.jpg|Córdoba Synagogue, SpainFile:RoyLindmanElTransito 003.jpg|El Transito Synagogue, SpainFile:Székesfehérvár synogogue.gif|Székesfehérvár Neolog synagogue, Hungary (1869; photo: c. 1930s). It no longer exists, however, the memorial plaques were moved to a building at the city's Jewish cemetery.File:Sofia Synagogue.jpg|Sofia Synagogue, BulgariaFile:Caravan shul interior.jpg|Interior of a "caravan shul" (synagogue housed in a trailer-type facility), Neve Yaakov, JerusalemFile:Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue.JPG|Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue (opened 1960), mid-century building with expressionist overtones; Washington, D.C.File:RoyLindmanBethYaakovSynagogueGeneva 001.jpg|Beth Yaakov Synagogue, SwitzerlandFile:ASCALON STUDIOS, David Ascalon, Lincoln Square Synagogue Ark New York.jpg|Sanctuary ark, Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York City (2013), created by David AscalonFile:Synagogue, Szombathely, Hungary.jpg|Synagogue, Szombathely, HungaryFile:Bevis Marks Synagogue 01.JPG|Bevis Marks Synagogue, City of London, the oldest synagogue in the United KingdomFile:Stockholms synagoga 2010.JPG|Stockholm Synagogue, SwedenFile:Brisbane Synagogue.jpg|Brisbane Synagogue, Brisbane, AustraliaFile:Old new synagogue in Prague - inside.jpg|Gothic interior of the 13th-century Old New Synagogue of Prague

See also


  • BOOK, Levine, Lee, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years, 1999, 2nd., 2005, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 0-300-10628-9,
  • Young, Penny (2014). Dura Europos: A City for Everyman. Diss, Norfolk: Twopenny Press. {{ISBN|9780956170347}}.

External links

{{Commons|Synagogue}} {{Jews and Judaism}}{{Place of worship}}{{Authority control}}

- content above as imported from Wikipedia
- "synagogue" does not exist on GetWiki (yet)
- time: 9:35am EDT - Sun, Aug 18 2019
[ this remote article is provided by Wikipedia ]
LATEST EDITS [ see all ]
Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott