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A synagogue (pronounced /ˈsɪnəɡɒɡ/; from Greek συναγωγή, synagogē, 'assembly', Hebrew: .mw-parser-output .script-hebrew,.mw-parser-output .script-Hebr font-size:1.15em;font-family:"Ezra SIL","Ezra SIL SR","Keter Aram Tsova","Taamey Ashkenaz","Taamey David CLM","Taamey Frank CLM","Frank Ruehl CLM","Keter YG","Shofar","David CLM","Hadasim CLM","Simple CLM","Nachlieli","SBL BibLit","SBL Hebrew",Cardo,Alef,"Noto Serif Hebrew","Noto Sans Hebrew","David Libre",David,"Times New Roman",Gisha,Arial,FreeSerif,FreeSans בית כנסת bet kenesset, 'house of assembly' or בית תפילה bet tefila, "house of prayer", Yiddish: שול shul, Ladino: אסנוגה esnoga or קהל kahal) is a Jewish or Samaritan
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
Torah
study, called the בית מדרש beth midrash "house of study". Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh
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
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
Temple
in Jerusalem.

Contents

1 Terminology 2 Origins 3 Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogues

3.1 Name and history 3.2 Distinguishing elements 3.3 Archaeological finds

3.3.1 Diaspora 3.3.2 The wider Holy Land 3.3.3 Samaria

4 Jewish-Christian synagogue-churches 5 Architectural design 6 Interior elements

6.1 Bimah (platform) 6.2 Table or lectern 6.3 Torah
Torah
Ark 6.4 Eternal Light 6.5 Inner decoration 6.6 Seating 6.7 Special
Special
seats

7 Rules for attendees

7.1 Removing one's shoes 7.2 Gender separation

8 Denominational differences

8.1 Reform Judaism

9 Synagogue
Synagogue
as community center 10 Synagogue
Synagogue
offshoots 11 List of "great synagogues"

11.1 Israel 11.2 Europe

11.2.1 Russia, Ukraine
Ukraine
and Belarus 11.2.2 Poland 11.2.3 Czech Republic 11.2.4 Hungary 11.2.5 Austria 11.2.6 Germany 11.2.7 Netherlands 11.2.8 Scandinavia 11.2.9 France and Belgium 11.2.10 Italy 11.2.11 Romania 11.2.12 Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and former Yugoslavia 11.2.13 Turkey
Turkey
(European part)

11.3 North Africa 11.4 Australia

12 World's largest synagogues

12.1 Israel 12.2 Europe 12.3 North America

13 World's oldest synagogues

13.1 Oldest synagogues in the United States

14 Other famous synagogues 15 Image gallery 16 See also 17 References 18 External links

Terminology[edit] Israelis
Israelis
use the Hebrew term beyt knesset "house of assembly". Ashkenazi Jews
Jews
have traditionally used the Yiddish
Yiddish
term shul (cognate with the German Schule, 'school') in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews
Jews
generally use the term kal (from the Hebrew Ḳahal, meaning "community"). Spanish Jews
Jews
call the synagogue a sinagoga and Portuguese Jews
Jews
call it an esnoga. Persian Jews
Jews
and some Karaite Jews
Jews
also use the term kenesa, which is derived from Aramaic, and some Mizrahi Jews
Jews
use kenis. Some Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Jews
Jews
use the word "temple". The Greek word synagogue is used in English (German, French and most Romance languages) to cover the preceding possibilities.[1]

Origins[edit] Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple
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
Temple
in Jerusalem. The all-day Yom Kippur
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
Babylonian captivity
(586–537 BCE)[citation needed] the men of the Great Assembly[dubious – discuss] 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
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] 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.[2][unreliable source?] 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.[3][unreliable source?] More than a dozen Jewish (and possibly Samaritan) Second Temple
Second Temple
era synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel
Israel
and other countries belonging to the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world.[2] Any Jew or group of Jews
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
Jews
arrayed according to occupation, ethnicity (i.e. the Sephardic, Polish or Persian Jews
Jews
of a town), style of religious observance (i.e., a Reform or an Orthodox synagogue), or by the followers of a particular rabbi.

Reading from an open Torah
Torah
scroll It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple
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
Second Temple
in 70 CE[4] had prepared the Jews
Jews
for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship.[5] Despite the possibility[dubious – discuss] 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
Jews
living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews
Jews
worshipped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had previously served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple.[6]

Mosaic in the Tzippori Synagogue

Ruins of the ancient synagogue of Kfar Bar'am

Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogues[edit] Name and history[edit] The Samaritan
Samaritan
house of worship is also called a synagogue.[7] During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora
Diaspora
by Samaritans
Samaritans
and Jews
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).[7] The oldest Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue discovered so far is from Delos
Delos
in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel
Land of Israel
and ancient Samaria
Samaria
in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the very end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine
Byzantine
period.[7]

Distinguishing elements[edit] The elements which distinguish Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are:

Alphabet: the use of the Samaritan
Samaritan
script[7] Orthography. When the Samaritan
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.[7] When Greek is the language used in inscriptions, typically, Samaritans
Samaritans
may contract two Hebrew words into one, such har (mountain) and Gerizim becoming, in Greek, Argarizein.[7] Orientation: the facade, or entrance of the Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue, is typically facing towards Mount Gerizim, which is the most holy site to Samaritans, while Jewish synagogues would be oriented towards Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and the Temple
Temple
Mount.[7] Decoration: the mosaic floor and other architectural elements or artifacts are sometimes decorated with typical symbols.[7] As the Samaritans
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.[7] 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
Samaritan
buildings of any period.[7] A representation of Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim
is a clear indication of Samaritan identity.[7] On the other hand, although the existence of a Samaritan
Samaritan
temple on Mount Gerizim
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
Samaritan
tradition, so that no temple-related items would be found in Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue depictions.[7] 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
Samaritan
ones, but the objects are always related to the desert Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
within the Tabernacle, or the Torah
Torah
shrine in the synagogue itself.[7] Samaritans
Samaritans
believe that at the end of time the Tabernacle
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.[7] Since the same artists, such as mosaicists, worked for all ethno-religious communities of the time, some depictions might be identical in Samaritan
Samaritan
and Jewish synagogues, Christian churches and pagan temples, but their significance would differ.[7] Missing from Samaritan
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
Samaritans
celebrating Sukkot, and do not appear on mosaic floors.[7] Ritual baths near the synagogue after 70 CE: Jews
Jews
abandoned the habit of building mikva'ot next to their houses of worship after the 70 CE destruction of the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Temple, but Samaritans
Samaritans
continued with the practice.[7] Archaeological finds[edit] Ancient Samaritan
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.[7]

Diaspora[edit] Delos: a Samaritan
Samaritan
inscription has been dated to between 250 and 175 BCE.[7] Rome
Rome
and Tarsus: ancient literature offers hints that Samaritan synagogues may have existed in these cities between the fourth and sixth centuries CE.[7] Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
and Syracuse: short inscriptions found there and using the Samaritan
Samaritan
and Greek alphabet may originate from Samaritan synagogues.[7] The wider Holy Land[edit] Sha'alvim
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.[7] Tell Qasile
Tell Qasile
synagogue, built at the beginning of the 7th century CE[7] Beth Shean, " Synagogue
Synagogue
A". A room added to an existing building in the late 6th or early 7th century CE served as a Samaritan synagogue.[7] Samaria[edit] 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[7] Khirbet Samara synagogue, c. 20 km northwest of Nablus
Nablus
and built in the 4th century CE[7] Zur Natan synagogue, c. 29 km west of Nablus
Nablus
and built in the 5th century CE[7] Jewish-Christian synagogue-churches[edit] 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
Jews
who had accepted Jesus
Jesus
as the Messiah
Messiah
in Jerusalem[8] and Nazareth.[9][10]

Architectural design[edit] Aerial view of the synagogue of the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Jewish community in China. Main article: Synagogue
Synagogue
architecture 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
Spain
are embellished with mudéjar plasterwork. The surviving medieval synagogues in Budapest
Budapest
and Prague
Prague
are typical Gothic structures. With the emancipation of Jews
Jews
in Western European countries, which not only enabled Jews
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
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
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.

.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner display:flex;flex-direction:column .mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow display:flex;flex-direction:row;clear:left;flex-wrap:wrap;width:100%;box-sizing:border-box .mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle margin:1px;float:left .mw-parser-output .tmulti .theader clear:both;font-weight:bold;text-align:center;align-self:center;background-color:transparent;width:100% .mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption text-align:left;background-color:transparent .mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-left text-align:left .mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-right text-align:right .mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-center text-align:center @media all and (max-width:720px) .mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;max-width:none!important;align-items:center .mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow justify-content:center .mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle float:none!important;max-width:100%!important;box-sizing:border-box;text-align:center .mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption text-align:center K.A.M. Isaiah Israel
Israel
Temple
Temple
in the Chicago
Chicago
neighborhood of KenwoodTemple Sholom in Chicago's neighborhood of Lakeview Interior elements[edit] Bimah (platform)[edit] All synagogues contain a Bimah, a large, raised, reader's platform (called teḇah (reading dais) by Sephardim), where the Torah
Torah
scroll is placed to be read. In Sephardi synagogues it is also used as the prayer leader's reading desk.[citation needed]

Bimah at the Bialystoker Synagogue
Bialystoker Synagogue
with Torah
Torah
Ark in background.

Interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam)
Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam)
showing Tebah in the foreground, and Torah
Torah
Ark in the background.

Cast-iron
Cast-iron
Bimah of the Old Synagogue
Synagogue
in Kraków

Table or lectern[edit] In Ashkenazi synagogues, the Torah
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
Torah
(reading dais) was commonly placed at the opposite side of the room from the Torah
Torah
Ark, leaving the center of the floor empty for the use of a ceremonial procession carrying the Torah
Torah
between the Ark and the reading table.[11] Most contemporary synagogues feature a lectern for the rabbi.[12]

Torah
Torah
Ark[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The Torah
Torah
Ark, called in Hebrew ארון קודש Aron Kodesh or 'holy chest', and alternatively called the heikhal—היכל or 'temple' by Sephardic Jews, is a cabinet in which the Torah
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
Israel
face west. Sanctuaries in Israel
Israel
face towards Jerusalem. Occasionally synagogues face other directions for structural reasons; in such cases, some individuals might turn to face Jerusalem
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 parochet פרוכת, which hangs outside or inside the ark doors.

Eternal Light[edit] 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 ner tamid (נר תמיד), the "Eternal Light", used as a way to honor the Divine Presence.[13]

Inner decoration[edit] 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]

Seating[edit] Originally, synagogues were made devoid of much furniture, the Jewish congregants in Spain, the Maghreb
Maghreb
(North Africa), Babylonia, the Land of Israel
Israel
and Yemen
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.[14] Today, the custom has spread in all places to sit upon chairs and benches.[citation needed] Until the 19th century, in an Ashkenazi synagogue, all seats most often faced the Torah
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]

Special
Special
seats[edit] Many current synagogues have an elaborate chair named for the prophet Elijah, which is only sat upon during the ceremony of Brit milah.[15] In ancient synagogues, a special chair placed on the wall facing Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and next to the Torah
Torah
Shrine was reserved for the prominent members of the congregation and for important guests.[16] This might be what Jesus
Jesus
referred to as the "seat of Moses" or "chair of Moses" (Matthew 23:2-3), or is mentioned as the "chief seats in the synagogues" elsewhere in the Gospels
Gospels
(Luke 11:43, 20:46; Matthew 23:6 etc.).[16] Such a stone-carved and inscribed seat was discovered at archaeological excavations in the synagogue at Chorazin in Galilee
Galilee
and dates from the 4th–6th century;[17] another one was discovered at the Delos
Delos
Synagogue, complete with a footstool, reminiscent of James 2:1–6: "... you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool.”"[16]

Rules for attendees[edit] Removing one's shoes[edit] 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
Jews
in other places in earlier times.[18] Today, the custom of removing one's shoes is no longer practiced in Israel.[citation needed]

Gender separation[edit] Main article: mechitza In Orthodox synagogues, men and women do not sit together. The synagogue features a partition (mechitza) dividing the men's and women's seating areas, or a separate women's section located on a balcony.[citation needed]

Denominational differences[edit] Reform Judaism[edit] Congregation Emanu-El of New York The 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
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.[19] In 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] Gender separation was also removed.[citation needed]

Synagogue
Synagogue
as community center[edit] 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
Synagogue
offshoots[edit] Since many Orthodox and some non-Orthodox Jews
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
Jews
they are traditionally called shtiebel (שטיבל, pl. shtiebelekh or shtiebels, Yiddish
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
Pharisees
lived near each other in chavurot and dined together to ensure that none of the food was unfit for consumption.[20]

List of "great synagogues"[edit] Some synagogues bear the title "great synagogue".[dubious – discuss]

Israel[edit] The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Jerusalem Europe[edit] Russia, Ukraine
Ukraine
and Belarus[edit] Interior of the Choral Synagogue
Synagogue
of Moscow The Choral Synagogue
Synagogue
of Moscow The Grand Choral Synagogue
Grand Choral Synagogue
of St. Petersburg The Kharkiv Choral Synagogue The Great Choral Synagogue
Synagogue
(Kiev), Ukraine Poland[edit] The Great Synagogues of Warsaw and Łódź, destroyed by Nazis during World War II. The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Włodawa Czech Republic[edit] The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Plzeň Hungary[edit] Interior of the Synagogue
Synagogue
of Szeged The Dohány Street Synagogue
Dohány Street Synagogue
in Budapest, Hungary The Synagogue
Synagogue
of Szeged[21] Austria[edit] The Leopoldstädter Tempel
Leopoldstädter Tempel
of Vienna, destroyed during the "Kristallnacht" pogrom. Served as model for many other important synagogues. Germany[edit] The New Synagogue
Synagogue
of Berlin Netherlands[edit] The Portuguese Synagogue
Synagogue
of Amsterdam Scandinavia[edit] The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Stockholm France and Belgium[edit] The Grand Synagogue
Synagogue
of Paris The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Brussels (also known as the Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Europe) Italy[edit] Dome of the Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Florence The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Florence The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Rome Romania[edit] The Cetate Synagogue
Cetate Synagogue
of Timişoara, The Fabric Synagogue
Fabric Synagogue
of Timişoara, Romania The Choral Temple
Temple
of Bucharest Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and former Yugoslavia[edit] The Synagogue
Synagogue
of Novi Sad The Synagogue
Synagogue
of Sofia The Synagogue
Synagogue
of Sarajevo [1] [22]

Turkey
Turkey
(European part)[edit] The Grand Synagogue
Synagogue
of Edirne North Africa[edit] The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Oran The El Ghriba synagogue
El Ghriba synagogue
of Djerba Australia[edit] The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Sydney

World's largest synagogues[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Synagogue" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (July 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Interior of the Belz Great Synagogue
Belz Great Synagogue
in Jerusalem. Israel[edit] The largest synagogue in the world is probably the Belz
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.[23] Europe[edit] The Dohány Street Synagogue
Dohány Street Synagogue
in Budapest, Hungary, is the largest synagogue in Europe
Europe
by square footage and number of seats. It seats 3,000, and has an area of 1,200 m2 (13,000 sq ft) and height of 26 m (85 ft) (apart from the towers, which are 43 m or 141 ft).[24] The Synagogue of Trieste
Synagogue of Trieste
is the largest synagogue in Western Europe. The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Rome
Rome
is one of the greatest in Europe. The Portuguese Synagogue
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 1,008 m2 (10,850 sq ft), is 19.5 meters (64 ft) high. It was built to accommodate 1227 men and 440 women.[25] Szeged Synagogue
Szeged Synagogue
is located in Szeged, Hungary, seats 1,340 and has height of 48.5 m (159 ft). The Sofia Synagogue
Sofia Synagogue
is located in Sofia, Bulgaria, seating about 1,200. The Subotica Synagogue
Subotica Synagogue
is located in Subotica, Serbia, seating more than 900. Great Synagogue (Plzeň)
Great Synagogue (Plzeň)
in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
is the second-largest synagogue in Europe, and the third-largest in the world. North America[edit] Baron Hirsch Synagogue, an Orthodox synagogue in Memphis, Tennessee, was the largest in the United States at the time of its dedication in 1957, seating 2,200 worshippers with an additional accommodation for 1,000 in its main sanctuary.[26] The synagogue moved in 1988, but the building remains in use as a church. The Satmar synagogue in Kiryas Joel, New York, which is said to seat "several thousand", is also very large.[27] Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar (Rodney Street, Brooklyn) is also said to seat "several thousand". Temple
Temple
Emanu-El of New York, a Reform Temple, is located in New York City, with an area of 3,523 m2 (37,920 sq ft), seating 2,500. It is the largest Reform synagogue in the world. Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar (Hooper Street, Brooklyn)
Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar (Hooper Street, Brooklyn)
seats between 2,000 and 4,000 congregants. The main sanctuary of Adas Israel
Israel
Congregation (Washington, D.C.) seats 1,500. Temple
Temple
Emanu-El (Miami Beach, Florida) located in Miami Beach, Florida, seats approximately 1,400 people. Congregation Shaare Zion, an Orthodox Sephardic synagogue located in Brooklyn, New York, is the largest Syrian Jewish
Syrian Jewish
congregation in New York City. It is attended by over 1,000 worshipers on weekends. Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, Ontario, is the largest Conservative synagogue in North America. Temple
Temple
Israel, a Reform synagogue in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
seats 1,335 to 1,500 people in its main sanctuary. The massive synagogue complex contains over 125,000 sq ft (11,613 m²) on 30 acres. World's oldest synagogues[edit] Main article: List of oldest synagogues The Sardis
Sardis
Synagogue
Synagogue
in Manisa, Turkey. The synagogue was a section of a large bath-gymnasium complex, which was in use for 450–500 years. Fresco
Fresco
at the Dura-Europos synagogue, illustrating a scene from the Book
Book
of Esther, 244 CE. The oldest synagogue fragments are stone-carved synagogue dedication inscriptions found in Middle and Lower Egypt
Egypt
and dating from the 3rd century BCE.[3] The oldest Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue, the Delos
Delos
Synagogue, dates from between 150 and 128 BCE, or earlier and is located on the island of Delos.[28][unreliable source?] 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
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
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
Jews
from Cranganore, the Middle East, and European exiles. It is also referred to as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue
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
Europe
in current use. Oldest synagogues in the United States[edit] The Kahal Zur Israel
Israel
Synagogue
Synagogue
(1636), located in Recife
Recife
on the site of the oldest synagogue in the Americas. Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue building in the U.S. Painting of the interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam)
Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam)
by Emanuel de Witte
Emanuel de Witte
(c. 1680) Main article: List of the oldest synagogues in the United States Congregation Shearith Israel, in New York City, founded in 1654, is the oldest congregation in the United States. Its present building dates from 1897. The Touro Synagogue
Touro Synagogue
in Newport, Rhode Island, is the oldest Jewish house of worship in North America that is still standing. It was built in 1759 for the Jeshuat Israel
Israel
congregation, which was established in 1658. Other famous synagogues[edit] The Worms Synagogue
Worms Synagogue
in Germany, built in 1175 and razed on Kristallnacht
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
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
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
Alhambra
in Granada as well as the Mosque
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
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
Abdallah Ibn Salam Mosque
or Oran, Algeria, built in 1880, but converted into a mosque in 1975 when most Algerian Jews
Jews
had left the country for France following independence. The Nidhe Israel
Israel
Synagogue
Synagogue
(" Bridgetown
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.[29] The Curaçao synagogue
Curaçao synagogue
or Snoa in Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles was built by Sephardic Portuguese Jews
Jews
from Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and Recife, Brazil. It is modeled after the Esnoga in Amsterdam. Congregation Mikvé Israel
Israel
built this synagogue in 1692; it was reconstructed in 1732. The Bialystoker Synagogue
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 40-foot (12.19 m) stained glass windows. The bimah and floor-to-ceiling ark are handcarved. The Great Synagogue
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
Vilna Shul
is a rare surviving intact Immigrant Era synagogue.[30] The Congregation Or Hatzafon "Light of the North", Fairbanks, Alaska, is the world's northern most synagogue building.[31] Image gallery[edit]

The Old Synagogue (Erfurt)
Old Synagogue (Erfurt)
is the oldest intact synagogue building in Europe

The Synagogue
Synagogue
in the Gerard Doustraat in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The New Synagogue
Synagogue
in Berlin, Germany.

The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Basel
Basel
in Basel, Switzerland.

The Choral Synagogue
Synagogue
in Moscow, Russia.

The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Santiago, Chile.

The Portuguese Synagogue
Synagogue
in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Dohány Street Synagogue
Dohány Street Synagogue
in Budapest, Hungary.

The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Plzeň, Czech Republic.

The main synagogue of the city of Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
(Germany) before the Kristallnacht.

The Roonstrasse Synagogue
Roonstrasse Synagogue
in Cologne, Germany.

The Lesko Synagogue
Lesko Synagogue
in Lesko, Poland.

The Bobowa
Bobowa
Synagogue
Synagogue
in Bobowa, Poland.

Kadoorie Synagogue
Kadoorie Synagogue
in Porto, Portugal. The largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula.

The Baal Shem Tov's shul in Medzhybizh, Ukraine
Ukraine
(c. 1915), destroyed and recently rebuilt.

The Belzer synagogue of Belz, Ukraine. It no longer exists.

The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center
Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center
at Tel Aviv University.

The synagogue of Kherson, Ukraine.

Or Zaruaa Synagogue, Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
founded in 1926.

The Hurva Synagogue
Hurva Synagogue
towered over the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
from 1864 until 1948, when it was destroyed in war

The remains of the Hurva Synagogue
Hurva Synagogue
as they appeared from 1977 to 2003. The synagogue has been rebuilt in 2010.

The Ashkenazi Synagogue
Synagogue
of Istanbul, Turkey, founded in 1900

The interior of a Karaite synagogue

The Central Synagogue
Synagogue
on Lexington Avenue
Lexington Avenue
in Manhattan, New York City

Temple
Temple
Emanu-El, Neo-Byzantine
Neo-Byzantine
style synagogue in Miami Beach, Florida

The Grand Choral Synagogue
Grand Choral Synagogue
of St. Petersburg, Russia

The Paradesi Synagogue
Paradesi Synagogue
in Kochi, Kerala, India

The Great Choral Synagogue
Synagogue
in Podil, Kiev, Ukraine

Great Synagogue
Synagogue
of Rome, Italy

Abuhav synagogue, Israel

Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue, Israel

Santa María la Blanca, Spain

Córdoba Synagogue, Spain

El Transito Synagogue, Spain

Székesfehérvár
Székesfehérvár
Neolog
Neolog
synagogue, Hungary
Hungary
(1869; photo: c. 1930s). It no longer exists, however, the memorial plaques were moved to a building at the city's Jewish cemetery.

Sofia
Sofia
Synagogue, Bulgaria

Interior of a "caravan shul" (synagogue housed in a trailer-type facility), Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem

Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue
Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue
(opened 1960), mid-century building with expressionist overtones; Washington, D.C.

Beth Yaakov Synagogue, Switzerland

Sanctuary
Sanctuary
ark, Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York City
New York City
(2013), created by David Ascalon

Synagogue, Szombathely, Hungary

Bevis Marks Synagogue, City of London, the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom

Stockholm Synagogue, Sweden

Brisbane
Brisbane
Synagogue, Brisbane, Australia

Gothic interior of the 13th-century Old New Synagogue
Old New Synagogue
of Prague

See also[edit] Cheder sheini Great Synagogue
Synagogue
(other) List of synagogues List of synagogues in the United States Place of worship Prayer book Rabbi Siddur Temple References[edit]

^ Judaism
Judaism
101: Synagogues, Shuls and Temples. Jewfaq.org.

^ a b Donald D. Binder. " Second Temple
Second Temple
Synagogues"..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em

^ a b Donald D. Binder. "Egypt".

^ Schiffman, Lawrence (March 1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple
Second Temple
and Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
(1st ed.). Ktav Pub Inc. p. 159. ISBN 0881253723.

^ Schiffman, Lawrence (March 1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple
Second Temple
and Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
(1st ed.). Ktav Pub Inc. p. 164. ISBN 0881253723.

^ Schiffman, Lawrence (March 1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple
Second Temple
and Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
(1st ed.). Ktav Pub Inc. p. 164. ISBN 0881253723.

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Pummer, Reinhard. "How to Tell a Samaritan
Samaritan
Synagogue
Synagogue
from a Jewish Synagogue". Biblical Archaeology Review. May/June 1998 (24:03) – via Center for Online Judaic Studies, cojs.org.

^ Skarsaune, Oskar (2008). In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. IVP Academic. p. 186. Retrieved 1 September 2018. 9780830828449

^ Taylor, Joan E. (1993). Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins. Clarendon Press. p. 338. ISBN 9780198147855. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

^ Emmett, Chad Fife (1995). Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth. University of Chicago
Chicago
Geography Research Papers ( Book
Book
237). University of Chicago
Chicago
Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-226-20711-7. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

^ "The Bimah: The Synagogue
Synagogue
Platform". www.chabad.org. Retrieved 2019-05-30.

^ " Synagogue
Synagogue
Background & Overview". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2019-05-30.

^ "Ner Tamid: The Eternal Light." Chabad. 28 August 2018.

^ Maimonides, Mishne Torah
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
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."

^ Zaklikowski, David. "The Chair of Elijah
Elijah
and Welcoming the Baby". Chabad.org. Retrieved 13 September 2018.

^ a b c The Interactive Bible, Synagogue
Synagogue
Moses' Seat: Metaphor of Pride

^ Israel
Israel
Museum, Elaborate seat, Chorazin
Chorazin
synagogue

^ Joseph Kafih, Jewish Life in Sanà, Ben-Zvi Institute: Jerusalem 1982, p. 64 (note 3) ISBN 965-17-0137-4. There, Rabbi
Rabbi
Kafih recalls the following story in the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Talmud
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
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
Land of Israel
from the Geniza], ed. Mordechai Margaliot, Mossad Harav Kook: Jerusalem
Jerusalem
1973, pp. 131–132; Taylor-Schechter New Series 135, Cambridge University Library
Library
/ Oxford MS. 2700).

^ Rabbi
Rabbi
Ken Spiro. "Crash Course in Jewish History Part 54 - Reform Movement", Aish.com

^ Alan F. Segal, Rebecca's Children: Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity in the Roman World, Harvard University Press, 1986, 125.

^ 1340 seats, the synagogue is 48 meters long, 35 meters wide, and 48.6 meters high.

^ https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHWA_enUS622US622&biw=1366&bih=577&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=K5XrW-H2CpHe8AOhjayIAQ&q=ashkenazi+synagogue&oq=ashkenazi+synagogue&gs_l=img.3..35i39j0j0i67j0i5i30j0i24l6.60194.62090..63851...0.0..0.393.2130.0j2j6j1......1....1..gws-wiz-img.......0i30.9YSLBbY7Icg#imgdii=rKClV7ASC0CzpM:&imgrc=RxMdks_k2QhNbM:

^ Nathan Jeffay (January 12, 2011). "The Heart of Israel's Reform Judaism". The Forward.

^ Kulish, Nicholas (30 December 2007). "Out of Darkness, New Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-12.

^ Snyder, S. C. (2008). Acculturation and Particularism in the Modern City: Synagogue
Synagogue
Building and Jewish Identity in Northern Europe. University of Michigan. ISBN 9780549818977. Retrieved 2014-12-07.

^ “Orthodox Synagogue
Synagogue
to Be Dedicated November 28–30.” Memphis Commercial Appeal, October 21, 1957.

^ Rabbi
Rabbi
Yitschak Rudomin. "Rebbes, Hasidim, and Authentic Kehillahs". The Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy. Jewish Professionals Institute (JPI).

^ Donald D. Binder. "Delos".

^ "Nidhe Israel
Israel
Synagogue". planetware.

^ Vilna Shul

^ "Congregation Or HaTzafon". mosquitonet.com. Archived from the original on 2014-09-20. Retrieved 2014-12-07.

Levine, Lee (2005) [1999]. The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years (2nd. ed.). New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10628-9. Young, Penny (2014). Dura Europos: A City for Everyman. Diss, Norfolk: Twopenny Press. ISBN 9780956170347. External links[edit]

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