Synagogues are central components of Jewish communities. They're primarily consecrated spaces used for communal prayer and studying and for cultural and social events. The photos in our exhibit represent a wide range of synagogues from around the world. Some are Ashkenazi with European architecture, and some are Sephardi with Moorish architecture. Here is just a sampling of what can be seen on our walls:
<------ POLIN Museum, History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland - Alan Kushnir
This is a reconstructed ceiling (85% scale) and bimah (100% scale) from the wooden synagogue in Gwozdziec, Poland, which was built in 1650 and destroyed in 1941. It is based on paintings, black and white photos, and descriptions.
Jerusalem Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic - The Rose Family ------>
Built in 1906, this synagogue was originally named the Jubilee Synagogue in honor of the silver Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. It was renamed for its location on Jerusalem Street. It has Moorish Revival architecture with Art Nouveau decoration.
<------ East London Central Synagogue, London, England - Celia Maurice
Founded in 1923, this Synagogue was also known as the Nelson Street Sfardish Synagogue. While Ashkenazi, they follow traditions influenced by the Sephardi branch of Orthodox Judaism.
Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Elizabeth Caplun ------>
Completed in 1675, its interior design is longitudinal Iberian Sephardic style. Three large brass chandeliers hold 1000 candles. It contains one of the oldest Jewish libraries in the world. The ark and bimah are on opposite ends of the room.
<------ Dohany Street (Great) Synagogue, Budapest, Hungary - Jonathan Rattner
Built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style based on Islamic models from North Africa and Medieval Spain. It is the largest synagogue in Europe, seating 3,000. They practice Neolog Judaism, a form of Liberal Judaism.
Spanish Synagogue, Prague, Czech Republic - Dan Hartford ------>
This synagogue, which was completed in 1868, was built in the Moorish Revival style.
<------ Hod v'Hadar Synagogue, Kfar Saba, Israel - Sharon Lenox
Founded in 1978, it is the leading Conservative (Masorti) Synagogue in Israel's Central Region. This unique ark is decorated with angels.