A synagog (Greek Συναγωγή Sunagôgê , " to go ensemble" ; Hebrew ביתכנסת , Beit Knesset , " house of the assemblée" ; Yiddish שול, shoul , " école" ; Ladino אסנוגה, esnoga ) is a place of the Jewish worship.
Certaines congregations employs also the term of Beit Tefila (" house of prière").
Les Jewish Persan and the Karaïte S uses the close term kenessa , derived from the Araméen.
Les Jewish reformed and some conservative S name them sometimes " Temple".
Perhaps the origin of the synagog, i.e. of a gathering place of faithful dissociated from the old ritual of the furnace bridge of the Temple goes back to the prophets and their disciples; but the synagog as a institution characteristic of the Judaism was born with work from Ezra. It since took there such an importance that “the Synagog” comes from there to indicate the system of the Judaism figuratively, in opposition to “the Church”.
The synagogs have usually a sanctuary, i.e. a large hall of prayer, in which are contained the Livres of the Torah. They can also comprise a room for the Community events. However, they contain especially small parts reserved being studied, even a Beit Midrash (“house of study”): it is that, although initially intended for the worship, the synagog becomes during the Jewish Histoire the place of the Talmud Torah , i.e. the teaching of the tradition and the Hebraic language, whether it is for the children or the adults. The preponderance of this role is such as the Jews of Venice and those of the countries Ashkénaze S speaking the Yiddish, and Philon of Alexandria before them indicated the synagogs of the name of “ didaskaleia ”, “ scuola ” or “שול” ( shoul , cf all. Schule ), i.e. “school”. This name is always used to indicate the synagogs in an abstract way, especially in the ashkénazes mediums.
The synagog in the texts
Neither the term, nor the concept of a synagog are found in the Pentateuque (although the rabbinical tradition like Philon of Alexandria and Flavius Josèphe affirm that the institution goes back to Moïse). The idea of a collective prayer is not more mentioned there, and the only place of the worship described is the Tabernacle, a transportable sanctuary sheltering in its Saint saints the Ark of the Covenant. This one is found in the Temple of Solomon, built to shelter it in a permanent way.
The first evocation of a gathering out of the Temple is found in Isaïe 8:16: it is about a circle of disciples brought together around Isaïe, in order to hear of him the word of God and the Torah. It is also the case in Ezéchiel 8:1, where the old ones of Juda meet in the house of Ezéchiel. The psalm 74:8 probably dated from the first exile, mentions “the centers devoted to God in the country. ” .
It would seem that the synagogs multiplied after the destruction of the first and the second Temples: according to a rabbinical tradition consigned in the Mishna (which was compiled towards 200 EC., more than one century after the destruction of the second Temple), a big city counts obligatorily ten batlanim , if not it is a village; a batlan being defined like an individual renonçant with his work to go to request, Mishna teaches that there exists a synagog in any place where a Minyan of ten men is able, at any time, to meet to request. The Acts of the Apostles also state that the synagogs that one found in each city existed since many years (Acts 15:21), and quote some several, of which that of the Affranchi S, that of the Cyrénéens and that of the Alexandrins.
Talmud mentions many synagogs in Mésopotamie, of which that of Néhardéa and more than 400 synagogs in Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple (Keritot 105a), while the Évangiles evoke those of Nazareth and Capharnaüm. Paul sermon in the synagogs of Damas, Salamine in Cyprus, Antioche, etc
The fall of the second Temple amplifies the importance of the synagog because it is there that the rites of the Temple except capital will be perpetuated for the sacrifice and it is in the synagogs which the Minyan made up of 10 men will be able to meet.
A miniature Temple
The orthodoxe synagogs as reformed, refer, at least symbolically, with the sanctuary. Their plan follows, following the example Temples of Jerusalem and shtiebeleh (word Yiddish for a small room being used for the prayer and the study, but less formal than a synagog), that of the Tabernacle, such as it is described in the parashat Terouma. A synagog thus contains a square where the assembly meets, a candelabrum, an elevated place where the worship is held, and a very holy place where is kept, in a cupboard protected from outside by a veil, the Testimony given to Moïse by God:
the raised place, equivalent of the furnace bridge at the time of the Gate vault and the Temples, is called the Tevah at the Sépharade S and Bimah at the Ashkénaze S; it is there that the officiant is held and that the Torah is read.
Traditionnellement located in the middle of the prayer, it was moved in the temples reformed in front of the room, facing the faithful ones, by analogy with the Chaire in the Protestant temples.
- In the equivalent of the Holy of Holies , is a cupboard, equivalent Ark of the Covenant. The ashkénazes call it holy Arche ('' Aron Haqodesh ''), while the sépharades call it Heikhal (Temple). It contains the rollers of the Torah. Those are essential so that a gathering place is regarded as a synagog, if not it is a Havourah.
It is since the arch that the '' cohanim '' (faithful going down from Aaron, and symbolically filling some tasks reserved for their ancestors of the time of the Temples) bless the assembly.
L' arch is located on the wall directed towards Jerusalem, therefore with the East ('' Mizra' H '') in the countries located at the west of Jerusalem and the occident in the countries located at the east. Many synagogs are directed towards Jerusalem, although some derogate from the rule for structural reasons.
- a candelabrum, analog of the Menorah, is especially lit during the offices. As one of the branches of the menorah burned continuously at the time of the Temple, a lamp or a lantern, often electric, currently the role of ner tamid (héb holds. נרתמיד “perpetual light”).
- Reminiscence of the Temple of Jerusalem, where a balcony had been installed to separate men and women at the time of the Sim' hat Study Bureau HaShoëva, men and women are separated by a mekhitsa at the time of the prayer in the orthodoxe synagogs. Often the women have a gallery, somewhat dissimulated with the men from where they can attend the office. In the Altneu Schule of Prague, the women have a separate room of the principal part by a bored thick wall of narrow openings. With Pfaffenhoffen, in Alsace, the women behind the men, are separated from them by a kind of lattice out of wooden. This separation disappeared in the liberal or reformed synagogs, and in the conservative majority of the synagogs in the United States where men and women request coast with côte.
- the synagog often contains a room, called Gueniza (héb. גניזה “deposit”) where are buried out-of-date or erased texts carrying one of the seven Noms of God who it is interdict to erase. The Jewish tradition indeed prohibited to destroy them and requires that they be buried, when well even they would be not-canonical texts, even heretics. The guenizot can conceal treasures of archeology; that of Cairo, which contained: 250000 fragments, whose correspondence of Moïse Maïmonide was described as “window on the medieval Jewish life”; that of the Synagog Old woman-News shelters, according to the legend, the Golem of the Maharal of Prague.
Les writings of Philon and Flavius Josèphe gives rise to think that at his time, one also deposited in the synagogs of the donations for the Temple of Jerusalem.
- It is of habit to install the Houpah (héb. חוּפָּה platform under which the marriages) but this habit are celebrated does not have the force of law, and the houpah is often installed in outside, particularly in Israel.
The oldest synagogs known today are located in Ground of Israel and contemporary of the destruction of the Second Temple. The former synagogs, if they are centers of God described in the Psalms, were destroyed. Those of the following centuries were destroyed by the Christians or transforms in church S.
The synagog the best known one currently is that of Massada, the fortress which dominates the Dead Sea, however others are older, like the synagog of Herodion, another fortress of the king Hérode located at 12 kilometers of Jerusalem where this king was made bury, and the synagog of Gamla, ancient capital of the Golan
After the destruction of the Temple, the Romains prohibit the construction of synagogs in Palestine. The destruction continues with the revolt of Bar-Kokhba from 132 to 135 but of many Jewish communities are maintained until the Arab conquest, as the presence of many ruins of the synagogs, oldest attests some dating from IIIe century. They for the majority are located in Galileo. One also finds some with Beth Shean or Gaza.
One of the most famous synagogs of this time is that of Capharnaüm, located on the lake of Tibériade, probably on the spot evoked in the Gospels. These synagogs often adopt the plan basilical Greek buildings, and if they are decorated with Jewish symbols like the Menora, the mosaic synagog of Beït-Esparto exhibe also of the S representing the Zodiaque, and that of Hammath of the characters of Greek mythology.
As a diaspora, the synagogs are spread in the world Hellénistique or Roman. The oldest which is known only by one inscription is that of Schedia, the ancient port of Rome. It dates originally from the second part of the 1st century, but was increased and clearing thereafter. Built along the shore, she testifies by her vast proportions and her decoration to the richness to the local community. The ruins of many other synagogs in addition attest importance and the prosperity of the Jewish diaspora in Rome.
Synagogs of the Middle Ages
With the Middle Ages, the most important part of the Jewish community is installed in Babylonia, then in North Africa and Egypt. The Jewish community remained in Ground of Israel is strongly reduced, and subjected to multiple vicissitudes, the Palestine being occupied in turn by Byzance, the Arabs then the Croisés, then again the Arabs. The communities rabbanites and Karaïtes lose a great number of faithful following the massacres of the First crusade, during which the Jews are gathered in the large synagog of Jerusalem and burned alives. In 1267 the synagog of Ramban is founded, in an older building where one can still see paléo-Hebraic inscriptions and Romance vaults. Around it reconstituted the Jewish settlement of Jerusalem, which had been destroyed at the time of the catch of Jerusalem by the Croisés. The kenessa buried remains also an annual place of pilgrimage of the karaïtes with Souccot.
In Egypt, the Synagog Ben Ezra of Cairo, which shelters the Gueniza of Cairo, would have been set up in 1115 by Abraham Ben Ezra of Jerusalem.
In Europe, the synagogs are in general less monumental, but they become more and more the center of the Jewish life: in addition to the rooms of prayer and study, one often finds there a Mikvé, a furnace for the unleavened breads and of the rooms for the travellers.
En France, the first mention historical of a synagog is made by Gregoire de Tours at the time of its destruction with Clermont-Ferrand into 576. With Rouen, some recognize a synagog in a building found under the law courts, and there remains a house which was used as synagog in XIIIe century with Rouffach, in Alsace, which did not form yet part of the kingdom of France.Quelques large synagogs reflect the rise of certain communities. There remain nothing the synagogs of brilliant medieval communities of Troyes or Paris. Worms in Germany a long time sheltered the oldest synagog of Europe. Its construction in Romance style date of XIe century. Rachi studied there, and she survived the massacres and destruction of the First Crusade, to be completely destroyed by the Nazis in 1938. Also the oldest synagog still in service in Europe is the Synagog Old woman-News of Prague, of style Gothique, which goes back to 1270.
La current synagog of Cavaillon is built on the spot where the synagog was located at XVe century. It is indeed of this time that date the rise of the Jewish communities of the Comtat Venaissin which was used as refuge to the Jews expelled definitively of the kingdom of France in 1394.
The Spanish synagogs built during the Reconquête are they also built by rich communities. They were however transformed into churches after the expulsion of the Jews of Spain. One of them, in Tolède, became the house of the Greco. The other synagogs of Tolède (Synagog Santa Maria Blanca and Synagog El Transito) are nowadays museums. The church Santa Maria Blanca of Seville is also an old synagog. Barcelona passes to shelter in the district of Cal the oldest synagog of Europe but this is not at all formally established
the oldest synagog sépharade still in activity, built in XIVe century, is located in Croatia, with Dubrovnik.
Expulsion of the Jews of Spain to the revolutions American and French
Synagogs of the world Séfarade
The expulsion of the Jews of Spain in 1492 throws on the roads and the European sea routes of tens of thousands of Jews, which essaiment in the Mediterranean basin and in Asia Mineure. Those which remained in Spain at the price of conversion to Christianity, are expelled or emigrate in the two centuries which follow, in England, in the south of France, particularly Bordeaux, in Flandres like in the Netherlands, and from there towards the Amsterdam News, which will become New York.
Synagogs of the Ottoman Empire
It is the Ottoman Empire which is shown more laid out to accommodate the driven out Jews of Spain, scoffing even the king Ferdinand II to have driven out them.
The Jews choose initially big cities such Salonique, Istanbul or Smyrna. When in 1516, Palestine becomes Othoman, it occurs a migratory flux towards Safed, in Galileo. Are established there considered rabbis, like Isaac Louria, Isaac Aboab or Joseph Caro, the author of the Choulhan Aroukh, which inaugurates or in the honor of which synagogs are built, like the Caro synagog, the Aboab synagog, known to shelter oldest Sefer Torah today of use, or the synagog synagog Ashkenazi ha' Ari. These synagogs were often rebuilt following fires or tremors of terre.
À Jerusalem, various communities séfarades establish 4 synagogs joint from/to each other starting from XVIe century: the synagog Eliyahou Hanavi which was used rather as place of study, the synagog Yohanan Ben Zakkaï at the XVIIe century, the Istanbul synagog at the XVIIIe century and the synagog Emtsa' I in the middle of these 3 synagogs. They all were restored in 1835 per authorization of the viceroy of Egypt Méhémet Ali, then regent of the Palestine, under the formal authority of the Othoman sultan.
Naples was the first land of welcome of Don Isaac Abravanel, which had been the adviser and financier of kings d' Espagne. Italy of XVIe century was not unified: the Spaniards dominated Sicily, Naples and Sardinia, from which they expelled the Jews in 1492. In the remainder of Italy, the Spanish influence is felt by the restriction of the right of residence of the Jews and the creation of the Ghetto S, of which the first was the Ghetto of Venice, established in 1516. The Abravanel family establishes there Scuola Levantina in 1538 and Scuola Spagnola.
Dans the ghetto of Rome, the lack of place combined with the diversity of the schools of interpretation gave place to the delle Piazza Cinque Scuole , a building which sheltered five synagogs or rather five oratories of various traditions.
Synagogs of the the Maghreb
The Maghreb, and in particular the Morocco, were an easy destination for the Jews of Spain, the more so as of the family, had installed much there at the time of a persecution or a preceding expulsion. The Jews of Spain were thus established downtown several of Morocco, with Tétouan as with Fès. Y was set up at the XVIIe century the synagog Aben Danan, restored in 1999.
Dutch synagogsThe United Provinces having hard gained their independence of Spain at the beginning of the XVIIe century, they were hostile both in Spain and with Catholicism. They thus appeared as as many grounds of asylums for many “Portuguese” who took part in the rise of Amsterdam and were rather quickly recognized almost citizens of full-right. The community thrived in particular by the trade and felt enough assured to make build well a synagog which can contain 2000 faithful by Elias Bouman, in sight along a channel. The Portuguese Synagog or Esnoga in Ladino was inaugurated in the presence of the local authorities in 1675. It was used as model with many others, in particular by its decoration of Dutch glosses.
The Jews of Holland, and in particular Manasse Ben Israel, having militated for the return of the Jews in England, the Dutch style is found there in the synagogs. The synagog Bevis Marks with London, known also under name of “Spanish Synagog and Portuguese” was inaugurated in 1701 and is today the oldest English synagog in service. Built by the Quaker Joseph Opinion, it is also inspired by the puritan churches of the time.
First American synagogsAmerica being almost entirely occupied by Spain, Portugal, France and England, all powers which prohibited the access of their territory to the Jews in this end of XVIIe century, the Jews were established in the small possessions Dutchwomen.
Kahal Zur Israel (the rock of Israel), with Recife, Brazil, was the first synagog set up in Americas, in 1630 when Recife was Dutch possession. His foundations were recently discovered. It had been built by Portuguese Jews passed by Holland. In 1654, the Portuguese take the control of Recife and expel of them the Jews which set out again towards North America and the New Amsterdam, called later New York. A new synagog was built at the same place in the years 1990.
The oldest American synagog continuously in service is thus in the small island Dutchwoman of Curaçao to the the Antilles. It seems well that a first synagog, Mikve Israel-Emanuel, existed there as of before 1654. The current building with Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, goes back to 1732 and was inspired by Esnoga. In the British possessions, the situation of the Jews varies according to the colonies. It is with Newport in the island of Rhode Island, that the Jews are established since 1654, and current the synagog known as synagog Touro, of the name of its founder and first Hazzan, a Portuguese Jew, is built in the style néo-palladien, sails about it in the American colonies at that time. Inaugurated in 1763, it is the only synagog still in service with the the United States dating from the colonial period.
Synagogs of the south of France
The Jews were expelled of France in 1394, and those which remained there with XVIIe and XVIIIe centuries, the majority fleeing the Spain or the Portugal, became, at least nominally, Christians. They are established with the Pays Basque with Bayonne or in small boroughs such the Country house-Clairence (where one can still see the Jewish cemetery), Peyrehorade or Bidache, but also with Bordeaux. In order not to run up against the authorities, the offices take place in discrete oratoires.
It is paradoxically in the States of the Pope, the Comtat-Venaissin, that the Jews are officially accepted in the Carrières (Ghetto S in Provence) of Avignon, of Carpentras and Cavaillon. A relative prosperity enables them at the XVIIIe century to raise worked enough synagogs of modest size but however, of italianizing style, as one notices it with the ironwork. The synagog of Carpentras is today the oldest synagog of France always in service.
Synagogs of the world AshkénazeThe massacres related to the Crusades, temporary expulsions then final of England, of France and certain German territories involved a migration of the Western Jews towards the Central Europe Slavic and more particularly Polish. The dukes such Boleslas III in XIIe century then the kings of Poland such Casimir III Large the in XIVe century generally supported the reception of the Jews until XVIe century. Those were established as well at the city as in the campaigns where they became majority in certain villages called Shtetl. That contributed to the appearance of 2 types of synagogs, the synagogs of stone, downtown and those of wood, in the countryside.
Synagogs of Poland and Eastern EuropeIt is not possible to summarize in some lines the history of several thousands of synagogs built of the Middle Ages to the Shoah whose testimonys have almost all disappeared in the fires due to the Nazis, in the destruction of the Second world war and in their abandonment due to the disappearance of the Jews of these areas. The Wikipédia project relating to the synagogs of Poland counts 1400 synagogs.
- the wood synagogs take again the architecture of the shtetl where the houses themselves are out of wood. Oldest dated from the XVIIe century and were characterized by an interior decoration which could be plentiful. The Synagog of Gabin in Poland (1710), was remarkable by its low-reliefs, that of Khodoriv in Ukraine ( Chodorov in Polish) close to Lvov (dating from the same time) was decorated of one ceiling to decoration floral and animal luxuriant paints by Israel Lisnicki whose reconstitution is visible with the Museum of the Diaspora with Tel-Aviv. The Museum of art and history of the Judaism in Paris presents some remarkable models of these synagogs out of wooden, of which that of Wolpa in Bielorussia, going back to 1643.
- the stone synagogs are a little more numerous to have crossed the wars and the shoah. Their plan often takes again that of the churches of the same times, with one, two or three naves. One of oldest is the Stara synagog of Kazimierz, the old Jewish district of Cracow. Built in XVe century, it was renovated in XVIe by Mateo Gucci, architect Italian. Of style Renaissance it consists of two naves and the bimah is located in the middle of the room between the two central pillars. Plundered and devastated during the second world war, renovated during the Years 1950, it is a museum today. The Synagog Remuh which goes back to 1558 is only still in service in Cracow. It has one only nave and there still the bimah is central.
Among the stone synagogs, one can also note the original strengthened synagogs. The Synagog of Lesko in Galicie and that of Pinsk date from the XVIIe century. Most remarkable is that of Lutzk of which it is known as that it was strengthened by permission of the king de Pologne Sigismond III and whose roof would have been equipped with guns. This new “architectural style” is probably due to the increasing insecurity for the Jews in Poland at the beginning of the XVIIe century which culminates with the massacres caused by the invasion of the Cosaques carried out by the hetman Bohdan Chmielnicki.
The synagogs ashkénazes of ItalyIt is in Italy that the interior decoration of the synagogs ashkénazes will reach an unequalled level. There still, the style of the area is found in the synagogs which borrow from it much from the Baroque. The synagog of Casale Monferrato was built in 1595, Scuola Granda Tedesca of Venice (near to Scuola Grande Spagnola in the ghetto) date of 1628. The bimot (plural Hebraic of bimah ) there take the aspect of Baldaquin S.
The synagogs ashkénazes of HollandOnce again, it is Holland which will be the best refuge of the expelled Jews or fleeing the massacres. Those leaving Poland and the exactions of Bohdan Chmielnicki will be quickly more numerous there than the séfarades. Amsterdam becomes for a time the Jewish capital of the Occident. Before even the Portuguese synagog, the synagog ashkénaze or Large Synagog ( Grote Synagoge ) is built in 1670-1671 by the architect Daniel Stalpaert, one of the originator of the royal palace. It is joint Portuguese Synagog and to the XVII and XVIIIe centuries three other synagogs ashkénazes are built in the same district. All these synagogs form today the Jewish museum of Amsterdam, the Jewish community Dutchwoman having been exterminated during Shoah.
Synagogs in the German statesThe situation of the Jews in Germany varies from one state to another but in general, the Jewish communities develop as with Berlin or Frankfurt. The first synagog of Berlin located Heidereutergasse (destroyed in 1945) is inaugurated on January 1st, 1714 in the presence of the Sophie-Dorothée queen. The king Frederic-Guillaume Ier of Prussia the visit in 1718. It hardly remains of traces of the German synagogs of XVIIe and XVIIIe centuries, the Nazisme having undertaken their systematic destruction, amplified by the war. There remains however the synagog of That (Lower Saxony) which goes back to 1740 and that of (Hesse) going back to 1791, as well as the room (going back to 1735) of the rural synagog of Horb on the Hand, decorated the made-to-order of Khodoriv to the Museum of Israel to Jerusalem.
The Jewish district of Josefov to Prague, under the domination of the Habsbourg since XVIe century shelters synagogs of all the times like the synagog Old woman-News already mentioned but also the synagogs Pinkas (XVIe century) and Klaus (XVIIe century). It is still of small buildings, today part of the Jewish Musée of Prague.
The synagogs ashkénazes of Othoman PalestineA history of the synagogs would be incomplete without the mention of the synagog ashkenaze Hurva in Jerusalem, then in the Ottoman Empire. The beginning of its construction goes back to 1700 but it burned still unfinished in 1721.
The synagog Abraham Avinou (“our Abraham father” in French) was built in 1540 by the rabbi Malkiel Ashkenazi not far from Jerusalem, with Hebron, where Abraham according to the traditions is buried Jewish and Moslem. It was the center of the Jewish district of Hebron until its destruction after the anti-Jewish riots of 1929. It was rebuilt at the same place in 1976.
The synagogs ashkénazes of FranceThe Jews of France were expelled of the kingdom in 1394. When France annexes the Provence at the end of XVe century, Louis XII expels the Jews of them as of 1501. But, one century and half later, when France annexes the Alsace and formally the Three bishoprices in 1648, neither the Jews of Metz nor those of Alsace are expelled and Louis XIV visit the synagog of Metz in 1657.
France, contrary to Holland or England, at that time does not grant the freedom of conscience and the Jews preserve in Alsace their personal status. Until the French revolution, they do not have the right to reside at Strasbourg and discreetly practice their worship in small synagogs which become comparatively numerous at the XVIIIe century. This discretion is illustrated by the existence, with Traenheim (the Low-Rhine), of a synagog dissimulated in an attic, going back to 1723.
In 1766 Lorraine, which counts important Jewish communities with Lunéville and Nancy, becomes French with dead of Stanislas Leszczyński. In parallel, the ideas resulting from the Lumières progress and in 1787 Louis XVI publishes the Édit of tolerance in favor of the Protestants. In the same way, the Jews start to be considered better by the government and that results in the authorization of construction of new synagogs into Lorraine with Phalsbourg in 1772, with Lunéville in 1786 then with Nancy in 1788 and Alsace with Mutzig in 1787 then with Pfaffenhoffen in 1791. In the four cases, these synagogs are still very discrete. With Lunéville, it is dissimulated behind a house and does not carry any distinctive sign. With Pfaffenhoffen, only the date of construction written in Hebrew on the lintel of the door can evoke a synagog.
Revolutionary period with the ShoahThe philosophy of the Lumières changes the glance of the Gentils on the Jews. The concepts of freedom of conscience and equal rights are at least partly put in practice at the the United States and in France. The revolutionary armies then imperial will propagate these ideas in a good part of Europe, particularly while making fall the walls from the Ghetto as in Italy.
At the Jews, the philosophy of the Lights gives rise to the Haskala which will change the glance that Jews or at least those which do not adhere to a strict orthodoxy have on themselves. This double change of the perception of the Jews in the company will not miss influencing the architecture of the synagogs.
If the Jews are now equal in right to the other citizens, they can build temples as large as the Christian churches. Largest of Europe is built with Budapest of 1854 to 1859. And if the freedom of conscience becomes the rule, there is no more reason to dissimulate the synagogs, on the contrary one can clearly post their raison d'être by quite visible Jewish symbols like, the quotation Tables of the Law of the bible in Hebrew or vernacular language, the star of David or the Menorah.
The Haskalah and the reform of the Judaism born in Germany change the design which the Jews have their synagogs. Those become even temples, word always used in synonym of synagogs. That has strong architectural consequences of course: the synagogs can resemble churches as well outside as internally. They are of Romance style like the Victoire (1874) in Paris, of Gothic style as to Savannah (Georgia) (1878), of Byzantine style as to Neuilly on the Seine (1878) (before the extension of the synagog in the years 1930), of Moorish style as to Turin or to even evoke a Greek or Roman temple like the synagog the Temple (1875) with Atlanta.
If the Gothic is not very current probably because too much typical the style of the churches, it is curious to note that Eastern styles, that it is the style hispano-Moorish or the Byzantine style are represented. Several explanations are possible: simplest is that the Jews are seen like the Eastern ones by the architects often not-Jews of the synagogs. But as one can think as the style hispano-Moorish is attached to Spain where Jewish, Christian and Moslem would have lived in good intelligence. As for the Byzantine style, it is already used in many churches and mosques, it must thus be able to be appropriate for the synagogs. Dominique Jarassé (see bibliography) also speaks about a responsum of the rabbi Ezéchiel Landau at the XVIIIe century recommending this style.
The interior of the synagogs changes also considerably at the XIXe century. The Bimah is generally located at the end of the nave so that the officiant can face the faithful ones, instead of being in the center as in the orthodoxe synagogs. There can be often an organ and even a chorus, two provisions nonin conformity with the Halakha.
Lastly, the geographical presence of the synagogs gradually will change. They will leave the old ghettos to follow the Jews in their social migration towards more middle-class districts and they also will be spread in the accessible countries with the Jews, in Germany, in Western Europe and in the United States.
FranceThis period which goes from the Révolution to the war of 1914 gives place in France to the golden age of the synagogs, like wrote Dominique Jarassé (see bibliography). The Jews will leave their traditional places of residence (the Comtat-Venaissin, Alsatian or Lorraine campaigns, Bordeaux and Bayonne) for moreover big cities of which Paris. Their social rise will be also marked by the construction of more beautiful and larger synagogs.
The construction of the synagogs is generally under the control of work of the Consistoires, subsidized by the public authorities (the Church will be separated from the State only in 1905), and helped by rich person patrons the such Rothschild or Furtado-Heine or Daniel Osiris.
Work is considerable. Dominique Jarassé indicates (see bibliography):
70 synagogs were built out the Alsace-Lorraine of 1791 to 1914, from which 22 are disappeared today;
176 synagogs were built in Alsace-Lorraine of 1791 to 1914, from which 91 is disparues.
today Among the remarkable achievements, one will quote the synagog of Lyon in 1864 by Abraham Hirsch, always hidden behind a building and that of Marseilles the same year by Nathan Solomon inspired by Notre-Dame de Nazareth, Holy Spirit district]] It is since 1793 and in spite of the hostility of the revolutionary capacity to the worships that the Jews of the Comtat-Venaissin take advantage of their very new condition of full citizens, emigrate in particular towards Nimes and still build a synagog very modest there (the current frontage goes back to 1893).
It is necessary to still wait nearly 20 years to see to rise a new synagog in France with Bordeaux. It is built in 1812 in the Jewish district for these Portuguese, This one includes/understands in the beginning a room of prayer ashkénaze and another séfarade.
It is starting from the Second Empire that the Jewish community takes its rise in Paris and that the synagogs multiply. Some will be monumental the such Victoire but they are seldom quite visible: the empress Eugenie opposes to give a frontage on an important street or a place the synagogs of the Victoire and of the Small towers.
Two of the most interesting synagogs from an architectural point of view are built at the beginning of the XXe century: it is about the synagog of the street Pavée of style Art nouveau whose architect is Hector Guimard and of the synagog of the street Chasseloup-Laubat to the wood frame, whose architect is Lucien Bechmann.
The first synagog of suburbs is inaugurated in 1878 with Neuilly-sur-Seine. It will be followed of that of Versailles, on the pediment of which stone is openly deployed a sefer Torah. It is also necessary to announce the synagog of Boulogne on the Seine built on the ground of a property of the Famille Rothschild by Emmanuel Pontremoli.
Alsace and LorraineMore half of the Jewish population of France lives in Alsace (from 20 to 25000 people according to the census of 1784) and in Lorraine at the end of the XVIIIe century. This population is mainly rural since in Alsace the cities were prohibited to the Jews until the Revolution. This situation is single in Western Europe. In some villages, the Jews form a group as many as the catholics or the Protestants and they will wish to have a synagog comparable with the églises.
The other factor release of the construction of the synagogs is a law voted under Louis-Philippe in 1831 deciding that the ministers of religion Jew will be paid by the State like the catholic priests or the Protestant pastors. The Jewish communities do not have to maintain their rabbis any more and can thus invest in the synagogs.
For example, since 1836 is built with Struth, village of the the Low-Rhine whose Jewish population will never exceed 168 people, a small synagog. The boroughs and the cities build larger buildings, often out of pink sandstone of the Vosges as to Sélestat, with very Germanic bulbs as with Saverne or Wolfisheim built in 1890 and this effort will continue under the German domination of 1871 to 1918. More the good example is given by it by the synagog of style Romance of Strasbourg built in 1898 quai Kléber and burned in November 1940 by the German occupant.
These are thus 176 synagogs which are built in Alsace and Lorraine of 1791 to 1914. Only half of them remains nowadays.
ItalyItaly has a small Jewish community. And yet, nowhere elsewhere cannot one better include/understand what the emancipation for the Jews meant there. If the Italian synagogs former to XVIIIe are among most remarkable for their interior decoration, they are also among most discrete outside. That it is with Venice, to Ferrare or Urbino, the passer by can work along a synagog without suspecting of it the existence with less than one attentive examination.
The equal rights for the Jews are proclaimed in the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in 1848 and in Rome in 1870. Consequently will rise in Italy some of the most notable synagogs of Europe. The synagog of Rome visited in 1986 by the pope Jean-Paul II, date of the beginning XXe century and its height just like its original cupola with square base make it locate by far among the roofs romains.
The synagog of Florence completed in 1882 also dominates the roofs florentins. The noblest materials like the marble, travertine and copper were used for the construction of this building of Byzantine inspiration.
With Turin, which was the capital of the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, the Jewish community decided into 1862 to raise a synagog. The architect chosen, Alessandro Antonelli, taken ambition wanted to build the most building of masonry in the world. He what is called completed today the Mole Antonelliana, emblematic building of Turin, high of 47 meters and represented today on the Italian part of 2 centimes euro. Meanwhile, the Jewish community, for financial reasons or from a late modesty, had withdrawn itself from the project. It was satisfied with another synagog built by Enrico Petiti in 1884 whose bulbs dominate the district.
Germany and the Empire Austro-HungarianThere remain often nothing the hundreds of German synagogs built at the XIXe century. One can however visit virtual synagogs while referring to the site of the University of Darmstadt.
Germany is the country of the Haskalah and it is in this country that the architecture of the synagogs was initially marked by it. It is probably there that some of the most remarkable synagogs had been built.
Today, one can still see part of the Nouvelle synagog of Berlin where one recognizes the Germanic bulbs already quoted in Alsace. It was inaugurated in 1866 in the presence of Bismarck and could contain 3000 people. Having suffered damage lasting the Night of crystal then a bombardment at the time of the Second world war, it was mainly shaven by the East-German authorities in 1958. There remains the frontage about it on the street Oranienburg and the cupola covered with gold sheets. It is nowadays a community center juif.
The largest synagog of Germany, located Rykestrasse at Berlin, as for it reopened in September 2007. Of Romance style, it had been inaugurated in 1904 and had escaped with the fire during the Nuit of crystal because it was too overlapping in surrounding urban fabric.
The synagog of Essen going back to 1913 it was rebuilt starting from its ruins and is a center of conferences today.
The Austria-Hungary made extraordinary great strides of its Jewish community during the reign of the emperor François-Joseph. Many personalities, such Sigmund Freud, Stefan Zweig or Franz Kafka of it result, without omitting Theodor Herzl whose coffin, before its transfer in Israel in 1949, was exposed in the large synagog of Vienna. This one, only witness of the Jewish community of Vienna, was built in 1826 with the proviso of not being seen street.
Warsaw, Cracow, Łódź or Vilnius (that some had called the Jerusalem of the Baltique), Prague presents the largest collection of Jewish monuments remaining in Europe. They are for the majority in the central district of Josefov. With the Jewish cemetery and the Jewish town hall whose needles of the clock turn to back, one can see still there the greatest concentration of synagogs of Europe. In addition to the synagogs Old woman-News, Pinkas and Klaus, Prague also the Spanish Synagog counts and the Synagog Maisel.
The Spanish Synagog attended forever by Jews from Spain. It owes its name only with architecture and interior decoration hispano-Moorishes inspired of the synagogs of Tolède, chosen by the architects Ullmann, Baum and Munzberg in the years 1890. As for the Synagog Maisel, it was built in Gothic style at the end of the XIXe century starting from the remainders of the synagog rested by the mayor and benefactor of the Jewish district during the Rebirth, Mordechai Maisel. These 2 last synagogs form today part of the Jewish Musée of Prague and are not used any more for religious services.
In the district of Nové Město, in the street Jeruzalemska, the largest synagog of Prague is, the extravagant synagog of the Jubilee to the interior and external decorations polychrome. It was built in 1906 by the architects Wilhelm Stiassny and Frantisek Fröhlich and its style is a mixture of Art nouveau and Moorish style. This liberal synagog where one can always witness services would owe its name with the jubilee of the emperor François-Joseph, testimony of the will of assimilation of the Jewish community praguoise at the beginning of the XXe century.
Large synagog of Budapest, street Dohany, is more richly decorated and largest with Europe. It can accommodate 3000 faithful. It was built of 1854 to 1859 in this style hispano-Moorish very in vogue for the synagogs of this time. It has its place in the Jewish history for two reasons: Theodor Herzl was born in a joint house from the synagog in 1860, as a plate attests it on the wall of the synagog; in 1944, the synagog was transformed by the Nazis into a camp of internment where Adolf Eichmann had, in the gallery of the women, one of its offices of administrator of the Final solution. The district around was used then as ghetto.
In this same district, street Rumbach and street Kazinczy, one finds other synagogs whose restoration is in hand. That of the street Rumbach drawn by Otto Wagner offers one interesting metal structure. As for the synagog of the district Óbuda, remarkable building with the traditional style of 1821, it is a studio of television today.
Synagogs of North AfricaThe Jews always lived the various areas of North Africa well before the Arabs do not make the conquest of it, as testify to it the writings to Augustin or the history of the Kahena. They obviously requested in synagogs. However, their statute of Dhimmi S prohibited to them to build buildings so much is not very important. The situation changes when the European powers start to dominate the the Maghreb at the XIXe century. The work of the Alliance Universal Jew on the one hand and on the other hand the Décret Crémieux in Algeria allows to the Jews these countries to acquire a new social status. The tradition wants that the oldest synagog of the world dating from the exile according to the destruction of the first Temple is the Ghriba in the island of Jerba where some other synagogs are still found. In any event, Ghriba is attested since at least XVIe century but the current building dates only from the XIXe century. Other synagogs remain in Tunisia; that of Zarzis, built at the beginning of the XXe century, has been destroyed by a riot in 1980 but for summer rebuilt with the identical one; that of Tunis as for it was inaugurated right before the second world war.
In Algeria, the Jews become French citizens in 1870 from the Crémieux decree. The Algerian Consistory created by the French government had already taken charges the administration with it with the Algerian Judaism all while running up against the owners with the small synagogs or oratories existing since good before the French conquest. A score of synagogs are built of 1845 to 1905. If the synagog from the Randon market in Algiers built in 1865 were inspired by the style of the mosques, that of Oran inaugurated in 1918 after 38 years of work or those of Constantine or Mostaganem (1857), are in the monumental tradition of the synagogs consistoriales of metropolis.
If the synagogs of Tunisia are still opened with the worship nowadays, those of Algeria are for certain transforms in mosques. That of Mostaganem was a joinery in 2004.
In Egypt, with the Cairo and Alexandria, the synagogs are also numerous. One will be able to quote in Cairo the synagog, always opened, of the Doors of the Sky (Chaar Hachamaïm or in Hebrew שעראשמים ). Inaugurated in 1899 its style is, according to Sir Ronald Storrs, “Pharaonic”.
Synagogs in Othoman Palestine then agentThe Palestine remains managed by the Ottoman Empire until 1917 when it passes under the control of the British who receive in 1920 mandate to manage it on behalf of the Société of the Nations. The Jews lay out to with it for a long time as one saw synagogs with Jerusalem, Safed, Hebron and Tibériade. In 1872, Hassidim helped by the emperor François-Joseph of Austria inaugurate the new synagog Tiferet Israel which will rise above the roofs of the old city to the war of independence of Israel in 1948, where it will be destroyed. The Jews started to emigrate of Europe towards Palestine in the years 1880 as of before the formalization of the movement Zionist by Theodor Herzl. In general, they were hardly monk and to build synagogs was not their first concern. It is thus in the villages managed and financed by Edmond de Rothschild, from which the ideas were very different from those of the other “Zionists” like Leon Pinsker, that are high in 1885 with Rishon LeZion and in 1886 with Zihron Yaakov the first synagogs of new the Yichouv .
Modern urban synagogs appear only with the first new cities or Jewish districts. In Gedera the first synagog, orthodoxe, is built in 1912, the large synagog of Tel-Aviv, Byzantine style in 1926 and the Yechouroun synagog of Jerusalem in 1936 pennies the impulse of the rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook.
Synagogs in the United StatesThe Judaism meets an exceptionally favorable situation there. The freedom of conscience is proclaimed there and effective. The Church or rather the Churches is separated there from the state. Christianity is dominating but divided into as well obediences as the Judaism represents there a religious group which will be at the XXe comparable century, of many faithful, with many others.
However, the development of transport on the one hand but especially the evolution of the situation in Eastern Europe and particularly in the Russian empire where the Pogroms are current, will support a strong Jewish emigration of Europe towards the United States. The synagogs thus will become increasingly numerous there, as the Jews disperse in all the country.
In the United States, the grounds are inexpensive and the Jews are not any more afraid to run up against the sensitivity of their neighbors while building too large. Moreover, the Judaism reformed there meets a great success. All that will support the construction of large synagogs often similar to churches. The Gothic style too associated in Europe with that of the churches will be used more there as in Anshe Chesed in New York (going back to 1849) or with Savannah (1878). One sees synagogs being transformed into churches as in the 6th street Is of New York when the Jews emigrate towards other districts and conversely the Jewish community to repurchase churches as in the case of the Bialystoker synagog which occupies an old church methodist going back to 1826. Many synagogs will be also built in neo-classic style like the Temple with Atlanta with the imitation of the capital Washington or, as in Europe, in Byzantine style, like the synagog of Wilshire Boulevard to Los Angeles.
If the orthodoxe synagogs are generally small, some synagogs are more monumental, the such Exchange Synagog in New York (1872), certified copy of the Large Synagog of Budapest or especially reformed the Emanu-El Temple, work of Robert D. Kohn going back to 1929. It was to recently the largest synagog of the world.
With Washington, the Historical Synagog Sixth & I of the community Adas Israel are high of 1906 to 1908 in style néo-Byzantine. It will have an animated life, becoming a church in the years 1950 to become again a synagog at the beginning of XXIe century and to receive the visit of the president Bush.
Synagogs during the ShoahThe purpose of the Nazism was not only to eliminate the Jews but also their culture. Since 1933 the first auto-da-fe in Germany was organized. The pogrom of the night from November 9th to 10th 1938 called by the Nazis Nuit of crystal is the obvious result. Heydrich, leader S, dated November 11th, 1938 quotes the assessment of 267 synagogs destroyed in a letter with Göring. More than one thousand of others are plundered.
During the war, thousands of synagogs disappear in the flames lit by the Nazis or the bombardments in Germany, in Poland, in the USSR and in good of other countries. One can quote the example of the synagog of Gabin: September 21st, 1939, day of Yom Kippour, shortly after the beginning of the invasion of Poland by the troops Nazis, the Germans accompanied by the local fascists, put fire at the synagog and the talmudic school. An artistic, pertaining to worship and cultural treasure which had survived more than 230 years burns in a few minutes. All the Jewish population of Gabin is then gathered on the place of the “New Market” and when the houses close to the synagog ignite in their turn, the Germans force the Jews to penetrate there to save the goods which are there, while the troops hilarious Nazis take photographs. Several people perish in the flames. Whole cities or Jewish districts disappear as with Salonique or Odessa. The company Nazi of destruction is often completed after the war by the abandonment of the rare still existing synagogs, those not having more the faithful ones.
That which wants to know the Polish synagogs can refer to the Wikipédia project inventorying the disappeared or given up Polish synagogs.
In France, the destroyed or very damaged synagogs are especially located in Alsace and Lorraine, of which the burnt synagog of Strasbourg in September 1940 and those of Bischwiller, Épinal, Guebwiller, Saint-Dié, Sarreguemines, Saverne, Thionville and Wissembourg. Others are plundered as with Ingwiller or Mulhouse. But many others are lost like synagogs following the disappearance of the rural communities. Many synagogs, from which the faithful ones disappeared during Shoah, are transformed thereafter into museums or arts centres, as that was often the case in Germany.
The synagogs of Prague were saved partly by the will of the Nazis themselves which in 1942 founded the central Jewish Museum in order to gather there all the objets d'art and the literature resulting from all the Jewish communities and synagogs in Czech country.
The the United Kingdom does not undergo the German invasion but its synagogs pay a heavy tribute with the German bombardments. The synagog of New Cross Road is destroyed by a bombardment on December 27th, 1940 and the Central Synagog of London on May 11th, 1941.
The contemporary timeThe contemporary time is still marked by some major events which do not fail to affect the distribution or the style of the synagogs. As of after the war, where there are still Jews, the rebuilding proves to be necessary. If those for the majority disappeared, as in Central and Eastern Europe, it took time so that a memory work is organized and of realization of museums.
In parallel, the rebirth of the State of Israel, immigration coming from the countries where the Jews cannot any more live without discrimination like the Central and Eastern Europe, old the the USSR or the Arab countries, involves the return in mass of the synagogs in the country where they were most numerous 2000 years ago.
The exile of the Jews of the Arab countries towards Israel but also towards France or America reveals or to transform synagogs where sometimes it there of forever have, whereas others, bimillenaries, disappear. The most recent phenomenon is the reappearance of a terrorism anti-semite which does not fail to influence the style of the synagogs for which one must again provide protections and discretion.
For all this period, the most stable Judaism is the American Judaism whose many modern synagogs testify to strength.
The rebuilding of the synagogsAn immense task awaits the Judaism after the war. Whole communities disappeared and often the rebuilding of the synagogs is not the priority so even it is possible. In France, a quarter of the Jewish community disappeared and its distribution changes. The rural communities of Alsace and Lorraine annexed by Reich, already declining before the war are particularly touched and seldom and to be maintained very go with difficulty. It is in the big cities that the Judaism continues to exist, in Paris or Strasbourg particularly. German repairs will provide the funds essential to the rebuilding. If the synagogs in spite of are very rebuilt a little everywhere in Alsace, they do not take again necessarily life in the small boroughs and some will be yielded to the municipalities as with Bergheim, formerly the seat of rabbinate in Alsace. One of these synagogs of countryside to the abandonment will be transformed later into museum, the judéo-Alsatian Museum of Bouxwiller, inaugurated in 1998.
It is thus in the big cities that the Jewish life reappears and this is why the celebration of the centenary of the synagog of Mulhouse in 1949 and especially the inauguration of the new synagog of Stasbourg on March 23rd, 1958 were the stage-keys of this rebuilding. The news Synagog of Peace of Strasbourg, noble building which can accommodate 1600 faithful, is the symbol of the rebirth of the Judaism. Its frontage is a star network of David, memory of the yellow star but also evocation of Israel whose new state took this symbol like flag. This feeling is reinforced by the Menorah with 6 branches which is drawn up on the southern frontage.
In England, it is the rebuilding of the Central Synagog which symbolizes this rebirth exactly the same day, on March 23rd, 1958.
Of Germany, in the absence of important Jewish community, the rebuilding especially consists in raising museums or centers of conferences. But little by little, with German prosperity, a significant community reconstitutes itself from the immigration of Jews of the Eastern European countries. This will bring to the restoration of synagogs like that of Rykkestrasse in Berlin in 2007. 500 years after the expulsion of the Jews of Spain, the king and the queen of Spain took part in it in a ceremony of the memory on March 31st, 1992.
In parallel, the synagogs of the Arab countries are given up and fall in ruins the such Synagog Maghen Abraham from Beirut or are transformed into mosques (like often in Algeria) or sometimes into arts centres. In Egypt, some synagogs still function, like in Morocco and in Tunisia where small Jewish communities were maintained.
Modern synagogs of the United StatesIn the United States, the Jewish communities call upon the best architects to build remarkable buildings. Thus Frank Lloyd Wright builds into 1955 what it calls a “the transparent Sinai” with the synagog of Elkins Park out of glass and aluminum.
In Livingston (New Jersey), Peter Blake builds the Emanuel temple whose form would evoke the tries assignment described in the bible. But Dominique Jarassé thinks of a Japanese temple!
Synagogs in IsraelMay 14th, 1948, the State of Israel becomes again independent for the first time since the transitory attempt of Bar Kochba into 135. For the first time for this time, the Jews have been able to raise synagogs in a Jewish state. That has consequences on the pace and the style of the synagogs, even if the first Zionists were often hardly monk. They are anxious to build universities and it is on the campus of the university of Jerusalem that in 1957 one of the most original synagogs of Israel is built: the synagog of Givat RAM, by Heinz Rau and David Reznik. The room of prayer is placed under a white concrete cupola resting on simple pillars.
In 1960, Marc Chagall flowering ash the synagog of the Hadassah hospital of Jerusalem of 12 stained glasses representing the tribes of Israel. The immigrants towards Palestine of before the second world war were often driven by an ideology Zionist not nun. After the war, the survivors of Shoah then the hundreds of thousands of Jews taken refuge of the Arab countries do not share necessarily the ideals Zionists. But they are often more monk and they will contribute to the construction of new synagogs in Israel.
The Large-Rabbinate of Israel, bench in Jerusalem, inaugurates the Large Synagog in 1982. The building wants to be to evoke the Temple such as it is described in the Bible.
The remarkable Cymbalista synagog raised by the Swiss Mario Botta on the campus of the university of Tel-Aviv, bears the name of the patron who made it build. Its resemblance to the cathedral of Évry, conceived by the same architect, is notable.
In 2000, the the synagog of Belz, today largest of the world, is inaugurated in Jerusalem. Its name evokes the Hassidim town of Belz in Ukraine. The room of prayer can accommodate up to 6000 faithful. It takes again many the functions of the traditional synagog with study halls, rooms for the Kiddouch and other receptions and of the rooms for the travellers.
Violence and terrorism against the synagogsIn 1958, the “Temple” of Atlanta is aimed by a bomb probably posed by sympathizers of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1980, it is in front of the synagog of the street Copernic in Paris that a bomb kills four passers by. The Synagog of Zarzis is destroyed the same year by a riot. In 1994, the community center of Buenos-Surfaces is aimed by a attack which makes 85 dead. April 11th, 2002, the synagog of Jerba is touched by an attack of Al-Qaida which kills a score of visitors. November 15th, 2003 with Istanbul, two synagogs are the target of a double murder which makes a score of deaths.
To protect itself, the Jewish communities have to resort to the methods of fortifications and discretion which mark the synagogs of many times. In Europe, rare are the synagogs which post their hours of religious services and no probably is opened with the public as can the being the churches. The safety fences or the concrete terminals and the surveillance cameras are usual just like the presence of police force at the time of the services gathering of many faithful.
- List of synagogs
- Other places of worship: Mosque ~ Temple ~ church
- Article “English Synagog” in Jewish Encyclopedia
Principal museums treating of the synagogs
- Museum of the Diaspora (Tel Aviv) (English)
- Museum of Art and History of the Judaism (Paris)
- judéo-Alsatian Museum of Bouxwiller (the Low-Rhine)
- Jewish Museum of Prague
- Jewish Museum of Amsterdam (English)
Bibliography, notes and references
- Jean Daltroff: " The road of the Judaism in Alsace" - Editor: I.D. Edition, collection Guides Discovered
- Dominique Jarassé: " The old one of gold of the synagogs" - Editor: Herscher
- Dominique Jarassé: " Synagogs" - Editor: Adam Biro
- collective Work under the direction of Freddy Raphaël: " The Judaism alsacien" - Editor: The Blue Cloud
- collective Work under the direction of Geoffrey Wogoder: " Encyclopedic dictionary of the judaïsme" - Editions of the Stag
- collective Work under the direction of Elie Barnavi: " Universal history of Juifs" - Hatchet
- Internet site of the Judaism of Alsace and Lorraine
Some Internet sites in English:
- Internet site of the Museum of the Diaspora in Tel-Aviv (Beit Hatefutsot) and more particularly the description of remarkable synagogs
- the article devoted to with the synagogs of the world in the " Jewish Virtual Library"
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