Skip to content
Inside a synagogue

Inside a synagogue

A synagogue is a Jewish place of worship. The word synagogue comes from the Greek word for gathering together. A synagogue can be a meeting place, a house of learning, and a house of prayer, so how people behave depends on what's happening there.ย 

ย 

Exterior of the synagogue of Peace in France
Exterior of the synagogue of Peace in France

ย 


What is insideย a synagogue?

Prayer Hall or Prayer Room

The main prayers in the synagogue happen in the prayer hall or the prayer room. This room is usually rectangular and has seats.ย 

ย 

Interior of a Synagogue
Interior of a Synagogue

ย 


Bimah

The Hebrew word bimah means platform. The bimah is the platform in the center of the synagogue. It is often covered by a cloth. The Torah is read from this platform.ย 

ย 

ย 

The bimah in a synagogue
The bimah in a synagogue

ย 

The Ark

The ark is a cabinet that contains the Torah scrolls. The scrolls are only removed from the ark to be read during services and special occasions.ย 

ย 

Close-up of an ornate gilded ark in the Great Synagogue of Budapest
Close-up of an ornate gilded ark in the Great Synagogue of Budapest

ย 


Torah Scrolls

The Torah scrolls are the most sacred objects in Judaism. Each scroll contains the Five Books of Moses.ย 

ย 

Reading the Torah
Reading the Torah

ย 


Ner Tamid

The Ner Tamid is an eternal light which is often hung above the ark.ย 

ย 

A synagogue in New York
A synagogue in New York

ย 


The Amud

The amud is a lectern. The prayer book is placed on the amud and read from it.


Menorah

A menorah is a sacred candle with seven branches. The Hanukkah menorah has nine branches. One for each day of Hanukka and one to light the rest.

ย 

A menorah
A menorah


If you want to learn more about Jewish festivals including Hanukka, read our Jewish festivals blog.


Who is in the synagogue?

The congregation

The congregation in the synagogue are the people who have assembled there for religious worship.


Rabbi

The rabbi is the spiritual guide of the congregation. They deliver sermons.ย ย 


Cantor

The cantor is a member of the congregation who leads the prayers. This is considered an honour.ย 


Gabbaiย 

The gabbai keeps things organised and running smoothly in the synagogue.ย 



Find out more about Judaism with this free Judaism Word Bank and our collection of Jewish Religious Education schemes of work.ย 



Previous article Year 6 Word Problems
Next article Jewish festivals, holidays and celebrations

Related Posts

River Nile Fascinating Facts
River Nile Fascinating Facts
Find out some fascinating facts about one of the most famous rivers in the world with PlanBee's 'Facts about the River N
Read More
How to organise the perfect school sports day
How to organise the perfect school sports day
Aย sports day is the perfect way to wrap up the school year, and send both children and parents off on a positive note.ย S
Read More
Is Black History Month a tick box exercise?
Is Black History Month a tick box exercise?
Black History Month may be over, but does that mean we stop learning about black history? When will black history become
Read More

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields