Looking at Buildings

Building Types


Courtyard & Vestibule

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Birmingham, Singers Hill Synagogue

The modern synagogue is often entered via a courtyard, which recalls the courtyard (Hatser) of both Mishkan and Temple. Inside is a vestibule, recalling the porch of the Temple, before entering the prayer hall itself. The vestibule frequently includes corner staircases to the galleryGlossary Term (see the Women's Section) and may contain washing facilities for ritual hand-washing of the Cohenim, descendents of the priests who ministered in the Jerusalem Temple and who play a special role in the synagogue service today.



A long room or passage; an upper storey above the aisles of a church, looking through arches to the nave; a balcony or mezzanine overlooking the main interior space of a building; or an external walkway.