Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Friday 12th August 2022

The Women’s Section

sectionGlossary Term [1] (Ezrat Nashim) existed in synagogues before the Middle Ages but there was a "women's court" in the Jerusalem Temple. With the spread of enlightenment ideas in the 19th century more space was set aside for women in the synagogue and they became more visible.

sectionGlossary Term [2] may be either a screened-off area at the back of the main hall, an upstairs galleryGlossary Term [3] or even a separate room. Upstairs galleries are usually situated at the west end over the vestibule or on three sides facing the ArkGlossary Term [4]. The screenGlossary Term [5] (Mehitzah) may take the form of an open-work metal grille, wooden lattice or net curtain, the height and thickness of which is determined by the orthodoxy of the congregation. In more liberal congregations it may merely be a symbolic railGlossary Term [6] to the balcony.

galleryGlossary Term [7] which was used only by women well into the 20th century.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009