A synagogue (pronounced /ˈsɪnəɡɒɡ/; from Greek συναγωγή, synagogē, 'assembly', Hebrew: בית כנסת bet kenesset, 'house of assembly' or בית תפילה bet tefila, "house of prayer", Yiddish: שול shul, Ladino: אסנוגה esnoga or קהל kahal), is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship.
Synagogues have a large place for prayer (the main sanctuary) and may also have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices. Some have a separate room for Torah study, called the בית מדרש beth midrash "house of study".
Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh (the entire Hebrew Bible, including the Torah) reading, study and assembly; however, a synagogue is not necessary for worship. Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. Worship can also be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.
Israelis use the Hebrew term beyt knesset "house of assembly". Ashkenazi Jews have traditionally used the Yiddish term shul (cognate with the German Schule, 'school') in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews generally use the term kal (from the Hebrew Ḳahal, meaning "community"). Spanish Jews call the synagogue a sinagoga and Portuguese Jews call it an esnoga. Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews also use the term kenesa, which is derived from Aramaic, and some Mizrahi Jews use kenis. Some Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Jews use the word "temple". The Greek word synagogue is used in English (German, French and most Romance languages) to cover the preceding possibilities.
Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, communal worship in the time while the Temple still stood centered around the korbanot ("sacrificial offerings") brought by the kohanim ("priests") in the Temple in Jerusalem. The all-day Yom Kippur service, in fact, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol ("the high priest") as he offered the day's sacrifices and prayed for his success.
During the Babylonian captivity (586–537 BCE) the men of the Great Assembly formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers. Prior to that people prayed as they saw fit, with each individual praying in his or her own way, and there were no standard prayers that were recited.
Johanan ben Zakai, one of the leaders at the end of the Second Temple era, promulgated the idea of creating individual houses of worship in whatever locale Jews found themselves. This contributed to the continuity of the Jewish people by maintaining a unique identity and a portable way of worship despite the destruction of the Temple, according to many historians.
Synagogues in the sense of purpose-built spaces for worship, or rooms originally constructed for some other purpose but reserved for formal, communal prayer, however, existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple. The earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of very early synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE prove that synagogues existed by that date. More than a dozen Jewish (and possibly Samaritan) Second Temple era synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel and other countries belonging to the Hellenistic world.
Any Jew or group of Jews can build a synagogue. Synagogues have been constructed by ancient Jewish kings, by wealthy patrons, as part of a wide range of human institutions including secular educational institutions, governments, and hotels, by the entire community of Jews living in a particular place, or by sub-groups of Jews arrayed according to occupation, ethnicity (i.e. the Sephardic, Polish or Persian Jews of a town), style of religious observance (i.e., a Reform or an Orthodox synagogue), or by the followers of a particular rabbi.
It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish–Roman War; however, others speculate that there had been places of prayer, apart from the Temple, during the Hellenistic period. The popularization of prayer over sacrifice during the years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE had prepared the Jews for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship.
Despite the possibility of synagogue-like spaces prior to the First Jewish–Roman War, the synagogue emerged as a stronghold for Jewish worship upon the destruction of the Temple. For Jews living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews worshipped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had previously served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple.
The Samaritan house of worship is also called a synagogue. During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora by Samaritans and Jews was the same: proseucheµ (literally, a place of prayer); a later, 3rd or 4th century CE inscription, uses a similar Greek term: eukteµrion (prayer house). The oldest Samaritan synagogue discovered so far is from Delos in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel and ancient Samaria in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the very end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine period.
The elements which distinguish Samaritan synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are:
Ancient Samaritan synagogues are mentioned by literary sources or have been found by archaeologists in the Diaspora, in the wider Holy Land, and specifically in Samaria.
During the first Christian centuries, Jewish-Christians used houses of worship known in academic literature as synagogue-churches. Scholars have claimed to have identified such houses of worship of the Jews who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah in Jerusalem and Nazareth.
There is no set blueprint for synagogues and the architectural shapes and interior designs of synagogues vary greatly. In fact, the influence from other local religious buildings can often be seen in synagogue arches, domes and towers.
Historically, synagogues were built in the prevailing architectural style of their time and place. Thus, the synagogue in Kaifeng, China looked very like Chinese temples of that region and era, with its outer wall and open garden in which several buildings were arranged. The styles of the earliest synagogues resembled the temples of other cults of the Eastern Roman Empire. The surviving synagogues of medieval Spain are embellished with mudéjar plasterwork. The surviving medieval synagogues in Budapest and Prague are typical Gothic structures.
With the emancipation of Jews in Western European countries, which not only enabled Jews to enter fields of enterprise from which they were formerly barred, but gave them the right to build synagogues without needing special permissions, synagogue architecture blossomed. Large Jewish communities wished to show not only their wealth but also their newly acquired status as citizens by constructing magnificent synagogues. These were built across Western Europe and in the United States in all of the historicist or revival styles then in fashion. Thus there were Neoclassical, Neo-Byzantine, Romanesque Revival, Moorish Revival, Gothic Revival, and Greek Revival. There are Egyptian Revival synagogues and even one Mayan Revival synagogue. In the 19th century and early 20th century heyday of historicist architecture, however, most historicist synagogues, even the most magnificent ones, did not attempt a pure style, or even any particular style, and are best described as eclectic.
In the post-war era, synagogue architecture abandoned historicist styles for modernism.
All synagogues contain a Bimah, a large, raised, reader's platform (called teḇah (reading dais) by Sephardim), where the Torah scroll is placed to be read. In Sephardi synagogues it is also used as the prayer leader's reading desk.
In Ashkenazi synagogues, the Torah was read on a reader's table located in the center of the room, while the leader of the prayer service, the hazzan, stood at his own lectern or table, facing the Ark. In Sephardic synagogues, the table for reading the Torah (reading dais) was commonly placed at the opposite side of the room from the Torah Ark, leaving the center of the floor empty for the use of a ceremonial procession carrying the Torah between the Ark and the reading table. Most contemporary synagogues feature a lectern for the rabbi.
The ark in a synagogue is almost always positioned in such a way such that those who face it are facing towards Jerusalem. Thus, sanctuary seating plans in the Western world generally face east, while those east of Israel face west. Sanctuaries in Israel face towards Jerusalem. Occasionally synagogues face other directions for structural reasons; in such cases, some individuals might turn to face Jerusalem when standing for prayers, but the congregation as a whole does not.
The Ark is reminiscent of the Ark of the Covenant, which held the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. This is the holiest spot in a synagogue, equivalent to the Holy of Holies. The Ark is often closed with an ornate curtain, the parochet פרוכת, which hangs outside or inside the ark doors.
Other traditional features include a continually lit lamp or lantern, usually electric in contemporary synagogues, called the ner tamid (נר תמיד), the "Eternal Light", used as a way to honor the Divine Presence.
A synagogue may be decorated with artwork, but in the Rabbinic and Orthodox tradition, three-dimensional sculptures and depictions of the human body are not allowed as these are considered akin to idolatry.
Originally, synagogues were made devoid of much furniture, the Jewish congregants in Spain, the Maghreb (North Africa), Babylonia, the Land of Israel and Yemen having a custom to sit upon the floor, which had been strewn with mats and cushions, rather than upon chairs or benches. In other European towns and cities, however, Jewish congregants would sit upon chairs and benches. Today, the custom has spread in all places to sit upon chairs and benches.
Until the 19th century, in an Ashkenazi synagogue, all seats most often faced the Torah Ark. In a Sephardic synagogue, seats were usually arranged around the perimeter of the sanctuary, but when the worshipers stood up to pray, everyone faced the Ark.
In ancient synagogues, a special chair placed on the wall facing Jerusalem and next to the Torah Shrine was reserved for the prominent members of the congregation and for important guests. This might be what Jesus referred to as the "seat of Moses" or "chair of Moses" (Matthew 23:2-3), or is mentioned as the "chief seats in the synagogues" elsewhere in the Gospels (Luke 11:43, 20:46; Matthew 23:6 etc.). Such a stone-carved and inscribed seat was discovered at archaeological excavations in the synagogue at Chorazin in Galilee and dates from the 4th–6th century; another one was discovered at the Delos Synagogue, complete with a footstool, reminiscent of James 2:1–6: "... you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool.”"
In Yemen, the Jewish custom was to take-off one's shoes immediately prior to entering the synagogue, a custom that had been observed by Jews in other places in earlier times. Today, the custom of removing one's shoes is no longer practiced in Israel.
Orthodox synagogues feature a partition (mechitza) dividing the men's and women's seating areas, or a separate women's section located on a balcony.
The German-Jewish Reform movement, which arose in the early 19th century, made many changes to the traditional look of the synagogue, keeping with its desire to simultaneously stay Jewish yet be accepted by the host culture.
The first Reform synagogue, which opened in Hamburg in 1811, introduced changes that made the synagogue look more like a church. These included: the installation of an organ to accompany the prayers (even on Shabbat, when musical instruments are proscribed by halakha), a choir to accompany the hazzan, and vestments for the synagogue rabbi to wear.
In following decades, the central reader's table, the Bimah, was moved to the front of the Reform sanctuary—previously unheard-of in Orthodox synagogues.
Gender separation was also removed.
Synagogues often take on a broader role in modern Jewish communities and may include additional facilities such as a catering hall, kosher kitchen, religious school, library, day care center and a smaller chapel for daily services.
Since many Orthodox and some non-Orthodox Jews prefer to collect a minyan (a quorum of ten) rather than pray alone, they commonly assemble at pre-arranged times in offices, living rooms, or other spaces when these are more convenient than formal synagogue buildings. A room or building that is used this way can become a dedicated small synagogue or prayer room. Among Ashkenazi Jews they are traditionally called shtiebel (שטיבל, pl. shtiebelekh or shtiebels, Yiddish for "little house"), and are found in Orthodox communities worldwide.
Another type of communal prayer group, favored by some contemporary Jews, is the Chavurah (חבורה, pl. chavurot, חבורות), or prayer fellowship. These groups meet at a regular place and time, either in a private home or in a synagogue or other institutional space. In antiquity, the Pharisees lived near each other in chavurot and dined together to ensure that none of the food was unfit for consumption.
Some synagogues bear the title "great synagogue".
Bevis Marks Synagogue, officially Qahal Kadosh Sha'ar ha-Shamayim (Hebrew: קָהָל קָדוֹשׁ שַׁעַר הַשָׁמַיִם, "Holy Congregation Gate of Heaven"), is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom in continuous use. It is located off Bevis Marks, in the City of London.
The synagogue was built in 1701 and is affiliated to London's historic Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community. It is a Grade I listed building. It is the only synagogue in Europe which has held regular services continuously for more than 300 years.Capernaum
Capernaum ( kə-PUR-nee-əm, -nay-əm; Hebrew: כְּפַר נַחוּם, translit. Kfar Naḥūm, lit. 'Nahum's village'; Arabic: كفر ناحوم, translit. Kafr Nāḥūm) was a fishing village established during the time of the Hasmoneans, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other. A house turned into a church by the Byzantines is said to be the home of Saint Peter.
The village was inhabited continuously from the 2nd century BC to the 11th century AD, when it was abandoned sometime before the Crusader conquest. This includes the re-establishment of the village during the Early Islamic period soon after the 749 earthquake.Cochin Jews
Cochin Jews or Malabar Jews or Kochinim (from Hebrew: יהודי קוצ'ין Yehudey Kochin), are the oldest group of Jews in India, with possible roots that are claimed to date back to the time of King Solomon. The Cochin Jews settled in the Kingdom of Cochin in South India, now part of the state of Kerala. As early as the 12th century, mention is made of the Jews in southern India. The Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela, speaking of Kollam (Quilon) on the Malabar Coast, writes in his Itinerary: "...throughout the island, including all the towns thereof, live several thousand Israelites. The inhabitants are all black, and the Jews also. The latter are good and benevolent. They know the law of Moses and the prophets, and to a small extent the Talmud and Halacha." These people later became known as the Malabari Jews. They built synagogues in Kerala beginning in the 12th and 13th centuries. They are known to have developed Judeo-Malayalam, a dialect of Malayalam language.
Following their expulsion from Iberia in 1492 by the Alhambra Decree, a few families of Sephardi Jews eventually made their way to Cochin in the 16th century. They became known as Paradesi Jews (or Foreign Jews). The European Jews maintained some trade connections to Europe, and their language skills were useful. Although the Sephardim spoke Ladino (i. e., Spanish or Judeo-Spanish), in India they learned Judeo-Malayalam from the Malabar Jews. The two communities retained their ethnic and cultural distinctions. In the late 19th century, a few Arabic-speaking Jews, who became known as Baghdadi, also immigrated to southern India, and joined the Paradesi community.After India gained its independence in 1947 and Israel was established as a nation, most of the Malabar Jews made Aliyah and emigrated from Kerala to Israel in the mid-1950s.
In contrast, most of the Paradesi Jews (Sefardi in origin) preferred to migrate to Australia and other Commonwealth countries, similar to the choices made by Anglo-Indians.Most of their synagogues are still existing in Kerala, whereas a few were sold or adapted for other uses.
Among the 8 synagogues that had survived till the middle of 20th century, only the Paradesi synagogue still has a regular congregation and also attracts tourists as a historic site.
Another synagogue at Ernakulam operates partly as a shop by one of few remaining Cochin Jews. A few synagogues are in ruins and one was even demolished and a two-storeyed house was built in its place.
The synagogue at Chendamangalam (Chennamangalam) was reconstructed in 2006 as Kerala Jews Life Style Museum.
The synagogue at Paravur (Parur) has been reconstructed as Kerala Jews History Museum.Dohány Street Synagogue
The Dohány Street Synagogue (Hungarian: Dohány utcai zsinagóga / nagy zsinagóga; Hebrew: בית הכנסת הגדול של בודפשט, Bet ha-Knesset ha-Gadol shel Budapesht), also known as the Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, is a historical building in Erzsébetváros, the 7th district of Budapest, Hungary. It is the largest synagogue in Europe, seating 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism.
The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, with the decoration based chiefly on Islamic models from North Africa and medieval Spain (the Alhambra). The synagogue's Viennese architect, Ludwig Förster, believed that no distinctively Jewish architecture could be identified, and thus chose "architectural forms that have been used by oriental ethnic groups that are related to the Israelite people, and in particular the Arabs". The interior design is partly by Frigyes Feszl.
The Dohány Street Synagogue complex consists of the Great Synagogue, the Heroes' Temple, the graveyard, the Memorial and the Jewish Museum, which was built on the site on which Theodor Herzl's house of birth stood. Dohány Street itself, a leafy street in the city center, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto.Great Synagogue (Gibraltar)
The Great Synagogue of Gibraltar, also known as Kahal Kadosh Sha'ar HaShamayim (Hebrew: קהל קדוש שער השמיים), is located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and was the first synagogue on the Iberian Peninsula to operate since the expulsions from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1497 respectively.Hazzan
A hazzan (; Hebrew: [χaˈzan]) or chazzan (Hebrew: חַזָּן ḥazzān, plural ḥazzānim; Yiddish khazn; Ladino hassan) is a Jewish musician or precentor trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the congregation in songful prayer. In English, this prayer leader is often referred to as cantor, a term also used in Christianity.History of the Jews in Indonesia
The history of the Jews in Indonesia began with the arrival of early European explorers and settlers, and the first Jews arrived in the 17th century. Most of Indonesian Jews arrived from the Netherlands, Middle East, Northern Africa and Southern Europe. Jews in Indonesia presently form a very small Jewish community of about 100-500, of mostly Sephardi Jews. Judaism is not recognized as one of the country’s six official religions and members of the local Jewish community have to register as Christian or another recognized religion on their official identity cards.Hurva Synagogue
The Hurva Synagogue, (Hebrew: בית הכנסת החורבה, translit: Beit ha-Knesset ha-Hurva, lit. "The Ruin Synagogue"), also known as Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid ("Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious"), is a historic synagogue located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The synagogue was founded in the early 18th century by followers of Judah heHasid, but it was destroyed by Muslims a few years later in 1721. The plot lay in ruins for over 140 years and became known as the Ruin, or Hurva. In 1864, the Perushim rebuilt the synagogue, and although officially named the Beis Yaakov Synagogue, it retained its name as the Hurva. It became Jerusalem's main Ashkenazic synagogue, until it too was deliberately destroyed by the Arab Legion after the withdrawal of Israeli forces during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.After Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, a number of plans were submitted for the design of a new building. After years of deliberation and indecision, a commemorative arch was erected instead at the site in 1977, itself becoming a prominent landmark of the Jewish Quarter. The plan to rebuild the synagogue in its 19th-century style received approval by the Israeli Government in 2000, and the newly rebuilt synagogue was dedicated on March 15, 2010.Moorish Revival architecture
Moorish Revival or Neo-Moorish is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental. It reached the height of its popularity after the mid-19th century, part of a widening vocabulary of articulated decorative ornament drawn from historical sources beyond familiar classical and Gothic modes.National Register of Historic Places listings in Sullivan County, New York
List of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Sullivan County, New York
This is intended to be a complete list of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Sullivan County, New York. The locations of National Register properties and districts showing latitude and longitude coordinates may be seen in a map by clicking on "Map of all coordinates". The Delaware and Hudson Canal, which runs through this and other counties, is further designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was a mass shooting that occurred at the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 2018, while Shabbat morning services were being held. Eleven people were killed and seven were injured. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.The sole suspect, 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers, was arrested and charged with 63 federal crimes, some of which are capital crimes. He has pleaded not guilty. He separately faces 36 charges in Pennsylvania state court. Using the online social network Gab, Bowers had earlier posted anti-Semitic comments against the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in which Dor Hadash and Tree of Life were supporting participants. Referring to Central American migrant caravans and immigrants, he posted on Gab shortly before the attack that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."Some sources argued that the incident should be referred to as an act of domestic terrorism.Richmond Synagogue
Richmond Synagogue is an Orthodox Jewish community in Richmond, London. The congregation, whose synagogue building is in Lichfield Gardens, has 250 members and is a member community of the United Synagogue.Romaniote Jews
The Romaniote Jews or Romaniotes (Greek: Ῥωμανιῶτες, Rhōmaniṓtes; Hebrew: רומניוטים, Romanyotim) are an ethnic Jewish community native to the Eastern Mediterranean. They are generally one of the oldest Jewish communities in existence and specifically the oldest Jewish community in Europe. Their distinct language was Judaeo-Greek, a Greek dialect that contained Hebrew along with some Aramaic and Turkish words but now speak modern Greek or the languages of their new home countries. They derived their name from the old name for the people of the Byzantine Empire, Romaioi. Large communities were located in Thebes, Ioannina, Chalcis, Corfu, Arta, Preveza, Volos, Patras, Corinth, and on the islands of Zakynthos, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, and Cyprus, among others. The Romaniotes are historically distinct and still remain distinct from the Sephardim, who settled in Ottoman Greece after the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
A majority of the Jewish population of Greece was killed in the Holocaust after Axis powers occupied Greece during World War II. They deported most of the Jews to Nazi concentration camps. After the war, a majority of the survivors emigrated to Israel, the United States, and Western Europe. Today there are still functioning Romaniote Synagogues in Chalkis which represents the oldest Jewish congregation on European ground, in Ioannina, Athens, New York and Israel.Skokie, Illinois
Skokie (; formerly Niles Center) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, neighboring the City of Chicago’s northern border. Skokie lies approximately 15 miles north of Chicago's downtown loop. Its name comes from a Potawatomi word for "marsh." For many years Skokie promoted itself as "The World's Largest Village." Its population, according to the 2010 census, was 64,784. Skokie's streets, like that of many suburbs, are largely a continuation of the Chicago street grid, and the village is served by the Chicago Transit Authority, further cementing its connection to the city.
Skokie was originally a German-Luxembourger farming community, but was later settled by a sizeable Jewish population, especially after World War II. At its peak in the mid-1960s, 58% of the population was Jewish, the largest percentage of any Chicago suburb. In recent years, several synagogues and Jewish schools have closed. However, Skokie still has a very large Jewish population and an active Chabad. It is home to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which opened in northwest Skokie in 2009.
Skokie has received national attention twice for court cases decided by the United States Supreme Court. In the mid-1970s, it was at the center of a case concerning the First Amendment right to assemble and the National Socialist Party of America, a neo-Nazi group. Skokie ultimately lost that case. In 2001, although Skokie was not a direct party to the case, a decision by the village regarding land use led the court to reduce the power of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.Torah ark
The ark in a synagogue (also called the Torah ark or holy ark) is a receptacle, or ornamental closet, which contains each synagogue's Torah scrolls (Sifrei Torah in Hebrew), also known as Heikhal in some Jewish dialects.Triptych
A triptych ( TRIP-tik; from the Greek adjective τρίπτυχον "triptukhon" ("three-fold"), from tri, i.e., "three" and ptysso, i.e., "to fold" or ptyx, i.e., "fold") is a work of art (usually a panel painting) that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works. The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels. The form can also be used for pendant jewelry.
Despite its connection to an art format, the term is sometimes used more generally to connote anything with three parts, particularly if they are integrated into a single unit.United Synagogue
The United Synagogue (US) is a union of British Orthodox Jewish synagogues, representing the central Orthodox movement in Judaism. With 64 congregations, comprising 40,000 members, it is the largest synagogue body in Europe. The spiritual leader of the union bears the title of Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Empire – a title that bears some formal recognition by the Crown, even though his rabbinical authority is recognised by only slightly more than half of British Jews.United Synagogue Youth
United Synagogue Youth (USY) is the youth movement of USCJ (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism).The organization was founded in 1951, under the auspices of the Youth Commission of what was then the United Synagogue of America.USY operates in the United States and Canada, with 350 chapters across 16 regions. Kadima (Hebrew for "Forward") is USY's program for pre-teens grades 5-8 (varies by region).United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the major congregational organization of Conservative Judaism in North America, and the largest Conservative Jewish communal body in the world. USCJ closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis. It coordinates and assists the activities of its member communities on all levels.