Central Sephardic Synagogue
The project provided a solution to the need, at the time, for a main Sephardic synagogue in the Afula area. Apart from its role as a main synagogue, the building serves as a community and educational center for children, teenagers and adults. The building includes a lobby, a prayer hall, 2 enlargement wings and other services at the main level. The gallery level contains women’s gallery, and the lower level contains a “Midrash” classroom, administration and a protected area.
Creating a simple, clear space, while using natural materials and expressing the exterior inside and the interior outside. The rounded facade stretches on the streets corner, supporting orientation from different angles and emphasizing the entrance. Altogether with simple design, the building is integrated with symbols from the Jewish heritage, expressed by the repetition of different elements in the building.
The building is based on the idea of a big tent; leaning on seven columns, which symbolize the seven days of creation, and the seven-branched candelabrum.
The building itself is built of two big gables, which symbolize the boards of alliance.Between the gables are located twelve windows, which symbolize the twelve tribes. Six windows on the sides of the building symbolize the six books of the “Mishna”. The women’s gallery is located above the main entrance and has four windows, a symbol for the four mothers.
The synagogue is shaped like a triangular slice.The worshippers enter at the low, wide part. The sanctity board is the focus of the large space: all seats turn towards it, the sloped roof is on its peak above it and the five beams (which symbolize the Pentateuch) encounter each other. The glass wall behind the board and through all its height creates an aura around it, symbolizing the eternity candle and inspiring a sacred aura. The shape of the space and the angular walls provide a fine acoustical quality. The enlargement wings were designed to suit the hall size to its audience, so it can contain more worshippers on holidays, while avoiding emptiness in day-to-day operation.