Sunday, November 20, 2005

Rethinking shul architecture

Kolech has held a competition for architects to design women-friendly orthodox synagogues. The winners are currently being exhibited in Ramat Gan and if anyone has seen it / goes, please let us know. In the meanwhile, there's one picture of the winner on NRG, which has the bimah, shelves for siddurim etc. in the middle of the shul -- so everyone, I suppose, has exactly equal view and equal access. I'm not quite clear how this would work in practice, but in any case, anything which encourages architects and community leaders to think creatively about these kinds of issues is to be commended -- how the shul appears to the women is so often neglected (the number of shuls I've been to where you can only see the bimah from the first row of the women's gallery, for example...), and a little creative thinking could do so much to make shuls more welcoming to women. I've dropped a line to Kolech asking for more pictures and explanations of the entries and encourage other people to do so, so we can judge for ourselves.

1 comment:

Machshavot said...

There is an article on the subject in Deot, the magazine of the Ne'emani Torah Ve'Avodah movement, Number 22 Tammuz 5765.
The article is available online at