Virtual Tour - Synagogue

Written and produced by Graham Davies
Cardiff Advisory Service for Education (CASE)
Special thanks to
the members of the School Visits Team
of the Cardiff New Synagogue
Schools Service
Welcome to the Cardiff New Synagogue. Our synagogue
is part of the Reform Movement which tries to find new
ways of making Judaism relevant in today’s world.
What can you see in this picture of the synagogue?
To watch a video clip of some of the
congregation singing in Hebrew please
click here
Look up and you will see the beautiful windows
which describe festivals and events in Judaism
These are the stained glass windows. What can you see on them?
What festivals do you think they celebrate? Click “next” to see if
you are right
Rosh Hashanah
Yom Kippur
Simchat Torah
At the eastern end of the synagogue is the Holy Ark (Aron Hakodesh). The
Ark takes its name from the Ark of the Covenant. It can be a simple
cupboard or a part of the building.
This is the curtain of
the Holy Ark. It is made
of silk and is beautifully
What symbols can you
see on it?
What do you think is in the
Holy Ark ? Click on one of
the following:
(a) The Rabbi’s sandwiches
(b)The Torah scrolls
(c)A collection of candles
Sorry – “The
Rabbi’s sandwiches”
is the wrong answer
Sorry – a collection
of candles is the
wrong answer
Well done –
right answer
In a service the Holy Ark is
open.The Ark contains the
scrolls of the Law (Torah)
which are known as the five
books of Moses.
On the sabbath they are
taken out of the Ark, carried
in a procession around the
synagogue before being read..
The scrolls are beautifully
“dressed”. What can you see
on them?
Click here to see the
Torah being processed
and undressed
The Torah scroll contains the
Jewish law. When it is “dressed”
it will have the following:
•A length of material to bind it
•an embroidered mantle to
protect it.
•A crown and silver bells which
tinkle when the scroll is moved.
•A breastplate as a reminder of
what the High Priest wore in the
•A “yad” or pointer made of silver
and used to avoid touching the
You can see the crown on
the top of the Torah and
the crown reminds us that
God is king.
Why do you think there
are bells hanging down?
Click on one
(a) To make it look pretty
(b) Because bells ring out
good news
(c) To alert the worshippers
that the Torah is now
being brought out.
Sorry - “to
make it look
pretty” is the
wrong answer
Sorry - “because
bells ring out
good news” is the
wrong answer
Well done –
right answer
The Torah is written in
Hebrew. Scribes are
trained to copy the
Torah and use a quill
pen and vegetable ink.
They must concentrate
very hard and not talk
when writing. Each
scroll takes at least a
year to write.
The scroll is written on parchment – animal skin – and
the text must have no mistakes. Between 60-80 pieces
of parchment are used and sewn together and attached
to wooden handles.
Click here to hear the Torah being
read in Hebrew
Why do you think the scroll must
not be touched by human hand?
(a) In case it disappears in a puff of smoke
(b)The scroll is a sacred object
(c) It could burn the fingers
Sorry – “In case it
disappears in a puff of
smoke” is the wrong
Sorry – “It could burn the
fingers” is the wrong
Well done – “Because it
is sacred” is the right
When a scroll is being
read a pointer or yad is
used to point to the
words. The scroll is
sacred and must not be
touched by a human
Click here to see the
Torah scroll being
The yad is usually made
of silver and on the end
is a sculptured hand
with a finger pointing
What symbol do you
see here?
How many branches?
When is an eight
branched candlestick
The Menorah is a
seven branched
candlestick which
reminds Jewish
people of what
was in the
Temple at
Why is light so
important in
Above the Ark is a
lamp which is
always burning.
This is the ner tamid
– eternal light.
It reminds Jewish
worshippers of the
oil lamp which was
always alight in the
Temple in
In a corner of the synagogue is this wooden board with
lots of names on it. What do you think it is? 1939 is a big
The mezuzah is a small case, made
out of metal, wood or plastic, which is
nailed to the right hand door post of
every door in a Jewish home, except
the bathroom. It will also be in the
synagogue. Inside is a small
parchment scroll on which are
written in Hebrew the words of the
SHEMA, i.e. Deuteronomy 6:5-9.
Jewish people will often touch the
mezuzah as they enter the room and
then kiss their fingers. The mezuzah
is a symbol of God's blessing,
presence and protection.
In this synagogue both men and
boys over the age of 13 must wear
the tallit. Women and girls wear
the tallit if they choose.
Here you can see the tallit (prayer
shawl) being worn. It has long
fringes and tassels in the four
corners. It is worn over the
shoulders or the head.
The fringes remind the
worshipper of the commandments
of God – 613 in all
You can also see the kippah or
prayer cap. Jewish men wear
them especially at prayer to cover
the head to show respect for God
The children
here are in the
Cheder or
Religion School.
It meets every
Sunday morning
Hope you enjoyed
the virtual tour.
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