by Yehuda Goldberg (’17)

ennisThis week, the Honors College had the unique opportunity to be addressed by Akiva Ennis (’10), a UPenn senior and MTA Alum, on the topic of “Synagogues in the Diaspora.” The lecture, based on his Senior thesis, was an insightful look into the architectural development of the Shul. Ennis proposed that ancient synagogues developed in three stages. First, they were locations that were combined with study halls, containing no Aron or other features which we normally associate with Shuls today. The second phase was more specific, however, as synagogues were more often than not built out of other pre-existing structures such as homes. The third stage was when synagogues became distinct and recognizable structures using architecture reflecting the culture of the nation it was housed in.

Overall, the lecture was informative and interesting and we thank Akiva Ennis and Dr. Berliner for providing us with this opportunity.


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