Aulnay-sous-Bois synagogue

The synagogue in Aulnay sous Bois was already built before the rabbinical committee, aiming to define the need for places of worship in the suburbs of Paris, was established in May 1928.

Tips to visually enlarge the interior

As for the synagogue in Livry Gargan, it was a Mutual assistance company, "L’Avenir", that undertook construction of the building. The land was bought from a coreligionist in July 1927 and planning permission was granted from 8th September on. The first stone of the synagogue in Aulnay sous Bois was laid on 12th August 1928. On the occasion of this ceremony, more familial than official, many donations were given for construction of the building. No less than seventy-two names figured on the list of donators, almost all of them of Russian and Polish origin. The exact date for the inauguration of the synagogue is not known, but oral tradition relates that, on that day, the floor, not yet completely finished, obliged them to pray on bear ground.

Just like in Livry-Gargan, the building is modest and measures only 12.50 meters in length and 6.50 meters in width. The plot of land conceded is narrow and the synagogue retains its northeast exposure (even though tradition demands orientation towards the east, towards Jerusalem). Access to the prayer room is direct, without porch or entrance hall. A gallery, decorated with an imposing floral frieze, runs the full width of the payer hall. The ground-floor has about sixty seats for men while about thirty women can be seated in the gallery.

The bimah (the reading stand) is at the center and the holy cabinet, Aron Kodesh, facing the entrance. The seats made of wrought woodwork and velvet, of old construction, appear to come from an older prayer room. Light enters through oculi and zenithal skylights. The ceiling of the prayer hall is low, architectural tricks were used. The ceiling sticks to the slope of the roof on each side and in the center to form the arc of a circle. The Framework is made up of overhanging beams placed in vis-à-vis and connected by steel tie rods of small diameter. The overall effect is surprising because the space seems enlarged, unrelated to the actual size of the building.

A well-integrated facade in the vernacular

Two pilasters frame the angles of the facade. A double wing door is inserted into an archway whose upper semicircle is enclosed by a window made up of radiant mullioned windows to form the arc of a circle. The tables of the law are placed above the door, crowned, under the gable, by an oculus represented with the six-pointed star. The synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois  is located at avenue de Clermont-Tonnerre, down a small alley in a residential area, and merges with the vernacular architecture. The painted façade, unadorned, seems without relief decoration to some followers, while others think the contrary, that it is a beautiful representation of the Beit- ha-Knesset, “home to the assembly” of the faithful. Indeed modest, Jewish symbolism is nevertheless well represented on the facade and the pilasters are intended as a gentle reminder of the columns of the Temple of Jerusalem Yakin and Boaz.

See also : Le Raincy synagogue

La synagogue d'Aulnay-sous-Bois
3 avenue de Clermont-Tonnerre

48.924761 , 2.49832
La synagogue d'Aulnay-sous-Bois, 3 avenue de Clermont-Tonnerre, 93600 AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS
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