Livry-Gargan Synagogue

In May 1928, a rabbinical commission was entrusted to inquire among the Jewish communities in the suburbs of Paris to define their needs concerning a place of worship.

At that time, two synagogues had already been built in the communes studied for the future department of Seine-Saint-Denis by the commission: that of Livry-Gargan and Aulnay-sous-Bois. A third one was to be built a few years later at le Raincy.

A sober place of worship

The "Société de secours mutuel" in Livry-Gargan and Pavillons-sous-Bois, La Fraternelle, was founded in 1923. Since its first assembly, 22 July 1923, the construction of a synagogue in Livry was decided. In August, the municipal architect, Charles Marcot was requested to establish the plans. A coreligionist, Monsieur Margoline, consented to the Fraternelle a long term lease of 99 years on a part of his land, and, in February1924, the plans for the synagogue were ready. A cultural association was constituted in order to separate the management of the edifice from that of  La Fraternelle. The building is very sober. It features just of a prayer room 13.50 meters  long and 7 meters wide, without hall or gallery. Women are separated by men by a half-height room divider. Daylight from the three long stained glass windows of the façade lights the barrel-vaulted ceiling.

Since its construction, in 1924, the edifice has been redesigned. Where before the bimah (the reading desk) was in the center of the space, it is today, in front of the "aron kodesh" (the holy-armoire where the Tora scrolls are kept), the seats are not very consistent with those of a place of worship. The walls are bare and only the panels in yiddish recall the names of the founders of the cultural association and those in the region who died during the Shoah. The synagogue has 120 places 40 of which are reserved for women.

Tables of Law and a six-pointed star in relief

Even though the building is austere and small, its facade is remarkable. It represents a decor with imitation Lombard strips engraved and tiered. The pediment, made up of successive slopes and rising up to two meters above the roof is spanned by two tables of law. At the base of these, a modest six-pointed star in relief completes the composition laid down on the acroterion. The porch, framed by two pillars, modestly reproduces the main façade which leads to the main entrance. With its simply painted walls and lack of décor, this synagogue, if it did not represent the symbols of Judaism, could be mistaken for a simple chapel.

La synagogue de Livry-Gargan
13 avenue Gutenberg

48.9125778 , 2.519282599999997
La synagogue de Livry-Gargan, 13 avenue Gutenberg, 93190 LIVRY-GARGAN
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