Beth Hatefutsoth, Photo Archive, Tel Aviv

HOME OF THE CROWN. Built no earlier than the fifth century, the Great Synagogue was the center of Aleppo’s Jewish community until 1947. These models show the synagogue’s exterior (pictured, from the north), its central, open-air courtyard and one of the indoor platforms. The courtyard was used for prayer services during warm weather. Torah scrolls were kept in the three arched arks on the far-side on the courtyard and read on the roofed teivah, or raised platform, at the center of the courtyard. The staircase (to right of the courtyard) led to a platform from which the shofar, or ram’s horn, was blown during festivals.