• North West Surrey Synagogue

    Welcome to the North-West Surrey Synagogue in Weybridge.

    This is where Jewish people come to pray to God and learn about the Torah.

    Use the tabs to view inside — but first find the hotspots outside!

  • The Foyer Area

    This is the foyer area. Use the tabs to view other areas of the Synagogue, but remember to find the hotspots first!

  • The synagogue is where Jews come to learn about their faith and is a very special place for a Jew. They read from the Torah and learn about how God wants them to live their lives.

  • Shabbat Shalom

    Jewish people will greet each other when it’s Shabbat by saying ‘Shabbat Shalom!’

    Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest and a special time for families. God told Moses that all Jews were to keep one day special to rest and to worship. Jewish ‘days’ start every evening, so Shabbat starts on Friday night and ends on Saturday night. It is celebrated with the family at home and in the synagogue with the Jewish congregation.

  • What do Jews believe?

    • Jews believe in one God, who made all things.
    • Jews believe that God loves all people.
    • Jews believe that the Torah is God’s word.
    • Jews believe that Moses is an important leader.
    • Jews believe that God gave them important laws to help them to live good lives.
  • Mezuzah

    Mezuzah

    This special box called a mezuzah contains some special words from the Shema. The Shema is a passage from the Jewish Bible, called the Tenakh, which talks about what Jews should believe. It can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. The Shema is the first prayer that any Jew will learn.

    It reads: SHEMA Deuteronomy 6:4-9
    ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
    Blessed is His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever.
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your might. These words that I command you
    today shall be upon your heart. Repeat them to your children, and talk about them when you sit in your home, and
    when you walk in the street; when you lie down, and when you rise up. Hold fast to them as a sign upon your hand,
    and let them be as reminders before your eyes. Write them on the doorposts of your home and at your gates.’ .

  • Star of David

    The Star of David is one of the special symbols for Jewish people.

  • Rabbi Jackie Tabick’s Induction

    Rabbi Jackie Tabick’s Induction

    Rabbi is the Jewish name for a teacher – they teach people who come to the synagogue about the Jewish faith. The Rabbi is the leader of the synagogue. The name of the rabbi in this photograph is Rabbi Jackie Tabick, and it shows the service held at the synagogue to welcome her.

  • Noticeboard

    Noticeboard

    Lots of different things happen at the synagogue. People put notices about them on this board.

  • Jewish School (Schul)

    These stairs lead to the education rooms where Jewish children come to school, or schul, on Sundays. There they will learn what it means to be Jewish, the Hebrew language and find out about people who are important in their faith. Jewish children might hear stories about Abraham, Moses and David, or make things for festivals and learn Hebrew songs.

    When a Jewish boy becomes 13, they will have their Bar Mitzvah, when they celebrate becoming an adult. It will be the first time that they read the Torah in the synagogue and they may be asked to take part in the service. Afterwards, there might be a party to celebrate. Jewish girls have a Bat Mitzvah when they turn 12.

  • Different stories that are special to Jewish people

    These pictures show different stories that are special to Jewish people. Some have beautiful Jewish writing on them.Jewish writing is called Hebrew and is read from right to left.

  • Different stories that are special to Jewish people

    These pictures show different stories that are special to Jewish people. Some have beautiful Jewish writing on them.Jewish writing is called Hebrew and is read from right to left.

  • Ten Commandments

    Ten Commandments: “God gave Moses special rules for Jewish people to learn and live by. These are called the Ten Commandments. Click on the picture to read them.

    1) There is only one God.
    2) Worship God alone.
    3) Do not swear.
    4) Keep Shabbat as a holy day.
    5) Respect your father and mother.
    6) Do not hurt or kill anyone.
    7) Take marriage seriously.
    8) Do not steal.
    9) Do not tell lies.
    10) Do not want things that belong to somebody else.

  • Kippah

    Kippah

    Before they enter the main room Jewish men will cover their heads with a kippah as a mark of respect for God.

  • Prayer Books

    Prayer Books

    These prayer books are used during services at the synagogue and contain prayers and blessings. Prayer is very important to a Jew because God likes them to talk to Him.

    Jews attend synagogue on Saturdays, which they call Shabbat.

  • Kitchen

    The synagogue is also a place where Jews can meet and eat together at various times and celebrations.

    Jews have rules about the foods they can eat. Food that is acceptable is called kosher. There are notices on the kitchen cupboards to remind them how to cook and store food properly.

  • Bimah

    Bimah

    This is a special platform called a bimah where the Torah, the Jewish holy book, is read during services. It is up high so that everyone can see it and hear what is read and because the reading of the Torah is the most important part of the service in a synagogue. Services take place on Saturdays, which Jews call Shabbat.

    Click here to see the Torah being read.

  • The Torah

    The Torah

    The Torah contains the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) and is usually written on a scroll – if you unrolled it, it would be as long as a football pitch! This beautiful writing is called Hebrew and is read from right to left. A Torah scroll is very valuable, worth about £25,000. When Jews read from the Torah, they use a yad for pointing to the words.

    Click here to learn more about the yad.

  • Yad

    Yad

    Using a yad helps to keep the Torah clean. Every Torah is written by hand and is the most precious thing that a synagogue will own – it is God’s word. Jews will hear the whole of the Torah at synagogue in a year.

    Yad is the Jewish word for 'finger'.
    Can you guess why this is?.

  • ETERNAL LIGHT (NER TAMID)

    ETERNAL LIGHT (NER TAMID)

    This light symbolises God's presence in the synagogue, and is never extinguished. It is called the Ner Tamid. In the temple of Old Testament times, the lamp would have been a real flame, but synagogues today have an electric light, often shaped like a flame, as this one is.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    These twelve carvings around the ark show some symbols and objects special to Judaism. Each one is carved onto a Torah scroll. As each picture shows, click on it to reveal the next one.

    This first carving shows a mezuzah. This little box is placed on the doorposts of Jewish homes and contains the words of the Shema. You can read this prayer at the start of the tour when you click on the doorframe of the entrance to the synagogue.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows a spice box, used during the havdalah ceremony at the end of Shabbat on Saturday night. People smell the sweet spices, symbolising the hope that the sweetness of the Sabbath will continue to fill their lives in the coming week.

    Also during the havdalah ceremony, Jews light a special candle called a havdalah. There are 6 candles joined together in a plait, which means that the flame is very bright. After it has been lit, they put it out by dipping it in wine.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows the Tree of Life, a symbol for the Torah and of God's protective presence.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows the Lulav and Etrog, ritually waved during the festival of Succot (Tabernacles) as a prayer for rain. The Lulav consists of a palm branch, the sprigs of myrtle and two willow branches. The Etrog is like a lemon. All these need lots of water to grow.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows the Menorah, the 7-branched candlestick from Old Testament temple times that was used to carry the Eternal light, a symbol of God's presence.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows the two tablets of stone bearing the Ten Commandments, given by God to Moses. You can read more about these in the foyer of the synagogue at the start of the tour.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows a crown, often placed on top of a Torah scroll to symbolise its importance., often placed on top of a Torah scroll to symbolise its importance.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows the shofar, a ram's horn blown to symbolically welcome the presence of God as sovereign at the Jewish New Year festival.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows two candles, lit to welcome the start of Shabbat, or Sabbath, the holy day for Jews. You can find out more about Shabbat at the start of the tour, in the foyer.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows a bunch of grapes. Wine (made from grapes) is the symbol of joy in Judaism, and is used during most Jewish celebrations.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows the Star of David symbol.

  • SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    SYMBOLIC CARVINGS

    This carving shows a kiddush cup - a wine goblet used to welcome Shabbat and festivals.

  • ARK

    ARK

    This is a special cupboard, called the Ark, where the Torah and other scrolls are kept. There are two doors to the Ark to keep the Torah safe. Many synagogues have very old scrolls rescued from synagogues in Eastern Europe that were destroyed by the Nazis at the time of the Holocaust.

  • ARK

    ARK

    This is the inner door to the Ark. People can see the Torah but it is still protected.

  • ARK

    ARK

    Both doors to the Ark are open, ready for the Torah to be taken out.

  • TORAH

    TORAH

    The Torah is the Jews’ most special book and contains the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). It is taken out of the ark during services and carried around the synagogue immediately before and after it is read.

    The Torah is protected by a cover called a mantle. On the top of each handle is a decoration called a rimmorim. The bells jingle when the Torah is lifted out of the ark - when people hear the bells, they know they have to stand up. Over the mantle is the breastplate which is a reminder of the golden breastplate worn by the High Priest of the old Temple in Jerusalem.

    This synagogue has several Torah scrolls. Click here if you would like to see them.

  • TORAH

    TORAH

    There are other scrolls that are read here in the synagogue and kept in the ark.

    Click here to see a photograph of the meggilah.

  • MEGGILAH

    MEGGILAH

    Every year, during the festival of Purim, the story of brave Queen Esther is read from a small scroll called meggilah.

  • Click on the hotspots in the photo to find out what happens on Friday night.

    If you want to find out what happens on Saturday night, then click on the carvings around the ark in the main room of the synagogue:

  • SHABBAT CANDLES

    These candles are lit at the start of Shabbat on Friday night. A special prayer called a blessing is said. Jews look forward to Shabbat each week. There are two candles to show that it is more special than other days of the week.

  • KIDDUSH CUP

    On Shabbat, Jews drink wine from a special cup called a kiddush cup. Another blessing is said over the wine.

  • CHALLAH LOAF

    Jews eat this plaited bread called challah as part of their family meal on Shabbat. It is plaited to make it look different from ordinary bread.