Synagogues are Jewish houses of prayer and study. They usually contain separate rooms for prayer, smaller rooms for study, and often an area for community or educational use. The architectural shapes and interior designs of synagogues vary greatly. The Reform movement mostly refer to their synagogues as temples. Some traditional features of a synagogue are:
1. The ark where the Torah scrolls are kept. It is often closed with an ornate curtain outside or inside the ark doors.
2. The elevated reader's platform where the Torah is read and services are conducted.
3. The eternal light, a continually-lit lamp or lantern used as a reminder of the constantly lit menorah of the Temple in Jerusalem
4. The pulpit, or amud is a lecturn facing the Ark where the hazzan or prayer leader stands while praying.
In addition to synagogues, other buildings of significance in Judaism include yeshivas, or institutions of Jewish learning, and mikvahs, which are ritual baths.