Synagogue or Temple

What term do you use to refer to Jewish places of worship?

I say “temple” when speaking with Jews and “synagogue” when speaking to non-Jews.

Synagogue, generally unless Temple is part of its name (such as Temple Beth El, where I grew up).

Synagogue. When I hear “Temple”, I think “Aztec” or “Hrogg-Ultha the Spider God”.

Where I’m from it’s temple if it’s reform, synagogue if it’s orthodox. Everywhere I’ve lived has only had reform congregations, so temple.

I use “Shul”.

(Synagogue if I’m being formal - Temple, for me, should only be prefaced with “1st”, “2nd” or “3rd”).

Normally “Temple”-- the Jewish centers of worship in my hometown were “Temple such-and-such” and “Temple so-and-so”, and my Jewish friends would refer to them as “Temples”, so I did too.

In traditional Judaism, the Temple, built on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem and nowhere else, was the place where sacrifices were offered. Following the destruction of the Third (“Herod’s”) Temple, Orthodox Jews (and most Jews until recently were Orthodox) did not offer sacrifices.

There were two other Temples, considered heretical by strict Orthodoxy, on Mount Gerizim in Shechem and at Elephantine in Egypt.

Reform Jews tend to refer to their place of worship as a temple. For all Orthodox (including Chasidim) and I believe all Conservative Jews, the building-for-worship is the synagogue, in Israel and a few other areas informally termed shul as Alessan notes.

Actually, I got the term “shul” from my American (and Conservative Jewish) parents. Israelis use “beit knesset” exclusively when speaking Hebrew.

Shul is Yiddish and just means “school.” It can be used anywhere to refer to a temple/synagogue, and is also used to refer to yeshivas for obvious reasons.

I use shul too. I think it comes of hanging out with a lot of Jews, and also that the most well-known local one is known to everyone as the “Gardens Shul”.

Did not sacrifices at the Mt. Gerizim site predate the Jerusalem temple? The Temple at Elephantine, OTOH, is more of a mystery, and offers a strong circumstantial link in alleged crackpot theory.

Sorry for posting off-topic. I’d like to read a thread about the Elephantine temple (and the circumstances it hints strongly at), but have nothing to offer but the question itself.

Traditionally, the sacrifices in Gerizim started soon after the split between Judea and Israel following the death of Solomon, who built the First Temple in Jerusalem. I don’t know what the archeological evidence indicates, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were both established at roughly the same time.

I’ve never heard anyone refer to a school or yeshiva as a shul, despite the literal meaning of the word.

Temple if it’s just in any old city to boost their happiness, Synagogue in one of my top 3 cities if I’m going for cultural.

Cosigned! I’ve heard of US Jews using ‘temple’ to refer to shul but it’s not something I’ve ever come across in the UK. Does anyone know how it started?

I use “synagogue” as the generic term for a Jewish house of worship. However, many synagogues use the word “Temple” or “Congregation” in their name. For example, there is a synagogue named “Temple Beth Shalom” near where I live, and I refer to it by that name. My parents used to belong to “Congregation Agudas Achim”, and that’s what they called it when referring to that specific synagogue.

I use shul in a more Yiddishite environment. My conservative shul growing up had Temple in its name, as did all the reform ones. My conservative shul here uses Congregation in its name, so when calling it by name I use congregation.

When speaking generically I use synagogue, (or shul, depending on whom I’m speaking with).

In my youth, my family belonged to “Temple Kol-Ami”.
So…Temple it is.

Grandma Mercotan (not the world’s most enlightened soul) always called it the jew church. Some of my relatives still do. :rolleyes: