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The Greek word synagogue is used in English (and German and French), to cover the preceding possibilities.

However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan.

The building was designed by the firm of Reid Bros., the architects responsible for numerous landmark buildings in San Francisco including the First Congregational Church and the Fairmont Hotel.

Damaged first in the 1906 earthquake and then again in 1989’s Loma Prieta, the temple was most recently restored in 1994, with a complete seismic makeover.

Synagogues have a large hall for prayer (the main sanctuary), and may also have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices.

Some have a separate room for Torah study, called the beith midrash (Sephardi) beis medrash (Ashkenazi)— ('house of study').