In the Jewish faith, a place of worship is called a temple, shul or synagogue. The synagogue is similar to a Christian church. It serves as a social center and as a place to pray and study. It is the center of the religious community.
The portion of a synagogue where prayer is performed is called the sanctuary, which is designed to face Jerusalem. The Ark is a cabinet that holds the Torah scrolls, which contain the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In Orthodox Jewish synagogues, the women are separated from the men and are relegated to an upper balcony or the back of the sanctuary.