The Mediaeval Synagogue

All the Jews of the city were meant to gather in the synagogue at least once a week to hear announcements and take part in worship. The building would have undoubtedly housed a Torah Ark to safeguard the Torah scrolls used during services.

Additionally, the synagogue would have contained other books and provisions for study and learning. It also served as the hub of communal activities, including assembly halls, courts, and, in some communities, ritual baths and kosher ovens.

Interestingly, the York synagogue stood remarkably close to St. Martin's Church. Although there is no evidence in York that the two religious communities clashed, a royal statute from 1253 ordered that "in their synagogues the Jews should all subdue their voices when performing their ritual offices, so that Christians shall not hear them."

Deeds show that following Aaron’s death, his house and the synagogue became the property of the Queen, who granted them to important citizens of York.