Large Jewish communities wished to show not only their wealth but also their newly acquired status as citizens by constructing magnificent synagogues.
Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh (the entire Hebrew Bible, including the Torah) reading, study and assembly; however, a synagogue is not necessary for worship.
Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble.
Synagogues have a large place 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 beth midrash "house of study".
Worship can also be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together.