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Design Approach for Orthodox Synagogues

Orthodox synagogues are a speciality focus of our general emphasis on projects for houses of worship. Successful worship spaces share highly-valued qualities such as clarity for intelligible speech, reverberance for cantorial music, responsiveness for congregational participation, and low background noise for enhancement of all sounds. We most often serve those congregations which wish to retain or even enhance the natural worship-space acoustics yet also desire excellent speech intelligibility.

For many Orthodox congregations an electronic sound amplification system is simply not a consideration, regardless of the negative impact of their sanctuary’s natural acoustics on intelligibility of the spoken word. In these cases our design approach is to optimize the natural acoustics for the best possible speech intelligibility without unduly compromising the existing musical acoustics. For those Modern Orthodox congregations willing to consider electronic sound amplification we recommend a “Zomet” Shabbat speech-reinforcement sound system. We have been privileged to design two new Shabbat sound systems for Orthodox congregations in New York.

Many worship buildings, old and new, can be challenging spaces in which to achieve the right acoustical balance between music and speech requirements. A practical and sensitive design based upon solid acoustics principles, with careful attention to detail and thoroughness of purpose, can achieve excellent results.

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