The Bima is an elevated platform from where the Torah is read during services and forms an important part of a synagogue’s interior. In Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions, the Bima is commonly positioned either in the centre of the synagogue or immediately in the front of the Ehal. However, in the case of Etz Hayyim and other Greek synagogues, the Bima is placed axially opposite to the Ehal against the west wall, thereby conforming to the local Romaniote tradition.
As in the case of the Torah Shrine, at the time of the synagogue’s renovation, socket holes were identified on the west wall, indicating the rough measurements and location of the original Bima. The present Bima was designed by Nikos Stavroulakis and inspired by bimas in other Greek Romaniote synagogues.
Photo 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9: © Anastasios Skikos
Photo 2: © Etz Hayyim Synagogue