More assertively intruding into the area of the courtyard is a small building with an external stone stairway leading to an upper floor. This building was probably added in the 19th century to provide an additional women's section to which the external stairway led. Women would have followed the service in the main sanctuary from this vantage point.
Today, this space is used as both a library and exhibition space. The ground floor originally used to serve as the lodge of the shamash (caretaker); it presently functions as the main synagogue office.
During the second arson attack on the synagogue in 2010, the entire building was gutted by flames. A considerable quantity of archival material and books was lost, together with almost all of the notebooks that recorded the work of renovation from 1996 to 1999.
Photos 1, 2, 3, 4: © Etz Hayyim Synagogue