This section summarizes what we currently know about the Synagogues, Shtiblakh, and Batei Midrash of Brest (City). Our key sources:
• Brisk Yizkor Book, 1954, in Hebrew, provided by the New York Public Library
• Brisk Yizkor Book, 1958, in Yiddish, provided by the New York Public Library; translated here to English by JewishGen.
• A 1888 list found in an old newspaper, here.
• A book about the famous Brisker Rabbi Soloveitchik by Rabbi Shimon Meller, here.
Some information about Eastern European synagogue architecture and internal features:
• Ancient Egypt, Near East Unit – Student material, with exercises, (PDF).
• Biblical Description of the Temple in Jerusalem, in Melachim I (I Kings) Chapter 6.
• Biblical Description of Synagogues in Melachim I (I Kings) Chapter 7.
These describe specific ornamentation: knobs, open flowers, palm trees, carvings of those and also of lions, oxen and cherumin, bowels of chapiters on pillars, pomegranates, wreaths, networks, etc.
Builders of Eastern European Synagogues had these features clearly in mind.
The synagogues they built were not just a symbolic/metaphoric echoings, but a direct reminders of the original Temple in Jerusalem.
The author of Ir Tehila used Hebrew idioms, terms, words from the Bible, Talmud, prayer books, not as a symbol but as his language influenced by the biblical language – as did many other Jews of the 19th century. As the builders of the synagogue tried to "copy" the ornaments described in the Bible, they also used the terms that appear there – in Hebrew, of course– and are found in the two Biblical chapters referenced above.
Currently, we have no systematic information about the Yeshivot of Brest.
Information about the Jewish cemetery of Brest may be found here. For information about these institutions in individual regional towns in the Brest region, consult the entry for the town (shtetl) of interest, in this section of this web site.