THE SYNAGOGUE

The first synagogues may have been built by Jews held captive far from the temple during the Babylonian Exile in the sixth century B.C., but synagogues were important religious and social institutions in the time of Jesus. The original Greek word synagogue means merely "a place of meeting." In the Jewish world synagogues were second only to the temple in Jerusalem itself as religious institutions. They also served as schools of religious instruction and communal halls for civic functions under the direction of a council of elders. Bible History Online.

Link: https://bible-history.com/jesus/the-synagogue