The eastern portico
Between the eastern side of the synagogue and the road was an open space having porticos on three sides: the courtyard. Built at a second stage, it was connected to the exterior by means of three doors opening to the north and two to the south, and also had a number of windows facing onto the road.
Two staircases permitted entry from the street to the courtyard: one at the rear and the other at the front. The latter went up to the terrace. The columns that adorned the portico were in Ionic style. It is thought that these areas were the Beth Midrash, the synagogue’s school, where scribes and rabbis provided instruction for young people to prepare them for learning the Torah.