A “shul” is another word for synagogue, and its origins can be traced back to Yiddish, and to a German word for “school”. The shul is not only a place for worship, but also a place for study. And the shul is a place where like-minded people in the community can get together and enjoy a warm and comfortable atmosphere.
Most shuls will host many community events, such as Shabbat lunch, and Purim parties. Many shuls will also have several learning opportunities, with numerous classes, and a lot of other cool stuff. In addition, there are often Hebrew classes for kids. As mentioned above, the origin of the word comes from school, and so emphasis on learning is one of the cornerstones of a shul.
The members spend a lot of time together, engaging in prayer and celebrating cherished festivals and important moments together. Over time, the members really get to know each other well, and start enjoying a true sense of community.
Here is an example of a village shul: