Where Should the Teva be?

There is a discussion among the Aharonim as to the position of the platform on which the Torah is read, known as the Teva or Bima. The Rama (Orah Haim 150:5) explains that the Teva should be placed in the center of the sanctuary so that all congregants could hear the reading of the Torah. This became a salient topic in Europe, where the Reform movement took root and some communities started placing the Teva closer to the front of the synagogue so as to resemble a church. Rabbi Moshe Sofer (Hatam Sofer, § 28) was an early opponent to the Reform movement and held that the displacement of the Teva is a serious matter. Additionally, he reasoned that, just as the Mizbe’ah was in the center of the sanctuary of the Bet HaMikdash and that the synagogue is a miniature Bet HaMikdash, then the Teva should be in the center of the synagogue.
Nevertheless, it was not uncommon in Morocco for synagogues to have the Tevain positions other than the center, such as on the side of the sanctuary. Although the ideal location of the Teva is in the center, if there is a pressing need then it can be placed elsewhere. Rav Ovadia Yosef (Shu”t Yabia Omer vol. 8, § 17) writes that there is room to be lenient, especially among Sepharadim, who were not nearly as influenced by the Reform movement as their Ashkenazic brethren. Interestingly, there were even synagogues that, for logistical reasons, had the Hechal on the side and the Mishan Berura (O.H. 94:9) writes that in such a case, one should pray facing east, wherever that may be.

Summary:  Ideally the Teva should be in the center of the sanctuary, but there is room to be lenient if necessary.