Breastfeeding at: Congregation Shearith Israel, Manhattan, NY

Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan, NY, USA

Breastfeeding in the sanctuary:

Breastfeeding n services is not permitted, even with a nursing cover.  Community members will enforce this, including yelling at you if you try.  Breastfeeding is not welcomed there in general, and multiple unpleasant comments have been made, including telling a mother to take her baby into the bathroom to breastfeed.

Nursing locations:

Private nursing can sometimes be done in an office if someone has a key.  This office is next to the event space.  To access, it is best to ask the event coordinator, or if they are not around, the associate rabbi.

There is also a space with a vanity in the women’s bathroom on the second floor,  but it is a very distracting place for breastfeeding as it is just outside the bathroom door, and does not offer a lot of privacy.

Other Information:

There is no posted information about breastfeeding.

Older members will not tolerate breastfeeding. Younger members are very open to it. A nursing cover may help.

General Child friendliness:

Changing tables are available in the women’s bathrooms and the men’s bathrooms.  There is stroller parking (currently in the basement coatroom durng renovations, but previously in part of the lobby) and space to put children’s needed supplies.

Children are seen in both the women’s section and the men’s section, although more in the women’s section.  It is relatively expected that they will go to children’s programming most of the time, however.

Wrap up:

General rating:  As a whole, this shul received a rating of: “Lousy but tolerable for whatever reasons- 5” out of 7 rating (where 1 is the best, 7 the worst)

Other comments:

Contact Information:

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik at

Executive Director Barbara Reiss at

Synagogue phone: 212 873 0300


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