Northwood United Synagogue in Northwood, Hillingdon, UK
Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:
It is permitted, although a cover is preferred (the website also makes several points stressing physical modesty for women visitors). Most women prefer to nurse outside the sanctuary, however. At least in the past, the Rebbetzin has made a particular effort to make things comfortable for nursing mothers and their own preferences.
Private Nursing Locations:
Semi-private nursing can be done in the rabbi’s office, which is made available to nursing mothers upon request. You can find it by asking any of the women, but to get access you need to ask the rabbi. It is on the main floor, next to the sanctuary.
No information about this synagogue’s breastfeeding policy is made public.
Nursing in this synagogue is generally comfortable, “People are extremely blasé and easygoing. I was encouraged to nurse whenever and wherever my baby needed. No one stared or even looked.”
Genera Child Friendliness:
There are changing tables in a gender neutral bathroom. Strollers are parked in the main foyer, and there is space for children’s needed supplies.
Children’s presence in the main service seems to be a slightly mixed bag, but mostly welcoming- “Some members are always going to get annoyed but the rest of the community has a go at them as they love children in the shul making all the noises children do!” (The website on children in synagogue: “We welcome children in our service and run children’s and toddler services frequently. For more information click here. If children are in the main service, they are free to move between the men and women’s sections, and the mechitza will be opened by a member of the congregation to allow them to pass. We like children to feel relaxed in the service, but do suggest bringing books and quiet toys to keep them entertained. There is a box of books for children in the Synagogue, please ask one of the congregation to point it out to you.”)
This synagogue received a rating of “Alright, it works pretty well- 3” out of 7, where 1 is the best rating, and 7 is the worst.
This synagogue s currently in the midst of a search for a new rabbi. Contact the synagogue at firstname.lastname@example.org
Synagogue Website: Www.northwoodus.org