Breastfeeding at Lower Merion Synagogue, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Lower Merion Synagogue in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, USA

Updated 7/8/15

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

Policy is unknown, but neither respondent had ever seen someone nurse in either service (main sanctury or Beit Midrash minyan), and one said that she nurses “I nurse in public often with a cover, but wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so in the sanctuary or Beit Midrash minyan.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a nursing room near the bathrooms on the upper level, near the Beit Midrash (where most young couples pray) and a restroom, and around the corner from the classrooms.  It contains “One rocking chair and a small bench, so theoretically two people could use it at a time. Room locks from the inside, and is clearly labeled “Tipat Chalav”. No real space to put down baby when readjusting clothing, though.”  I’m told that it is a “small utility closet that was outfitted with a carpet and rocking chair” to become a nursing room.

Besides this space, there is also “a rocking chair in the women’s bathroom next to the main sanctuary” as an additional option.

Other Information:

No information about this synagogue’s breastfeeding policy is made public.

Breastfeeding s a common, accepted, and comfortable practice in this community, and nursing in baby-oriented spaces, for example playgroups, in the synagogue is comfortable.

Genera Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables in both the women’s and the men’s bathrooms.  Strollers are parked outside unless the weather is bad, in which case, they are parked in the front of the shul.  There is space for children’s needed supplies.

“Children are ever-present in shul. Quiet children are welcomed in services, but rowdy kids are generally not welcome (no official policy, just general courtesy). There are groups, a baby room, and a park with playground facilities at the school next door that many families use during services. More/better provisions for families with young children would be helpful.”  Kids are more often in play groups and children’s minyanim than in regular services.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of:

  • Okay, it is just workable enough- 4
  • not answered in an otherwise partially filled out questionnaire
  • Good, could make small improvements- 2

where 1 is the best rating, and 7 is the worst.

Contact Information:

Rabbi Rabbi Avraham J. Shmidman  at  rabbi@lowermerionsynagogue.org

Synagogue Website:  http://lowermerionsynagogue.org/

 

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