Breastfeeding at: The Prospect Heights Shul, Brooklyn, NY

Prospect Heights Shul in Brooklyn, NY, USA

Updated 8/18/2015 with more parent quotes, ratings, changing table information

Nursing in the Sanctuary:

Breastfeeding is permitted in the service.  The rabbi of this congregation recently wrote a teshuva (rabbinic responsum) permitting breastfeeding during services.   The communal atmosphere is a comfortable one for nursing, as well Parents’ comments about the attitudes of this community include: “It’s Brooklyn. We do breastfeeding.”.  “Sometimes I wear a cover, sometimes just I am covered by just my clothing which is often draped over my baby/toddlers head.”  “Our shul has NEVER asked anyone to cover up, move to the back, or leave the room for feeding a hungry baby. Better to feed a baby and hear the d’var then leave the room!”

Private Nursing Locations:

The private nursing location is the teacher’s room (this shul meets at a Jewish elementary school).  There is no label; the room is down the hall from the sanctuary/prayer space, near the bathrooms and the front door, and is “just there”.  It is open and easily accessible.  Other people (other than parents) are not allowed in that space.  It contains some plastic chars and a futon.  There s a window- some mothers Might want a cover for that reason, but others are fine without one.

Other Information:

No information is publicized about the synagogue policy on breastfeeding, although the rabbi’s teshuva is being well publicized online, separately from the shul.  (Links to it can be found on this website.)

“I have nursed non-stop for 4 years – since the founding of the shul. Feeding a baby is part of life and our community understands, respects, and encourages that. Women use a cover if they want to, and not if they don’t. No one sits with a breast out but we’re also dressed for davening/shabbat and not the beach.”

General Child Friendliness:

There is a changing table in the “family/children’s bathroom, we are housed in a school with one changing table near the front, people also change babies on the futon in the teachers lounge”.  Strollers are parked by the front desk of the school.  Kids’ supplies are kept n their strollers.

Moderate children’s noise is comfortably tolerated during prayer, but not during the drasha; noisy children are usually asked to leave the sanctuary at that time.

Bottle-feeding is regarded “same as breastfeeding — feed your child, period.” in this community.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of

  • Great, could barely be better- 1
  • Good, could make small improvements- 2
  • Great, could barely be better- 1

out of 7 (where 1 is the best rating and 7 is the worst)

Contact Information:

Rabbi Ysoschar Katz

info@prospectheightsshul.org

Synagogue website: http://prospectheightsshul.org/

 

 

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