Breastfeeding at: Young Israel of Brookline, Brookline, MA

Young Israel of Brookline in Brookline, Massachussetts, USA

Updated with more nursing room details, additional changing table location, additional rating (Originally published June 10, 2015)

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It nay or may not be permitted, but has been done.  The respondent adds that “I would guess no one would bother a woman nursing under a cover in the upstairs section. I’m not sure about a woman who would nurse without a cover or in the downstairs section.”  She does not have personal experience nursing in the sanctuary, not having thought to do so.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a nursing room, called the Nursing Mothers’ Room/Bride Room.  It is near the upstairs women’s section, and is attached to the main women’s bathroom but separated from it by a door.  That door (the one from the bathroom) is labeled, but the other door is not.  People tend to find it by asking around. There are two chairs.  “Usually women who are using it lock the door so a second woman can’t gain access without the first woman letting her in.  Sometimes kids play in there but they leave when you kick them out.” It is not accessible if you use most mobility aids (wheelchair, etc).

Other Information:

There is no publicized information about the synagogue’s breastfeeding policy.

Congregational attitudes are comfortable with nursing using a nursing cover, which seems to be the communal norm.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables in the women’s bathroom and men’s bathroom.  Many of the other bathrooms have long counters that are not designated as changing tables, but might be easily used as such.  Strollers are generally parked against the walls in the main hallway or outside the shul on the patio. There is a ramp to enter the building.  There is no particular space for children’s supplies.

Kids are expected to be quiet in the sanctuary. However, there is a fair amount of noise as a rule but no one says anything. People are only strict on Purim, the High Holidays, etc.  Kids do come in to the service to get candy all the time.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of

  • “Alright, it works pretty well- 3” out of 7
  • Okay, it is just workable enough- 4
  • where 1 is the best rating, and 7 the worst.

    Contact Information:

    Rabbi David Hellman at rabbihellman@yibrookline.org

    Synagogue Website: www.yibrookline.org

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