Category Archives: Conservative Synagogue

Breastfeeding at: Adas Israel, Washington, DC

Adas Israel, in Washington, DC, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  “I’ve done it and women do it every week. Not sure about a written policy but the Rabbis have spoken extensively about it”.  It is generally comfortable and accepted.

Private Nursing Locations:

The private nursing space is the bridal room, which is labeled as the “Bride’s room”.  It is located on the “Main floor, near the Beit Midrash and one of the sanctuaries”.  It’s usually unlocked during services, but sometimes you need to ask a staff member to unlock it.  Inside the room there’s also a bathroom with it’s own door and lock. The room is stocked with a boppy and changing pad as well.

There are some accessibility limitations- contact the synagogue if you know you have particular needs, since I don’t have particulars as to whether the only issue is that it is sometimes locked, or if there are other limitations.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

The community is generally “Very pro breastfeeding, wherever and whenever. I’ve seen clergy spouses nursing in the sanctuary without a cover. I’ve done it myself.”

The connection to get this review came from a piece in Kveller  (Read it by clicking here ) where the author says of Adas Israel: ”

our congregation—Adas Israel, in Washington, DC—is about the most kid-friendly place I have ever been.

Walk into our main sanctuary on any given Saturday and amidst the chanting and praying and shuffling of pages, you’ll hear a symphony of children’s voices. Laughing, singing, crying, asking questions—doing all the things kids do. Look around and you’ll see kids on the bimah, kids in the pews with their families, kids walking the aisles, mamas nursing babies, papas clutching kids under a tallis as they rock rhythmically back and forth. In one service, you’ll even find a play area for kids off to the side of the room.”

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the Women’s bathrooms, Men’s bathrooms, Family/children’s bathroom, and the Nursing Room.  People leave strollers in the coat room.  There is space for kids’ stuff, including a fridge for pumped milk.

“Children [are] encouraged in all services and welcomed onto the bimah throughout”.

There is a Tot Shabbat service at 11am for children 5 and under.

Bottlefeeding is also accepted here; the community is “generally positive on feeding babies however they need to be fed”.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received a rating of

  • Great, could barely be better- 1

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

Contact Information:

Main contact: adasoffice@adasisrael.org

Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf at Rabbi.Steinlauf@adasisrael.org

Cantor Arianne Brown at Cantor.Brown@adasisrael.org

Rabbi Aaron Alexander at Rabbi.Alexander@adasisrael.org

Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt at Rabbi.Holtzblatt@adasisrael.org

Rabbi Kerrith Rosenbaum at Rabbi.Rosenbaum@adasisrael.org

Synagogue Website: http://adasisrael.org/

Breastfeeding at: Emanuel Synagogue, Oklahoma City, OK

Emmanuel Synagogue, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  “The Rabbi breastfeeds her own baby in the sanctuary and in the chapel.”  It is mostly comfortable.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space, but “There is a children’s room adjacent to the chapel, and there is one ladies’ room with comfy furniture.”   That bathroom is on the “main floor, between the chapel and the sanctuary”.  There are some accessibility limitations.  I’d suggest contacting the rabbi to find out more, if this is a concern for you.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

“People usually offer [information about breastfeeding locations] when they see a family with babies–we’re not that big.”

“Our older members seem to be shifting from discomfort to joy that there are more babies around here. The nursing cover does not seem to impact attitudes–although I think people notice that breastfeeding is occuring far less if no cover is used (or, rather, if the only cover is the mother’s shirt).”

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom only.  There is no designated space for strollers.  There is space for kids’ supplies, including a fridge for pumped breastmilk.

The attitude toward children in the main service is “Positive, if the noise is kept to a dull roar”.

Bottle feeding may or may not be accepted and comfortable in this community.  If you have experience bottle-feeding here, please let me know what it’s like!

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received a rating of

  • Great, could barely be better- 1

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

Contact Information:

General contact at emanuel_office@coxinet.net

Rabbi  Abby Jacobson via form on the website at http://www.emanuelokc.org/#!rabbi/c1h35

Synagogue Website:  www.emanuelokc.org

Nursing Space Photos: Agudath Israel Congregation

Agudath Israel Congregation has just created a new family lounge, including a private nursing space with a curtain to provide privacy.

The synagogue is working on signs that will indicate both the location of the family lounge and that breastfeeding is welcome in all parts of the synagogue.  I’ll keep you posted with more as their work continues.

nursing room photo Agudath Canada 2016 1

 

[Photo shows a view into the nursing space, with a two-seater sofa with pillow, and cubbies/shelving behind it.  The substantial, white curtain is pulled back to one side.]

 

 

The lounge also has additional couches, and play structures.

nursing room photo Agudath Canada 2016 3 [Photo shows two white couches on each side of a corner.  There is a small piece of art up on the wall.  The wall is a light purple.  The rug has a large cire on it of which the photo shows part.  The circle has the Hebrew alphabet on it.]

 

 

nursing room photo Agudath Canada 2016 2 [Photo shows a purple carpet, windows on the right side, a plastic play structure with a red slide, and behind it, what looks like a play-kitchen.]

Breastfeeding at: Beth Israel, Owings Mills, MD

Beth Israel in Owings Mills, Maryland, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It may or may not be permitted, but “I would expect at least a nursing cover would be expected.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a nursing location, in the bridal room.  The sign says “Bridal Suite”.  It is on the main floor, “just steps from the Sanctuary and Social Hall”.  It is accessible, and one finds it by word of mouth.  The room contains “Futon and 2 armed chairs with plenty of pillows, a vanity large enough for changing baby, [and a] private bathroom attached. There is talk of a remodel and an addition of a sign signifying that it’s a nursing space.”

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is “accepted as a child rearing technique, but it has remained pretty much behind doors due to personal comfort level. If my wife were to nurse our son, it would be with a cover.” in this community.

This synagogue also streams Shabbat morning services on its website.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom,the men’s bathrooms, and the nursing room/bridal suite.  There is no designated space for strollers, but the synagogue is large enough that there is plenty of space for strollers.  There is space for kids’ stuff,  but no refrigerator for pumped milk.

Children in the main service are “Generally accepted, but there is also a segregated quiet room, where there are floor to ceiling windows on one side and the services in pumped in via speakers.”

Bottle feeding is also “accepted” in this community.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received a rating of

  • Good, could make small improvements- 2

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

Contact Information:

Rabbi Jay R. Goldstein at Rebjay@aol.com

Synagogue Website: http://www.bethisrael-om.org/

Breastfeeding at: Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park, MN

Beth El Synagogue, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  People “feel very comfortable nursing anywhere in the synagogue”.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a Nursing Room next to the main sanctuary.  It is labelled.  It contains “two chairs, a bathroom, and a changing table”, and is accessible on Shabbat and during the week.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

The community is “positive and accommodating” to breastfeeding.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathrooms, the men’s bathrooms, the family/children’s bathroom, and in the nursing room.  There is stroller parking, and space for kids toys and diaper bags (but not a fridge for pumped milk), in the coat closet area.

Children in the main service are “Very welcomed. We have Shabbat friendly toy bags available for young children and a quiet room connected to the sanctuary with viewing access to services”

Bottle feeding is regarded as “just as positive as breast feeding” in this community.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received a rating of

  • Great, could barely be better- 1

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

Contact Information:

Rabbi Alexander Davis

Rabbi Avi Olitzky at aolitzky@bethelsynagogue.org

Director of Shorashim and Young Families Engagement at aawend@bethelsynagogue.org;

Or via the website:  http://www.bethelsynagogue.org/pages/email.php?to=ad

Synagogue Website: http://www.bethelsynagogue.org/

Breastfeeding at: Shomrei Torah, Wayne, NJ

Shomrei Torah, in Wayne, New Jersey, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  There is “No written policy. Someone once asked and we said go ahead.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space, but one may use the rabbi’s office (near the sanctuary).  To find it and get access, ask an usher.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

“Most of our members are welcoming of young people with whatever that entails.”  During synagogue programming (other than services), some mothers breastfeed in the program, others use the rabbi’s office.  “It is not something that is a regular occurrence, but when it comes up, it has not been an issue.”

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom and the men’s bathrooms.  People leave strollers in the lobby or the center isle.  Kids’ stuff s left wherever is convenient- there is no designated space, but it is welcomed.

The attitude toward children in the main service is welcoming.  The rabbi says of children in the service: “they, they toys, their noise and their parents are all welcome”.

Bottlefeeding is also accepted as “just fine” in this community.

Wrap-Up:

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.

Contact Information:

Rabbi  Randal Mark at rabbi@shomreitorahwcc.org or 973-696-2500

Synagogue Website: http://shomreitorahwcc.org/

Breastfeeding at: B’nai Jacob, Phoenixville, PA

B’nai Jacob, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  “I’ve done it. I’ve seen others do it. And no one has made any objections. Our rabbi (before she left this past summer) was very pro-breastfeeding and fine with us nursing in the sanctuary.”  Doing so is comfortable.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

The community is supportive and positive about breastfeeding.

General Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables.  There is no stroller parking, or place for children’s stuff.

Please tell me about the attitude toward children in the main service, and about attitudes toward bottlefeeding!  

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received a rating of

  • Okay, it is just workable enough- 4

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

Contact Information:

This synagogue is in the process of hiring a new rabbi.

admin@congbj.org

Synagogue Website: http://www.congbj.org/