Category Archives: Independent Minyan

Breastfeeding at Fort Tryon Jewish Center (FTJC), Manhattan, NY

Fort Tryon Jewish Center in Manhattan, New York, USA

Originally posted 6/6/2015, Updated 7/20/16

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted and welcome in the service, with and without a cover, both officially and socially.

Previously, it was understood that breastfeeding was best done at the back, but this is no longer the case.  Some people are comfortable nursing in the midst of the regular seating, some others choose not to.

Private Nursing Locations:

There are two chairs for nursing in the entry room to the upstairs bathroom (a separate room), which also has a changing station.

Other Information:

The Fort Tryon Jewish Center currently meets at the Hebrew Tabernacle for most services.  When they meet elsewhere (for example, private homes/apartments), obviously, some of this information won’t be entirely accurate.

The policy was developed through consultation between the rabbi and congregants when several waves of new babies were born in a short period of time.   The policy was then announced in a drasha by the rabbi, a few years ago.  (Policy made public and clear- I love clear communication!)  However it is not shared on the website or in other materials.

Nursing is welcomed by this community, and one may  stay in the main seats while nursing.

Genera Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables in both the women’s and gender neutral bathrooms.  Strollers are parked outside or in the stairwell, and there is space for children’s needed supplies.

The main service is “very welcoming; toy corner and block corner in back. However, kids are expected to play quietly.”  One parent thinks the set-up prevents kids from sitting quietly up front with their toys, instead of in back.

Bottlefeeding is welcomed and comfortable in this community, both during services and other programming.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of

    • Alright, it works pretty well- 3
    • Alright, it works pretty well- 3

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

Contact Information:

Rabbi Guy Austrian at rabbi@ftjc.org

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

 

Breastfeeding at: Woodstock Jewish Congregation- Kehillat Lev Shalem, Woodstock, NY

Kehillat Lev Shalem- Woodstock Jewish Congregation, in Woodstock, New York, USA

Nursing in the Sanctuary:

Breastfeeding is permitted in the service.  “Members have invited us to come to services with our little kids — they had to know it would happen.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no private breastfeeding location.

Other Information:

No information is publicized about the synagogue policy on breastfeeding.

“Most people in the synagogue are fairly progressive. I do notice that because I am still BFing my 2-y-o, some people kind of look surprised when they see us — but also he doesn’t nurse that often any more so it doesn’t happen all that often.”

General Child Friendliness:

There is a changing table in the Women’s bathrooms, and in the Men’s bathrooms. There is no stroller parking or space for kids’ stuff.

“They do a great job of having alternative programming for kids during main services. I’ve always felt that I can bring my kids to services, but if they are unruly people do talk to them about it. (Not in a stern/punishing way, but asking them to behave.)”

I have no information about bottlefeeding at this synagogue.  If you do, please do share it!

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 Aura Bartfeld Ahuvia at rabbiaura@wjcshul.org

Synagogue website: http://www.wjcshul.org/

 

 

Breastfeeding at Minyan Tehillah, Cambridge, MA

Minyan Tehillah in Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA

Updated 8/26/15- additional rating, experiences, general information, and bottle-feeding information

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is informally permitted and welcome, although there is no formal policy.  “Women routinely nurse in the women’s section during davening”.  “I didn’t nurse my now-teenagers there because there weren’t a lot of babies, but by the time I had my now-elementary-school-kid there were lots of moms nursing. Some used covers, but I never did. I didn’t nurse while leading or laining, but some mothers even do that.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated private space for nursing, but “some moms use the babysitting space if they aren’t comfortable nursing in the sanctuary”.    However, “All the chairs are sized for 3-4 year olds. It is full of 20+ kids and 5+ adults at all times”.  The babysitting room is upstairs.  You find t by asking around/word of mouth.  Other options include the hallway or outside on a bench.  The shul has very limited options for space.

Other Information:

There is no information or policy about breastfeeding publicized by this community.

Nursing is welcomed by this community, “The community is very welcoming of breastfeeding wherever and whenever”.  They see having no nursing room as a message that breastfeeding should be free and comfortable anywhere- a designated space might suggest that other spaces were not open for nursing as well.  “I felt fine about it, but I know there are murmurs among other people. We don’t have an official policy and that concerns me even though I no longer have a nursling.”

Genera Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables in both the women’s and the men’s bathrooms.  Strollers are either parked outside or folded umbrella strollers may be put in the hallway.  There is very limited space for children’s stuff- some ” toddlers go to preschool at the shul building so they have cubby space – otherwise, no [space]. This is a big problem for families of all ages.”.

In the main service is generally welcoming and tolerant of kids and their noise.  “Very child-friendly. Kids lead end of davening; kids get lollipops; kids run from parent to parent as needed. Mostly the kids are not noisy, however.”

The attitude toward bottle-feeding here is “Pretty negative, unless it’s obviously EBM [expresse breast milk] fed by non-nursing care-giver.”  “I think almost every mom nurses. Sometimes dads bring babies to shul with a bottle. Snacks for kids in general are permitted even in the sanctuary”.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of

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

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

Contact Information:

Leadership at Minyantehillah@minyantehillah.org

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

 

Breastfeeding at: Tikkun Leil Shabbat, Washington, DC, USA

Tikkun Leil Shabbat, in Washington, DC, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  There is “no written policy. I nurse uncovered in during services every time I go, and no one has said a word to me. Several moms have even thanked me for making them feel more comfortable.   I was one of the first people in the community to have a baby – 4.5 years ago, and I started bringing my little one and nursing (without a cover) when she was about 6 weeks old. Lots of mothers who have had babies after me bring their babies to services and nurse – most use covers but not all.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space, but “there’s a classroom where some of the kids play when they get bored or disruptive during services and some moms nurse there.”  It is between the sanctuary and the bathrooms.  There s no sign or label.  “No one tells you to go there because nursing is welcomed in the sanctuary, but people find it by following the sounds of the older small children – or just following their older small children who magically find the other kids.”  It is accessible on Shabbat.

Other Information:

The website offers no information about breastfeeding.

The community is supportive and positive about breastfeeding, including the breastfeeding of toddlers.  “About 4 years ago, I once gave community announcement while nursing my 6ish month old. No one said a word to me about it. I suspect some people were uncomfortable, but the fact that I did that has opened the way for all of the other mothers in the community to nurse in the kahal when and how they want or need to.”

General Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables.  There is no real space for strollers but people put them near the coats.  There s space for children’s supplies, including a fridge for pumped milk.

The attitude toward children in the main service is very supportive.

This community is also very supportive and positive toward bottle feeding.

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:

tikkunleilshabbat@yahoo.com

Synagogue Website: http://tikkunleilshabbat.blogspot.com/

Breastfeeding at: The Kitchen, San Francisco, CA

The Kitchen, in San Francisco, California, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  There is “no policy, but women are seen nursing with and without a nursing cover.”  It is commonly done and accepted.  “Most people seem to nurse in the back area where the children play.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space, but one may use the classrooms of the school as private places to nurse.  They are on the same floor s the sanctuary.  For access, one needs to ask a staff member.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

This community is supportive and positive about breastfeeding.

General Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables.  “Strollers are welcome in any area, many people park them in front of the sanctuary area.”.  There is spae for children’s supplies, including a fridge for pumped milk.

Children in the main service are “very welcome. It is a “no shush” service with joyous singing that is usually louder than the kids. Many families bring toys or books into the service or play in the back of the school with the Camp Kitchen educator. Children are asked to be quiet or leave the service for the sermon and mourners’ kaddish.”.

This community welcomes and supports all choices about feeding your baby, breast or bottle.

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 Noa Kushner at noakushner@thekitchensf.org

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

Breastfeeding at: Kehillat Hadar, Manhattan, NY

Kehillat Hadar, in Manhattan, New York, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It may or may not be permitted.  The person who shared information hasn’t been inclined to try it.  She has not seen anyone breastfeeding in the sanctuary during services, although she has seen it (ith a cover) during kiddush.

Private Nursing Locations:

As “Davening is held in a school; the designated private nursing location is a classroom down the hall from the prayer space”.  There is no sign or label on the door.  The respondent shared that “I was told about it informally by one of the davening coordinators when I was seen nursing in another room. I was NOT asked to leave where I was and go into that room – just offered it as an option.”

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

In this community “most people [seem to] feel neutral to positive about breastfeeding, or they haven’t had an opportunity to really think about it. Several times while breastfeeding at shul (outside of the prayer space) without a nursing cover, people have said things like “Sorry, I didn’t realize what you were doing, I didn’t mean to stare” or “Is it okay that I talk to you while you are nursing?” Other times, I have had whole conversations with people while nursing, and they haven’t commented at all.”

General Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables available.  “There are two spots in the hallway outside the prayer space where many people leave strollers. Other people bring them into the prayer space themselves.” Occasionally  someone will leave one on the first floor of the building, at the base of the stairs and elevator (davening is on the third floor of the building).  There is space for kids’ stuff, including a fridge for pumped milk.

The attitude toward children in the main service is comfortable: “There are often children in davening – running around the prayer space, being held by parents, playing with toys at the back of the room, etc. Sometimes they make more noise than others; I don’t think people mind a little noise but if there is screaming, usually a parent will carry the child outside. There is also a Tot Shabbat service every few weeks.”

I have no information about bottle-feeding here.  If you do, please share it.

Wrap-Up:

This minyan 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:

contact@kehilathadar.org

Minyan Website: www.kehilathadar.org

Breastfeeding at: The DC Minyan, Washington DC

The DC Minyan, in Washington DC, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is unclear whether it is permitted because “everyone who nurses seems to do so in the lobby”.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated nursing room/space, but private nursing can be done in the preschool classrooms, upstairs.

The lobby seems to be the popular choice though.  (Apparently Very popular, as this is a community with a lot of babies and  lot of breastfeeding.)  The lobby has a number of couches and comfortable chairs.  Most people use nursing covers.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

The community is supportive and positive about breastfeeding in general.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom and the men’s bathrooms.  People leave strollers in the lobby, were they take up quite a bit of the space.  There is room for kids’ supplies.

People would like children and babies in the main service to be quieter than they are, as there are “many, many, many young children and babies”.  There are also several age groupings for children’s services.

Bottlefeeding is also welcomed and comfortable at this minyan.

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:

dc@dcminyan.org

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