Category Archives: Israel

Breastfeeding At: Special Summary About Unnamed Israeli Synagogues

I’ve received a few questionnaires that describe synagogues in Israel that don’t seem to have any name.  So far, I’ve gotten 3 such responses (out of a bit over 100 total responses)- so it can’t be so unusual there.

Going forward, I’ve modified the questionnaire to ask for alternative identifiers.

But so that you can see as much as I do, here are a few quick things that I’ve noticed.

-Two permit, very comfortably: “Simply, it’s what is done. In this particular shul, the mechitza is constructed in such a way that men and women can’t see each other, so it feels less complex.” and “As far as I know there’s no written policy, there have just always been nursing mothers in Shul, both with and without covers”, while at the last, it isn’t and the mother who filled out the questionnaire writes that she “got yelled at for trying with a cover”.

-I don’t have enough evidence to think about whether they are representative of local communities- one of these is even anonymous enough to be in an unnamed Yishuv, while the others are in Jerusalem (and like the other few I’ve gotten information about, has been very open to breastfeeding), and in Haifa (not open to it at all).  But I have no other questionnaires about Haifa synagogues, so I really can’t say anything.

-I do notice that Israeli synagogues seem not to have diaper changing tables anywhere.  I have not yet received a questionnaire where an Israeli synagogue is reported to have a changing table.

That’s what I saw as useful or interesting to share from these synagogues.  I look forward to broadening this blog’s reporting about Israeli synagogues- especially if we can get the identification thing down.

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Breastfeeding at: Kehilat Yedidya (קהילת ידידיה), Jerusalem, Israel

Kehillat Yedidya (קהילת ידידיה) in Jerusalem, Israel

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It may or may not be permitted, but is not comfortable to try.

Nursing Locations:

There is no separate space for breastfeeding privately.  Many woen nurse in the lobby.

Other Breastfeeding Experiences:

“The community seemed supportive and there were many nursing women in my time there. However, we always seemed to be on the chairs in the entryways.”  Breastfeeding during programs (i.e. panels, speakers, events) is fine.

There is no information/signage visible about breastfeeding policies either in the synagogue or its website or bulletin.

General  Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables.  “There is a sign to not bring strollers into the sanctuary, but there isn’t really adequate space to store/park them anywhere.” (However, there s a ramp into the building.) There is no particular space for children’s supplies.

Kids are totally welcome in the main service.

Summary:

This synagogue received a  general rating of: “Okay, it is just workable enough- 4” out of 7, where 1 was the best rating and 7 was the worst.

Contact information

This congregation does not  have a rabbi.

Office: adyed@013.net

Synagogue Website: (Hebrew) http://yedidya.org.il/new_site/index.php

(English) http://yedidya.org.il/new_site/index_eng.php

Breastfeeding at: Kehillat Meitar (קהילת מיתר), Modiin, Israel

Kehillat Meitar (קהילת מיתר) in Modiin, Israel

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  Women breastfeed in the sanctuary “all the time”.   “Being an Orthodox synagogue, I think most of the women understand that a nursing cover should be used if they are nursing in the synagogue. But most women in our community use nursing covers to begin with anyways”.

Nursing Locations:

There is no separate space for breastfeeding privately.

Other Breastfeeding Experiences:

This community is very comfortable with breastfeeding, with a nursing cover, but probably not so comfortable without one.

There is no information/signage visible about breastfeeding policies either in the synagogue or its website or bulletin.

General  Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables.  Parents usually change diapers in the child’s stroller.  Strollers are generally parked in the small lobby.  There is no particular space for children’s supplies.

(Older) Children are incorporated into the main service: “Children are given parts of the regular service to read, common practice in the Moroccan community. There are 2 shiur in for children immediately following services, and one in the afternoon before Mincha. There are books for children in the synagogue’s library and a few toys in the women’s section”.

Summary:

This synagogue received a  general rating of: “Great, could barely be better- 1” out of 7, where 1 was the best rating and 7 was the worst.

Contact information

Rabbi בנימין דה לה פואנטה

054-6724565

Breastfeeding at: New Shul in Elazar, Gush Etzion, Israel

New Shul in Elazar, Gush Etzion, Israel

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  There is “no written policy, but everyone breastfeeds and it is universally accepted that nursing moms will also nurse in shul”.  Breastfeeding is welcomed and comfortable there.

Nursing Locations:

There is a separate space for breastfeeding privately within/adjoining the women’s section of the synagogue.  It is unlabeled, but right at the entrance where it is very easy to find.  There is ample space there for many mothers to breastfeed at once.

Other Breastfeeding Experiences:

This community is very comfortable with breastfeeding, both with and without extra coverage.

There is no information/signage visible about breastfeeding policies either in the synagogue or its website or bulletin.

General  Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables.  Strollers are generally brought in to the women’s section of the shul.  There is space for children’s supplies as well.  Children are “Largely tolerated except in the most extreme examples of bad behavior” in the main service.

Summary:

This synagogue received a  general rating of: “Good, could make small improvements”- 2 out of 7, where 1 was the best rating and 7 was the worst.

 

Contact information

I have received no contact information for this synagogue.