Category Archives: Pennsylvania

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/

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Breastfeeding at: Shaare Torah Congregation, Pittsburgh, PA

Shaare Torah Congregation, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is not permitted, although the policy is unwritten.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a nursing room, called the Mommy And Me Room.  It is a classroom on the main floor, near the sanctuary and the other child care rooms.   It is labeled with a sign on the door.  Most people find out about it by word of mouth.  “The room is bright and comfortable and includes two sofas, a glider with ottoman, a few additional chairs, a changing table and cabinet stocked with diapers and wipes, a small refrigerator for storing pumped breast milk and a collection of toys and books for older siblings to use while mom nurses. The room also has a diaper pail and hand sanitizer.”

Image of the Shaare Torah Mommy and Me Room

[Pictured: The Shaare Torah Nursing Room. The picture shows two tan couches with plentiul pillows and a plastic footrest at each couch. Also the ottoman that goes with a glider-chair is in the front right corner. The room has windows that look to be frosted glass.]

Other Information:

The website has no  policy about breastfeeding, but does mention the Mommy And Me Room in the facilities section.

” In 2005, Shaare Torah received the Breast Feeding Friendly Place Award from the Allegheny County Health Department.”  A report about the award, including a photograph taken in the nursing room canbe found here: http://www.achd.net/pr/pubs/pdf/bfpaward2005.pdf

The community is supportive and positive about breastfeeding.  “Outside of the sanctuary, mothers often nurse with a nursing cover while participating in events in the social hall or other areas.”

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom, the men’s bathrooms, ad the nursing room.  People leave strollers in the front hall of the synagogue.  There is space for kids’ supplies.

In the main service, “Children are always welcome to be present with a parent’s supervision, though on Shabbat morning the congregation offers supervised child care for children over one year. Child care ends before the conclusion of services and all of the children participate in the end of the service, in which they are invited to kiss the Torah and receive a lollipop from the rabbi. This is extremely popular, and there is usually a long line of children eager to kiss the Torah and receive their treat.”

Bottlefeeding is also comfortably accepted: “The shul is welcoming to children of all ages, and parents are encouraged to feed them in whatever way is best for their family.”

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 Daniel Wasserman at  412-377-1769, rabbiwass@aol.com

Synagogue Website: www.shaaretorah.net

Breastfeeding at Lower Merion Synagogue, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Lower Merion Synagogue in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, USA

Updated 7/8/15

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

Policy is unknown, but neither respondent had ever seen someone nurse in either service (main sanctury or Beit Midrash minyan), and one said that she nurses “I nurse in public often with a cover, but wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so in the sanctuary or Beit Midrash minyan.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a nursing room near the bathrooms on the upper level, near the Beit Midrash (where most young couples pray) and a restroom, and around the corner from the classrooms.  It contains “One rocking chair and a small bench, so theoretically two people could use it at a time. Room locks from the inside, and is clearly labeled “Tipat Chalav”. No real space to put down baby when readjusting clothing, though.”  I’m told that it is a “small utility closet that was outfitted with a carpet and rocking chair” to become a nursing room.

Besides this space, there is also “a rocking chair in the women’s bathroom next to the main sanctuary” as an additional option.

Other Information:

No information about this synagogue’s breastfeeding policy is made public.

Breastfeeding s a common, accepted, and comfortable practice in this community, and nursing in baby-oriented spaces, for example playgroups, in the synagogue is comfortable.

Genera Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables in both the women’s and the men’s bathrooms.  Strollers are parked outside unless the weather is bad, in which case, they are parked in the front of the shul.  There is space for children’s needed supplies.

“Children are ever-present in shul. Quiet children are welcomed in services, but rowdy kids are generally not welcome (no official policy, just general courtesy). There are groups, a baby room, and a park with playground facilities at the school next door that many families use during services. More/better provisions for families with young children would be helpful.”  Kids are more often in play groups and children’s minyanim than in regular services.

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of:

  • Okay, it is just workable enough- 4
  • not answered in an otherwise partially filled out questionnaire
  • Good, could make small improvements- 2

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

Contact Information:

Rabbi Rabbi Avraham J. Shmidman  at  rabbi@lowermerionsynagogue.org

Synagogue Website:  http://lowermerionsynagogue.org/

 

Breastfeeding at: Kesher Zion Synagogue, Reading, PA

Kesher Zion Synagogue in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  While there is no formal policy, the synagogue is very friendly to families and children.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a dedicated private nursing space next to the sanctuary. There is comfortable seating inside.  The synagogue has an elevator, making spaces accessible to parents in wheelchairs and with other mobility aids.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

General Child Friendliness:

There is a changing table available in the family/children’s bathroom.  There is enough space for children’s needed supplies.

I currently have no information about stroller parking.  If you do, please share it here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1skGeYXiz85Ej5oWCL05uv5Ykf9uNvG08vfrx2–AHLM/viewform

The attitude toward children in the main service is very friendly: “KZ loves having children in the main sanctuary! We have toys and books out for them. Children are included in the service and congregants go out of their way to help. The rabbis stroller tire was flat on Rosh Hashanah and a congregant fixed the tire. When her child ran across the bimah on yk everyone smiled and told her it was nice to have more life in the service. No one complained.”

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 Rachel Schwartz

Contact via the website:  http://www.kesherzion.org/#!contact/c1swq

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