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.

Breastfeeding at: Suburban Orthodox Toras Chaim, in Baltimore, Maryland

Synagogue: Suburban Orthodox Toras Chaim, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Breastfeeding in the sanctuary: May or may not be permitted, but does not feel welcomed/is not done.

Nursing locations:

There is space to nurse in the women’s bathroom lounge.  Most of the seats are not very comfortable, and most of the space is visible from the hallway, but it is separated from the bathroom stalls.  It is in the ladies room close to the sanctuary.  Women also use this space for changing shoes, etc.  It is easily accessible on Shabbat as well as during the week.

Other Information:

There is no posted information about breastfeeding.  Women in the community were “generally very positive” about seeing breastfeeding in the lounge.  Nursing in public would likely be best with very careful coverage, in accordance with communal attitudes.

Child friendliness:

There are changing tables in the women’s bathroom.

There is stroller parking outside the shul- a covered area, and there are places to leave the items needed for taking care of a child.

The community is moderately tolerant of kids and their noise in the service, but the limit can be reached, and board members may intervene to suggest that a particular child not be brought into the service again.

Wrap up:

General rating:  As a whole, this shul received a rating of: “Okay, just workable enough- 4” out of 7 rating (where 1 is the best, 7 the worst)

Other comments:

Contact:

The synagogue website: https://www.suburbanorthodox.org

The rabbi, Rabbi  can be reached at https://www.suburbanorthodox.org/our-rav.html

Breastfeeding at: the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in Riverdale, Bronx, New York, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  One mother writes that “My first time in the shul I saw another woman nursing during kabbalat shabbat who was clearly a regular so I made an assumption which has never been challenged.”

It becomes more comfortable as the community’s ease becomes more evident.  Mostly I stick to out-of-the-way parts of the sanctuary, near the back, to breastfeed.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a separate space for breastfeeding privately.  It is called a nursing room,  however the room itself does not have a sign or label on it.  Asking around will find someone to show it to you.  (Either staff or a member of the synagogue)  People also make an effort to tell nursing mothers hat it is available without their needing to ask.

It contains 1 glider chair.  There is no other chair in the space if a second mother needs to nurse at the same time and wants a quiet place to do so.   There is an ample supply of diapers in several sizes, wipes and a fold-down changing table, a garbage pail, a sink and a mirror.  It is in the basement, near the stairs, across from the elevator, which does operate as a Shabbos elevator on Shabbat, making the space accessible on Shabbat to those with wheelchairs or strollers.  It is also open/unlocked during the week.  The door locks but some women seem annoyed when a nursing mom actually locks the door.

Other Information:

This community is very comfortable with breastfeeding during all sorts of events an programs, including tot shabbat, brit milah,  simchat bat, and a funeral.  Women nurse all over the synagogue, some with a cover and others without, without comment.

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

General  Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables in both women’s and men’s bathrooms on the main floor, in the nursing room in the basement, and in the family/children’s bathroom on the third floor  Strollers are generally parked in the lobby, or brought to the lower level during Tot Shabbat.  Supplies for babies/children can be left in the coatroom.  Children’s presence is welcomed in the main service and the noise is generally not an issue, but every once in awhile a congregant will complain.  Toys are welcomed, noise is the thing that can cause complaint.  More complaints seem to happen at the 7am (“Shalom Bayit”) minyan.

Summary:

This synagogue received general ratings of:

  • “Good, could make small improvements”- 2
  • Good, could make small improvements- 2
  • Bad, I avoid it if I can- 6
  • Good, could make small improvements- 2

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

Contact information

Rabbi Steven Exler at ravsteven@thebayit.org

Rabbi Ari Hart at ravari@thebayit.org

Rabbah Sara Hurwitz at rabbasara@thebayit.org

Rabbi Emeritus Avi Weiss at ravavi@thebayit.org

Synagogue website: thebayit.org

Breastfeeding at: Congregation Beth Shalom, Clearwater, FL, US

Congregation Beth Shalom, in Clearwater, Florida, US

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted, “Never a question – I don’t believe there was a written policy but I was never made to feel uncomfortable.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no private nursing location.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

General Child Friendliness:

There is a changing table available in the family/children’s bathroom.

Storage for strollers is in the kitchen.  There is space for kids’ stuff, including a fridge for pumped milk.

In the main service, children are welcome.

Bottle feeding is accepted in this congregation: “A kid is eating – end of story”

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:

Rabbi Rabbi David Weizman at rabbiweizman@gmail.com

Rabbi Danielle Upbin at rabbidani@verizon.net

Synagogue Website: http://cbsclearwater.org/

Reviews of Synagogue Breastfeeding Arrangements