Tag Archives: fridge for pumped milk

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

Breastfeeding at: The Kehilla, Atlanta, GA, USA

The Kehilla, in Atlanta (Sandy Springs), Georgia, USA

Updated (originally posted 12/16/15) with additional details and rating.

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.

“Rabbi said there’s nothing problematic, natural. He said [breastfeeding is] permitted before the Torah, even during shmona esrei [the 18 blessings: a main portion of the service]. There are no limitations. One woman chooses no cover, and while some choose not to hide their discomfort, the shul has not issued a statement that this isn’t permitted.”  Another respondent adds that “most people wear nursing covers”.  

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated or private nursing room/space, but “There’s a baby playroom, but people are in and out of it.”  It is labelled “Baby Room” and is in a central location.  It has “a couple of couches and a rocker. Also, kids running around and toys.”  It is accessible.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

This community’s reaction to breastfeeding is “Mixed. I choose to nurse with a cover in the sanctuary and any other spaces, even walking around with baby in a carrier. Some have suggested to other nursing moms that there’s a comfortable couch in the baby room. No one has said anything to my face. I think there’s misinformation, people don’t understand that Rabbi has said it’s not problematic.”  Visiting speakers have made breastfeeding more uncomfortable in the past.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the baby playroom.  Strollers are parked in the hallway.  There is space for kids’ toys and supplies.  One respondent indicated that this includes a refrigerator available for pumped milk, another believes not.  It may be a matter of making arrangements, or something may have changed, I don’t know.

“The attitude toward children in the main service is “currently a tense topic, with some believing their presence is essential to chinukh [Jewish education], and some believing they should be “seen but not heard.”

“Part of the struggle is that we are a young, new community. We have only been around 6 years, and babies have just shown up in the last 3. We are in the middle of a baby boom, and the community seems excited but confused about how to approach it.”

Bottlefeeding is equally accepted in this community: “A majority nurse.  No real discussion around those using bottles. ”

Wrap-Up:

This synagogue received ratings of

  • Okay, it is just workable enough- 4
  • Good, could make small improvements- 2

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

Contact Information:

Rabbi Karmi Ingber (via the website) at http://www.thekehilla.org/contact/rabbi/Synagogue

Website: http://www.thekehilla.org/

Breastfeeding at: Lubavitch of Iowa (Chabad), Des Moines, IA

Lubavitch of Iowa (Chabad), in Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.

“The Chabad shul is located in the basement of the rabbi’s home. The family keeps their home open to everyone who comes to pray. They have invited me into the living room upstairs to nurse, but they are equally open to nursing in the shul itself.  The shul is located in the basement, with an entrance through the garage on the same level. The shul has tables and chairs in both the women’s and men’s spaces, and the women’s side also has couches. ”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is no designated or private nursing room/space, but “The shul is in the Chabad family’s home. While there isn’t a dedicated room, there is almost always a space where privacy can be found.  The rebbitzen can direct you to a semi-private space.”

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

“Everyone is very welcoming of breastfeeding.”  “I have breastfed many times in the Chabad home. The family welcomes visitors anytime on Shabbat, and there are often people over until late in the afternoon. Since my child refuses to eat when under a cover, I recently hinted to the rebbitzen, while everyone sat in the living room, that I have no problem nursing uncovered even with the rabbi and 2 of their sons present. To block the men’s view while I nursed, I draped my jacket over my opposite shoulder, and she helped me by holding up the other end.”

It is important to know that the community does not have an eruv. Therefore, it is almost impossible to bring young children to shul on Shabbat if you are traditionally observant of halakha.  (However, there are some work-arounds, if you need- I know rabbinic families who hire a non-Jew to push their stroller to and from synagogue in these situations.  If this is a need or concern for you, discussing with your rabbi may provide some options, and is what I would recommend.  If you don’t have a rabbi with whom to discuss, please contact me.)

General Child Friendliness:

There are no changing tables available.  “Since this is a family home, they’re open to you laying a changing pad anywhere you’d like.” “Strollers can be left in the garage or in the basement.”  There is space for kids’ toys and supplies, including a refrigerator available for pumped milk.

“Children are welcome in the service. Parents usually ask their children to be quiet during davening [prayers], but there is a space they can play just outside the doors. Books are available, and there are toys that children are welcome to play with upstairs.”

Bottlefeeding is equally accepted in this community.  “I chose to bottle feed my then 4 week old on Simchat Torah because the crowd was too large to afford much privacy. Everyone was equally accepting, but I was met with a curious look from one person who knows that I breastfeed.”

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 Yossi Jacobson at jrcspark@msn.com

Synagogue Website: http://www.jewishiowa.com/

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: Congregation Beth Shalom, Overland Park, KS

Congregation Beth Shalom, in Overland Park, Kansas, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted, and done, discreetly.

Private Nursing Locations:

There are a variety of options for private nursing spaces, which are best found by asking around.  None are labeled.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding. The community is casual about breastfeeding.  The respondent’s attitude was: “I always got the job done and did not think about it too much in preparation”.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom (ETA 8/10/15) and the men’s bathroom and the preschool.

People leave strollers in the main hallway.  There is space for kids’ stuff, including a fridge for pumped milk.

In the main service “children are welcome…if children are having a difficult time, [it is] usually up to the discretion of the parents about next moves…plenty of couches, chairs, etc in hallway outside” of the sanctuary.    “Our shul is an aging community and although we are activiely bringing new families and younger people in, it is in our best interests to do whatever it takes to make ourselves hospitable…”  There are “not a lot of established attitudes…the shut would love to have more babies/parents present…”  This suggests that bottle-feeding is also welcome 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 David Glickman at dglickman@bethshalomkc.org

Hazzan Tahl Ben-Yehuda at hazzantby@bethshalomkc.org

Synagogue Website: http://bethshalomkc.org/

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