Tag Archives: Labeled Nursing Room

Breastfeeding at: Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park, MN

Beth El Synagogue, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  People “feel very comfortable nursing anywhere in the synagogue”.

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a Nursing Room next to the main sanctuary.  It is labelled.  It contains “two chairs, a bathroom, and a changing table”, and is accessible on Shabbat and during the week.

Other Information:

The website offers no policy about breastfeeding.

The community is “positive and accommodating” to breastfeeding.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathrooms, the men’s bathrooms, the family/children’s bathroom, and in the nursing room.  There is stroller parking, and space for kids toys and diaper bags (but not a fridge for pumped milk), in the coat closet area.

Children in the main service are “Very welcomed. We have Shabbat friendly toy bags available for young children and a quiet room connected to the sanctuary with viewing access to services”

Bottle feeding is regarded as “just as positive as breast feeding” in this community.

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 Alexander Davis

Rabbi Avi Olitzky at aolitzky@bethelsynagogue.org

Director of Shorashim and Young Families Engagement at aawend@bethelsynagogue.org;

Or via the website:  http://www.bethelsynagogue.org/pages/email.php?to=ad

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

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Breastfeeding at: Beth David Synagogue, West Hartford, CT

Beth David Synagogue, in West Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:

It is permitted.  “There is no written policy, but it is normative. The lack of clear guidelines, however, makes it difficult to understand what the limitations are.”  However it is not always comfortable or welcomed.  The lack of clarity leads to confusing and uncomfortable interactions.  “Even while nursing discretely, I have been asked to sit in the back row of the women’s section [while] doing so. In the worst instance, our synagogue’s rabbi called my husband (not me) to remind him that a private space was available for my use.”

Private Nursing Locations:

There is a nursing room upstairs.  It is labeled.  There is an announcement about it in the weekly bulletin.  The room is kept locked, but one can get a key.  I don’t know from whom.   It has several chairs, a couch and a changing table.

Other Information:

There is no published policy about breastfeeding, but the nursing room is publicized in the weekly bulletin (although not in the e-version found online).

The community is generally supportive  about breastfeeding, especially outside the sanctuary, but the use of a nursing cover does make things more comfortable.

General Child Friendliness:

There are changing tables available in the women’s bathroom and the men’s bathrooms, as well as in a family/children’s bathroom and the nursing room.  People leave strollers in the main lobby.  There is space for kids’ stuff.

“Children are welcome on the bima beginning with the Aleinu. They are welcome in the sanctuary throughout the service, though programming and child care are available.”

I have no information about bottle-feeding at this synagogue.  If you do, please share in a comment or via the questionaire (here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1skGeYXiz85Ej5oWCL05uv5Ykf9uNvG08vfrx2–AHLM/viewform)

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 Yitzhak Adler at rabbi@bethdavidwh.org

Synagogue Website: http://www.bethdavidwh.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

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/