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.
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)
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.
Rabbi Yitzhak Adler at email@example.com
Synagogue Website: http://www.bethdavidwh.org/