Mount Sinai Jewish Center in Manhattan, New York, USA
Updated Substantially 10/12/15
Breastfeeding in the Sanctuary:
It may or may not be permitted, but the atmosphere is such that it is not done, and would likely be very uncomfortable.
Private Nursing Locations:
There is a nursing room, called the Mommy and Me Room, although it is unlabeled. It is found by word of mouth, and is attached to the sanctuary next to the women’s section on the right side when facing forward. The room contains 2 sofas, a changing table, and is also used to store games for kids. It is used as a wedding staging area when people get married there, as well. It is open and accessible.
There is an additional breastfeeding area set up in the women’s bathroom, which has a rocking chair. I have conflicting information as to whether this area is a separate room or set up in an empty stall in the bathroom. (A third voice to resolve the conflict would be a delight.)
No information about breastfeeding policy is publicized. The website does offer links to recordings of the rabbi’s shiurim (religious lectures/classes) about childcare on Shabbat. Total listening time would be about 2 hours.
The community as experienced by one respondent seems uncomfortable with public breastfeeding in general, including at Shabbos meals, where they tend to look away from a mother who is nursing. More information about this aspect of the community would be very welcome!
General Child Friendliness:
There are changing tables available in both the men’s and women’s restrooms on the lower level of the shul. as well as in the Mommy and Me Room. Strollers are generally left inside, or in front of the building.
The is no place to keep a child’s needed supplies. However, the synagogue has toys for children to use during services, as well as a Children’s library, maintained on the shelves in the main lobby, which has both children’s siddurim and story books.
Children are welcomed in the main service, especially toward the end of services, when the Rabbi will give them a treat if parents allow it. Before that on Shabbat morning, most children go to groups- there is a Tot Shabbat (Ages 0-3) and Minyan Katan (3-6). Children are more likely to be in the service on Friday nights (when Shabbat comes in early enough for their bedtimes).
This synagogue owns 10 highchairs for young children to use during community meals in the synagogue.
This synagogue received a rating of “Bad, I avoid it if I can- 6” out of 7, where 1 is the best rating and 7 is the worst.
Rabbi Ezra Schwatz at email@example.com
Yoetzet Halakha Dena Block at firstname.lastname@example.org
Synagogue Website: http://www.mtsinaishul.com