Come hang out. Come play! Make the Family Center your own!
For children, socialization and play are as are as vital to a happy spirit as prayer and other aspects of a religious life!
Rabbi Shira Wallach has made serving young families a priority. Through The Shearith Israel Family Center, she's developed new programs and services to meet and exceed the needs of young Jewish families. The Center is devoted to exceeding the expectations contemporary Jewish families have regarding their shul experience. "Our mission is nothing less than to delight people, inspiring them to bring the joy of Judaism home, and to make our shul feel like their true spiritual home,” explains Rabbi Wallach.
The Family Room
The Shearith Israel Family Room provides a comfortable gathering space for young parents to relax at shul and socialize while their young children play in a safe, clean, developmentally appropriate, purpose-built space. Kids get to do what they do best: play.
The Family Room is the home base for programming including PlaygroupPlus, Shababa and holiday programs. (See programs HERE)
Babysitting remains available on Shabbat, but the room has transitioned from a babysitting space. After a remodel and significant investment in new materials and resources, The Family Room offers play spaces and toys appropriate for children up to age 5. In addition to toys, games, and a comfy reading nook, families will enjoy a sensory table, dress up box, felt story wall, puppets and an infant zone with bouncy seats and a fully equipped changing station.
Infant Feeding Room
In this spirit of making shul an authentic home away from home, one of the Bride's Rooms at Shearith Israel was transformed into an Infant Feeding Room. Now, parents can comfortably attend to their children’s needs at shul. Nursing mothers and parents who bottle feed or have to change a diaper during services never feel like they are “disturbing” others or perhaps distracting from something important. After all, what’s more important than attending to your children? NOTHING!
Rabbi Wallach invites everyone to please visit our beautiful Family Room in the Barnett Family Wing.
Help Us Keep the Room Up-To-Date!
Over many years of children loving on toys and supplies it becomes necessary to replace those that have broken or become worn. Please
click here to see our wish list for additional supplies and new toys.
Cleanliness and the operational integrity of toys are vitally important in a public play room so we ask that only new toys are donated.
The toys on the Wish List have been carefully selected by members of our staff who are well versed in child development so, rest assured that they are developmentally appropriate, a good value, and will be great fun for your children. If you see something on this list that you would rather purchase at a store, go for it! We would be most grateful! You are not obligated to purchase from Amazon, we are simply providing the wish list with the link to purchase as a convenience.
Matan Wolfson, CEO of KidKraft, and his wife Blair generously donated new furniture including toy and book shelves, tables and chairs, and a new play kitchen. Our heartfelt love and gratitude, as well, to Saler and Eric Axel, who donated beautiful new cubbies.
Kol haKavod to Blair and Matan, Saler and Eric for their generosity of vision, leadership, and menshlichkeit.