Press "Enter" to skip to content

Kids in the sanctuary: nuanced takes sought

So I’ve recently started work at a wonderful shul as their A/V tech- I run their Zoom calls and in room sound. I came in at roughly the same time as a brand new (to this community) rabbi, who has a 4 year old and has really been embracing having younger kids in the sanctuary during the service. Especially given that there doesn’t seem to be much dedicated child care- there’s an area in another room with toys, but not much supervision other than the kids’ parents- I think it’s lovely to welcome in Jews of all ages.

The conflict I’m coming up against is that many of these children tend towards the disruptive. It’s not egregious behavior- they’re just being kids, I wouldn’t dream of yelling at them or complaining to the parents or anything like that. I think it’s important for the kids to feel safe and supported in shul. But some of their parents seem to do 0 work/redirection/soothing/teaching about when it’s necessary to be quieter- think kids babbling/laughing/playing with louder toys during the Amidah.

I have this weird mix of a knee jerk reaction that this shouldn’t be happening, and a genuine feeling that Judaism needn’t always be quiet and solemn, and that if we want to keep it accessible for young parents and appealing for their children, standards of “propriety” must be flexed. (Shul is trad egalitarian, for an idea of the level of observance, but I’ve found it to be quite socially progressive.)

I’d be so happy to hear people’s thoughts on this.

submitted by /u/samthetov
[link] [comments]
Source: Reditt