Children in Our Services: Proposal for a Kiddies Corner

In the introduction to the Midrash Lamentations Rabbah we find the following exchange:
R. Abba b. Kahuna said: ‘No philosophers have arisen among the nations to equal Balaam and Abnimos, the weaver [probably the Cynic philosopher Oenomaus]. They said to them, ‘Can we attack this people’? [Israel]. They replied, ‘Go to their houses of assembly. If the children are chirping there with their voices, you will not be able to destroy this people, but, if not, then you will…’
We welcome children of all ages to our synagogue events and services. The only quiet synagogues are empty ones. Sometimes small children are noisy. The only thing a parent can do then is to hope that the noise will quickly be over, or take the child out of the service until quiet resumes.
In order to help everyone enjoy our services and to keep our synagogue a place which welcomes children, I would like to propose that we create a Kiddies’ Corner in the main hall behind the sanctuary. This will be a place where parents of small children can take them to play under the supervision of a responsible adult, allowing the parent to enjoy the service, while still being close at hand in case of need.
To make our Kiddies’ Corner attractive and suitable, we will need a few things. These include small child-sized plastic tables and chairs, soft toys, other toys and games (which do not make noise!) and perhaps some large cushions or spongy mats. In other words, the kind of items found in a nursery or a crèche.
If you are able to donate such items or if you would like to contribute towards our purchasing them, please get in touch with me or any member of the ManCom.
Many thanks,
Rabbi Ash

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