Friday, July 18, 2014

SAN FRANCISO: 200 will celebrate non-cutting Brit Shalom

July 11, 2014


by Hugh Young
The movement to name newborn Jewish boys without the surgery of circumcision has reached a milestone - 200 celebrants (officiants) are available to perform the ceremony. More than 120 of these celebrants are rabbis.

Called Brit Shalom (Covenant of Peace), this alternative naming ceremony may correspond in most ways with traditional Brit (or Bris) Milah, except that there is no cutting of the baby.
"They're especially happy ceremonies, for that reason," says Mark Reiss, M.D.

Dr Mark Reiss
Dr Mark Reiss

For 14 years, Dr Reiss, of San Francisco, has been recruiting celebrants of Brit Shalom for his webpage He estimates that 300-500 boys are welcomed into their US Jewish communities with Brit Shalom ceremonies every year. They are now available in most US states, several Canadian provinces and other countries. Twelve of the celebrants are in Israel.

"The celebrants include rabbis, cantors and other lay leaders, who need not reject circumcision themselves, but want to accommodate parents who do. New celebrants are always welcome."

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