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Content about Judaism

July 18, 2014

The movement to welcome newborn Jewish boys into Jewish life without the surgery of circumcision has reached a milestone—over 200 officiants are now available to perform the peaceful welcoming ceremony.

April 18, 2014

Dr. Aaron Jesin, MD, who doubles as a mohel and a doctor, had admitted to performing the Jewish circumcision and penis blood-sucking ritual of metzizah b'peh on infants: www.cjnews.com/health/haredim-insist-oral-suction-necessary-brit-milah‎.

An intactivist in Toronto has filed a complaint against Dr. Jesin, but the Ethics Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario dismissed the complaint against him.

February 3, 2014

Intactivism—the movement to end circumcision—continues to win social acceptance worldwide, including in the Jewish state of Israel. Jews in the holy land are increasingly open to questioning circumcision, much more so than in the United States.

January 28, 2014

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a debate on circumcision earlier today in Strasbourg, France in accordance with last year’s resolution recognizing circumcision as a violation of bodily integrity and calling for public discussion on the matter. Medical experts, religious leaders and activists were amongst those who gave testimony today.

(New York, NY) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a debate on circumcision earlier today in Strasbourg, France in accordance with last year’s resolution recognizing circumcision as a violation of bodily integrity and calling for public discussion on the matter. Medical experts, religious leaders and activists were amongst those who gave testimony today.

January 7, 2014

As the only non-European invited to this meeting, Dr. Goldman said, “I look forward to contributing to the effort to raise awareness about circumcision in Europe in light of its physical, sexual, and psychological harm.”

BOSTON – January 7, 2014 – Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Circumcision Resource Center, a nonprofit educational organization in Boston, has been invited by the Council of Europe to participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue about circumcision at a meeting in France on January 28.

December 4, 2013
  • Rabbinical court fines Israeli mother US$140 a day until her son is circumcised
  • NYC Demonstration will coincide with a simultaneous demonstration in Tel Aviv

October 24, 2013

On the eighth day of my son Kai's life, we had a ceremony across the street from our house, right by the Pacific ocean. We had our good friend playing guitar while we all sang in Hebrew. Rabbi Mivasair explained to everyone the meaning behind what we were doing in an eloquent and meaningful way.

Following Our Hearts: A Father's Brit Shalom Journey

By SHAWN STARK

August 13, 2013

A greater number of American, Canadian, Israeli, and Jews worldwide are beginning to question milah (the surgical circumcision) aspect of the bris. Is it wishful thinking to hope that Judaism in today's age moves to a symbolic interpretation of circumcision, as it has already done for other violent commandments from the Torah?

Increasingly, Jewish parents in America, Canada and Israel are skipping circumcision. Instead, they are holding alternative ceremonies sometimes called Bris Shalom or Brit B’lee Milah (covenant without cutting). Many Jews throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union stopped circumcising over 100 years ago. Already well over 100 Rabbis are performing alternative covenant ceremonies that omit the surgical circumcision. These are gaining popularity both in America and worldwide.

June 30, 2012

Most of the official Humanistic Jewish organizations do not distinguish between bris shalom (welcoming ceremony without circumcision) and hospital circucmcision, but there is a growing tendency to oppose circumcision altogether in favor of the new peaceful welcoming ceremonies. Humanistic Rabbis do not perform ceremonies in conjunction with circumcision.

January 27, 2012

Over 50 Rabbis, mohels and other Jewish leaders perform covenant ceremonies without surgical circumcision, and many more will do so upon request. These include Rabbis in the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and many other branches of Judaism.

Many Rabbis are welcoming intact males into the Jewish community, and a growing number of Rabbis feel that surgical circumcision is no longer appropriate in the 21st century. perform covenant ceremonies without surgical circumcision, and many more will do so upon request. These include Rabbis in the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and many other branches of Judaism.

October 24, 2011

Independent filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon discusses the experiences that informed his film, Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision.

I should mention [that] I was raised as an Orthodox Jew. When I was 13 years old, my family moved to Israel to seek better religious education for myself and my [five] siblings.

October 24, 2011

Independent filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon has recently launched a groundbreaking podcast series that investigates the complexities of Jewish circumcision. The Cut Podcast draws on themes explored in the host’s 2007 documentary Cut: Slicing Though the Myths of Circumcision, but journeys far beyond the scope of that film, with absorbing interviews from diverse Jewish thinkers.

Independent filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon has recently launched a groundbreaking podcast series that investigates the complexities of Jewish circumcision. The Cut Podcast draws on themes explored in the host’s 2007 documentary Cut: Slicing Though the Myths of Circumcision, but journeys far beyond the scope of that film, with absorbing interviews from diverse Jewish thinkers.

September 7, 2011

CUT: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision is a powerful film. It takes a critical look at circumcision, and specifically at how it's viewed within the Jewish community. It explores the conflict between personal ethics and what some people have been told is a religious obligation.

CUT is currently on tour, with tonight's screening shown from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at:

August 20, 2011

The past century has been marked by the declaration and protection of universal human rights, as well as a marked increase in the quality of life, both in the United States and worldwide. With these improvements, higher expectations regarding a child’s right to bodily autonomy have become socially accepted and legally mandated. Many argue that since female children in the U.S. are protected by a 1996 law banning female circumcision, this law should be expanded to include the protection of male children as well.

August 4, 2011

An initiative banning circumcision that was removed from San Francisco's November ballot stimulated a wave of articles related to the topic, but virtually all of them avoid discussing the inherent harm of circumcision.

July 28, 2011

The current San Francisco circumcision referendum has made the public aware of the severe physical consequences of the controversial surgery. The idea that an individual has the right to their own body is recent by historical standards. For many years, a number of courageous Jewish and Israeli scholars, historians, activists, and parents have raised serious objections to circumcision surgery. More and more Jews are choosing not to circumcise their sons. These Jewish voices against circumcision are just starting to enter the mainstream conversation.

The current San Francisco circumcision referendum has made the public aware of the severe physical consequences of the controversial surgery. The idea that an individual has the right to their own body is recent by historical standards. For many years, a number of courageous Jewish and Israeli scholars, historians, activists, and parents have raised serious objections to circumcision surgery. More and more Jews are choosing not to circumcise their sons. These Jewish voices against circumcision are just starting to enter the mainstream conversation.

July 28, 2011

The current San Francisco circumcision referendum has made the public aware of the severe physical consequences of the controversial surgery. The idea that an individual has the right to their own body is recent by historical standards. For many years, a number of courageous Jewish and Israeli scholars, historians, activists, and parents have raised serious objections to circumcision surgery. More and more Jews are choosing not to circumcise their sons. These Jewish voices against circumcision are just starting to enter the mainstream conversation.

July 28, 2011

There are a growing number of Jews who are becoming increasingly vocal in questioning both the ethics and the legality of circumcision. Jews in the Reform Judaism movement have already been advocating for an end to ritual circumcision during the past 180 years. What follows is a collection of statements from Jews who question the ethics and legality of forced under-age circumcision.

The past century has been marked by the declaration and protection of universal human rights, as well as a marked increase in the quality of life, both in the United States and worldwide. With these improvements, higher expectations regarding a child’s right to bodily autonomy have become socially accepted and legally mandated. Many argue that since female children in the U.S. are protected by a 1996 law banning female circumcision, this law should be expanded to include the protection of male children as well.

July 24, 2011

(NEW YORK, NY) — Celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach debated the issue of circumcision with Jewish filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, creator of CUT: Slicing through the myths of circumcision, this past Monday at the Manhattan Jewish Experience in the Upper West Side section of Manhattan. Rabbi Boteach is the author of "Kosher Sex" and has appeared alongside celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, and Christopher Hitchens.

(NEW YORK, NY) — Celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach debated the issue of circumcision with Jewish filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, creator of CUT: Slicing through the myths of circumcision, this past Monday at the Manhattan Jewish Experience in the Upper West Side section of Manhattan. Rabbi Boteach is the author of "Kosher Sex" and has appeared alongside celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, and Christopher Hitchens.

July 22, 2011

Filmmaker Eli Ungar-Sargon debates Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on the subject of circumcision.

July 18, 2011 | Manhattan Jewish Experience
Filmmaker Eli Ungar-Sargon debates Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on the subject of circumcision.
Transcript of the Mr. Ungar-Sargon's introductory statements:
http://www.beyondthebris.com/2011/07/eli-ungar-sargon-debates-kosher-sex...
Full audio version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R852-AViBY

July 11, 2011

BOSTON (RNS) The ballot question in San Francisco to ban infant circumcision has stimulated a wave of discussion about religious liberty and parental choice, but the more general question of the advisability of circumcision is mostly avoided.

By Ronald Goldman
Religion News Service

BOSTON (RNS) The ballot question in San Francisco to ban infant circumcision has stimulated a wave of discussion about religious liberty and parental choice, but the more general question of the advisability of circumcision is mostly avoided.

It's time to start talking, however uncomfortable that might be.