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animated Brit Shalom logoBrit Shalom Celebrants
(Now 211 celebrants - 130 rabbis, 16 cantors, 65 lay leaders - 155 of them listed here, the other 56 available on request.)

For simplicity, this page may now be cited as http://tinyurl.com/britshalom or http://shalom.notlong.com.

Brit Shalom is a non-cutting naming ceremony which replaces Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) for newborn Jewish boys. It is not intended for boys who have previously been circumcised in a hospital. It can be similar to the naming ceremony traditionally used for baby girls, sometimes called Brit Bat or Brit Rechitzah (covenant with foot-washing). It has also been termed Brit Ben, Alternative Brit (or Bris), Brit B'li Milah (covenant without cutting), Brit HaLev (covenant of the heart) and Brit Chayim (covenant of life). It may be performed by a Rabbi, Cantor or other experienced lay leader. Not all the celebrants listed are opposed to Brit Milah. However, they are all committed to providing service to families unwilling to circumcise their sons, by officiating at Brit Shalom ceremonies. If desired, celebrants can aid parents in devising their own ceremony. This list is continually being updated.

(In Firefox, Android or Opera, click on the light blue states/countries for the celebrants there)

Australia Canada Caribbean Germany Hungary Israel Mexico Brazil Ireland United Kingdom United States United States (Alaska) Hawai'i (USA)

Australia, Brazil, Caribbean, Canada, Europe (Germany, Hungary), Israel, Mexico, United Kingdom, Ireland, other

UNITED STATES

Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona Montana Wyoming Colorado New Mexico Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan Indiana Illinois Missouri Florida Alabama Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Tennessee District of Columbia District of Columbia Maryland Maryland Virginia West Virginia Kentucky Delaware Delaware New Jersey New Jersey Pennsylvania Ohio New York Connecticut Connecticut Rhode Island Massachussets Massachussets Vermont Vermont New Hampshire New Hampshire Maine Hawai'i Celebrants may be available in other states. Click to find out more.

States (alphabetical)

Arizona
Alabama
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawai'i
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

ALABAMA

Rabbi Steven Lebow
(Based in GA)
404-790-8612 (cell)
rabbilebow@gmail.com
http://www.atljewishandinterfaithweddings.com

ARIZONA

Rabbi Jack Silver
1506 East Candlestick Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283
(602) 751-9044
humanjew@yahoo.com
www.humanjew.com

There are other celebrants in Arizona who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

CALIFORNIA

   NO CAL

Rabbi Camille Shira Angel
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 861-6932
rabbicamilleangel@gmail.com

Rev. Dr. Illana Berger
Oakland Hills, CA
(510) 759-8758
sistertree@illanaberger.com
www.livingthesacred.com

Rabbi Melinda Bernstein
Serving through Tikkun Olam
San Anselmo, CA 94960
melinda@rabbimelinda.com
www.rabbimelinda.com

Lissin Lev Chaya, Celebrant
Pacifica
(650) 455-8438
Celebrant@lissinsong.com
www.LissinSong.com
Lissin will travel throughout the greater Bay Area.

Rabbi Yeshaia Charles Familant
332 O'Connor St
Menlo Park CA 94025
(650) 326-5330
yeshaia@sbcglobal.net
Retired, but will refer inquirers to other colleagues

Rabbinic Chaplain Judith Goleman
Santa Rosa, California
(707) 328-9915
golemanjudith@aol.com

Irwin Keller, Spiritual Leader
Congregation Ner Shalom (Reconstructionist)
Cotati, CA (Central Sonoma County)
(707) 664-8622
reb@irwinkeller.com
Blog: itzikswell.blogspot.com

Rabbi Jerry Levy
12 Salt Landing
Tiburon CA 94920
H: (415) 388-8832
C: (415) 272-1607
rabbijerry@sbcglobal.net
rabbijerry.com

Rabbi Alyjah Navy
Ayn Sof Kabbalah Community
San Francisco Bay Area
(415) 932-8100
rabbi.navy@yahoo.com
www.alyjah.com

Cantor Meeka Simerly
Temple Emanu-El
1010 University Av.
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 292-0939 ext 12
meekantor@templesanjose.org
www.templesanjose.org

Mark David Reiss , M.D.Position statement
773 Duncan Street
San Francisco CA 94131
(415) 647-2687
mdreissmd@gmail.com

Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller
Congregation Sherith Israel
San Francisco, CA
(415) 346-1720
rabbijst@sherithisrael.org

Rabbi Nathan Segal
POB 880
Larkspur CA 94977
(415) 419-3511
natan@natan.net
www.natan.net

Rabbi and Cantor Judith Seid
1817 Sinclair Drive
Pleasanton CA 94588
(925) 485-1049
judithseid@aol.com

Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill
San Francisco Bay Area/Napa/Sonoma
(415) 505-1169
jewishinterfaithrabbi@gmail.com
http://www.interfaithrabbi.org

Shifrah Tobacman, rabbinic intern
5929 Vallejo St
Emeryville CA 94608
510-915-1040
shifraht@aol.com

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
Congregation Beth Am
26790 Arastradero Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(650) 493-4661
rabbi_weissman@betham.orgrabbi_weissman@betham.org

   SO CAL

Rabbi Spike Anderson
Stephen S. Wise Temple
15500 Stephen S. Wise Dr.
Los Angeles 90077
310 889 2210
SAnderson@wisela.org
www.wisela.org/anderson/

Rabbi Susan Conforti, Board Certified Chaplain
Lead Chaplain & Supervisory Education Student
Pastoral Care Department
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
307 Placentia #103,
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 764-8358, fax (949) 764-8320
susan.conforti@hoag.org
www.hoag.org

Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick
President, LA Community Chaplaincy Services
Los Angeles, CA
RabbiAvivah@LACommunityChaplaincy.com
www.LACommunityChaplaincy.com

Cantor Jonathan L. Friedmann, Ph.D.
Adat Chaverim - Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
P.O. Box 261204
Encino, CA 91426-1204
(562) 405-4176
mrfriedmann2000@yahoo.com
jonathanfriedmann.com
humanisticjudaismla.org

Eric A. Gordon, PhD, Secular Jewish vegvayzer/madrikh/Leader
9514 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034-2820
(310) 839-9915
ericarthur@aol.com

Rosalie Gottfried, Madrikha
29382 Buckhaven
Laguna Niguel CA 92677
(949) 249-3755 or (949) 770-6662
rosart1@aol.com
www.jewishceremonies.com

Hershl Hartman, Secular Jewish vegvayzer/madrikh/Leader
Education Director, The Sholem Community and Educational Institute
3142 S. Bentley Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90034
(310) 473-4323
hershl@earthlink.net
www.sholem.org

Chaplain Stephen Macht, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 3533
Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212
(310) 277-9644
curlenjik@gmail.com
StephenMacht.org

Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D
Kehillat Israel Reconstructionist Congregation
Pacific Palisades, CA
(310) 459-2328
rebreuben@rebreuben.com
www.Rebreuben.com
www.interfaithrabbi.com
www.becomingjewishbook.com
www.kehillatisrael.org

Rabbi Larry (Lawrence P.) Seidman, Ph.D.
Community Rabbi
Irvine, CA 92603
(714) 248 5771
Rabbi@RationalRabbi.com
www.rationalrabbi.com
Rabbi Larry's Facebook page

Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon
1108 South Corning St. #4
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(312) 925-9819
eliungar@mac.com
www.cutthefilm.com

Beverly Zarnow, Madrikha
Kahal Am - The Humanistic Jewish Community of San Diego
P.O. Box 927751
San Diego, CA  92192
(858) 549-3088
madrikha@kahalam.org
www.kahalam.org

There are other celebrants in California who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

COLORADO

Michelle Davis, Madrikha/Professional Leader
Beth Ami - Colorado Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Highlands Ranch/Denver area
720-284-2231 cell
madrikhadavis@gmail.com
www.bethami.com/LeadersLifecycle.html

Rabbi Brian Field
Judaism Your Way
600 Grant Street #308
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 320-6185
rabbibrian@judaismyourway.org
www.judaismyourway.org
Facebook: <www.facebook.com/JudaismYourWayPage>

Sheila Malcolm, Madrikha/Leader
Beth Ami - Colorado Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Boulder/Denver, CO
(303) 499-5933 H
303-588-0236 C
smalcolm280@gmail.com
www.bethami.com/LeadersLifecycle.html

Rabbi Adam Morris ("Rabbi Mo")
Temple Micah
5209 Montview Blvd
Denver, CO 80207
(303) 388-4239
rabbimo@micahdenver.org

Miriam Pollack
P.O. Box 767
Boulder, CO 80306-0767
(303) 247-0790
m3pollack@comcast.net

Danya and Eyal Rivlin
Boulder, CO
(303) 229-8800
danyahome@msn.com

There are other celebrants in Colorado who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

CONNECTICUT

I. Rayzl Feuer
Mashpiah Ruchanit, Rev.
Spiritual leader/teacher/counselor
5 Halls Point Road
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 315-0269
rayzlrich@sbcglobal.net

Rabbi Andrea Frank, Ordained Reform Rabbi
All Naming Ceremonies for All New Parents
Serving the Tri-State Area, 30 mile radius
Toll-free 1-888-214-3821

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Rabbi Eli Mallon, M.Ed., LMSW
based in New City, NY
Covering the Tri-State area
rebem34@aol.com
www.rabbielimallon.wordpress.com

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

Rabbi Roger Ross
Pan-Denominational Rabbi
Based in NY- See NYC and environs
(212) 864-0261
(917) 930-1181
rabbirogerross@gmail.com
www.rabbiross.com

Moshe Rothenberg
(based in New York)
(mobile only) 347-248-6584
mrothenberg5@optonline.net

DELAWARE

Rabbi Shimon Berris
(based in NJ) (856) 779-0017
interclerg@aol.com

DISTRICT of COLUMBIA

Rabbi Binyamin (Ben) Biber MSW
9039 Sligo Creek Pkwy #1410
Silver Spring MD 20901
(301) 563-6341
rav.bibi@gmail.com
www.machar.org

Cantor Emily Blank
free lance life-style officiant
Cantor Blank serves the MD and VA suburbs of Washington, DC
(301) 277-5842
emilyblank@gmail.com

Rabbi Esther Lederman
Temple Micah
2829 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 342-9175
rabbilederman@templemicah.org

FLORIDA

Rabbi Sol Agin
Ft. Myers, FL
(239) 560-5582
arlinesol@comcast.net

Cantor Risa Askin
Hebrew, Judaic Studies, Music Director and Educator
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Instruction
All Life Cycle Events
South Florida
(954) 562-4662
cantor_risa@yahoo.com
www.cantorrisa.com

Rabbi Steven Blane
South Florida: Miami to Boca Raton
(917) 407-0477
sblane1107@gmail.com
Website: www.Officiant.org
Havurah: www.SimShalom.com

Cantor Lee Degani & Rabbi David Degani
Congregation Shirat Shalom
Boca Raton, FL
(561) 488-8079
dnlrabbinical@aol.com
www.shiratshalom.org

Rabbi Mitch Feld, M.S.W.
11060 NW 24th Street
Coral Springs, Florida 33065
(954) 755-3764 Office
954-629-9281 Cell
mitch@rabbimitch.com
www.rabbimitch.com
http://www.addictioncounselingwithrabbimitch.com/

Cantor Jessica Turnoff Ferrari
Temple Beth Am
Jupiter, FL
(561) 445-8913
jtferrari@gmail.com
www.cantorjessica.com

Rabbi Brenner Glickman
Temple Emanu-El
Sarasota
(941) 371-2788
bglickman@sarasotatemple.org

Joy Katzen-Guthrie
Cantorial Leader
Central Florida Region
(727) 785-4568
joyfulnoise@earthlink.net
joyfulnoise.net

Betty Pelletz, Madrikha
3427 Winding Oaks Drive
Longboat Key FL 34228
(941) 383-1149
Besttwo@aol.com

Rabbi Richard Polirer
Boynton Beach, FL
Serving all of South Florida
(954) 255-6406
rpolirer@aol.com
www.rabbipolirer.com

Rhea Bolasny Seagull, Certified Leader, Leadership Conference of Secular & Humanistic Jews
Fort Lauderdale FL
(973) 325-7247
RheaCBS@aol.com (preferred means of contact)

Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal
Based in Hilton Head Island, SC
Jewish Spiritual Renewal
RabbiASegal@aol.com
www.jewishspiritualrenewal.org

Rebecca Wald
Serving Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties
(954) 319-6585
rwald@beyondthebris.com
www.beyondthebris.com

There are other celebrants in Florida who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

GEORGIA

Rabbi Patrick Aleph Beaulier
Non-Denominational Rabbi
Atlanta, GA
rabbi@rabbipatrick.com
rabbipatrick.com

Rabbi Barry Coffsky
Atlanta, GA
(770) 572-3336
Barry@AtlantaRabbis.com
www.AtlantaRabbis.com

Rabbi Steven Lebow
Senior Rabbi, Temple Kol Emeth (Marietta/Atlanta)
Atlanta, GA
(Will travel to AL, SC, NC and TN)
404-790-8612 (cell)
rabbilebow@gmail.com
http://www.atljewishandinterfaithweddings.com

Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal
Based in Hilton Head Island, SC
Jewish Spiritual Renewal
RabbiASegal@aol.com
www.jewishspiritualrenewal.org

Dr. Sharon Shahaf
Georgia State University, Jewish Studies Faculty
Atlanta, GA
(404) 413-5600
sharonsha@gsu.edu
Dr. Shahaf is available for counsel and support but will not be able to officiate at ceremonies.

There are other celebrants in Georgia who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

HAWAI'I

Rabbi Nathan Segal
Big Island, Hamakua Coast
P. O. Box 1920
Honokaa, HI 96727
(818) 647-1836
natan@natan.net
http://www.natan.net

ILLINOIS

Rabbi Adam Chalom
Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation
P O Box 405, IL 60035
(847) 347-3003
rabbichalom@kolhadash.com
http://www.kolhadash.com

Ruth Duskin Feldman, Madrikha/Humanistic Jewish Clergy
935 Fairview Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
(847) 433-2632
rdfeldman@aol.com
www.ruthduskinfeldman.com/disc.htm

Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld
Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community
1457 Wilmot Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
(847) 945-6512
rabbijodi@gmail.com
info@bethchaverim.net

Cantor Nancy Diamond Landsman Spiritual Leader/Rabbinic Student
Congregation Ahavat Olam
P.O. Box 1412
Deerfield, IL 60015
Cell: 847 409-4848
ahavat-olam@hotmail.com
ahavatolamdeerfield.org
Facebook: Congregation Ahavat Olam

Rabbi Brant Rosen
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
303 Dodge Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60202
(847) 328-7678
Rabbi@jrc-evanston.org
www.jrc-evanston.org

There are other celebrants in Illinois who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

INDIANA

Rabbi Dr. Nadia Siritsky, LCSW, BCC
Located in Louisville, KY, and serving Southern Indiana
ravnadia@aim.com

Erica Schultz Yakovetz, Cantorial Soloist
Located in Merrillville, IN, and serving northern Indiana
(219) 942-5802
erica@yakovetz.com http://erica.yakovetz.com/cantorial erica@yakovetz.com
erica.yakovetz.com/cantorial

KENTUCKY

Rabbi Dr. Nadia Siritsky, LCSW, BCC
Located in and serving the Louisville area
ravnadia@aim.com

MAINE

Rabbi Laurence Aryeh Alpern
(based in Upstate NY)
(518) 893-0808
rabbialpern@aol.com
http://www.rabbialpern.com/celebrations/baby-namings/

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

MARYLAND (See also DISTRICT of COLUMBIA)

Rabbi Binyamin (Ben) Biber MSW
9039 Sligo Creek Pkwy #1410
Silver Spring MD 20901
(301) 563-6341
rav.bibi@gmail.com
www.machar.org

Cantor Emily Blank
free lance life-style officiant
Cantor Blank serves the MD and VA suburbs of Washington, DC
(301) 277-5842
emilyblank@gmail.com

Karen Webber Gilat, Cantor
Clarksburg, MD
kwebbergilat@yahoo.com

Dr Gabe Goldman
Outdoor Jewish Classroom
PITTSBURGH (will travel into adjacent areas of Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia)
(412) 856-2734
primskills@yahoo.com
jewishnaturelessons.wordpress.com
www.JewishNatureCenter.org

There are other celebrants in Maryland who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

MASSACHUSETTS

Rabbi Lev Baesh
Boston MA
levbaesh@gmail.com
http://rabbilevbaesh.com

Rabbi Joseph Berman
Non-Denominational (Ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College)
Temple B'Nai Israel
Revere, MA (suburb of Boston)
Rabbi.Joseph.Berman@gmail.com

Rabbi Greg M. Epstein
Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University
Humanist Chaplaincy Office, The Memorial Church
One Harvard Yard, Cambridge MA 02138
(617) 495-5986
greg_epstein@harvard.edu
http://harvardhumanist.org

Rabbi Judy Epstein, Ph.D.
Congregation Keshet Yam: Rainbow by the Sea
30 Rayond St
Manchester, MA 01944
(978) 526-1422
RabbiJudyE@aol.com
www.rainbowbythesea.org
www.RabbiJudy.com

Dennis Geller, Ph.D. Madrikh/Humanistic Jewish Clergy
8 Thayer Place
Brookline MA 02445
(617) 529-9483
dpgeller@humanist-rites.com
www.humanist-rites.com

Ronald Goldman
Jewish Circumcision Resource Center
PO Box 232
Boston MA 02133
(617) 523-0088
jcrc@jewishcircumcision.org
www.jewishcircumcision.org

Elaine Kamienny, Madrikha, Humanistic Jewish Clergy
Retired from officiating at ceremonies, available for consultation only
66D Brian Drive
Stoughton, MA 02072
(781) 341-1810
eskamienny@yahoo.com

Julie Leavitt
Psychotherapist and Spiritual Director
53 Westchester Rd
Newtonville, MA 02458
(617) 407 4290
injewel1@gmail.com
www.bodyheartandsoul.net

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Rabbi Em Mueller
Boston and environs
(617) 969-2354
em@rabbimueller.com
www.rabbimueller.com

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

Rabbi Roger Ross
Pan-Denominational Rabbi
Based in NY- See NYC and environs
(212) 864-0261
(917) 930-1181
rabbirogerross@gmail.com
www.rabbiross.com

Sunny Schwartz, MSW, Madrikha/Humanistic Jewish Clergy
54 Boylston St
Boston MA 02130
(617) 522 3888
sunnyschwartz@yahoo.com

Leslie Keiter Tannenwald, Rabbi and Justice of the Peace
6 Clifton Road
Newton, MA 02459
(H) (617) 332-7899
(C) 617 910-6046
rabbiles18@aol.com

Rebecca Taylor CPM, CD (DONA), Birth doula, Midwife
Cape Cod Homebirth
serving Cape Cod and Eastern MA
55 Mill Hill Rd
Wellfleet MA 02667
beautifulbirth4u@yahoo.com

Rabbi Brian Walt
Box 810
West Tisbury MA 02575 (Martha's Vineyard)
(508) 560 0589
rabbibrianwalt@gmail.com

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman
Congregation Agudas Achim
901 North Main Street
Attleboro MA 02703
(508) 222 2243
rabbi@agudasma.org
www.agudasma.org

There are other celebrants in Massachusetts who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

MICHIGAN

Norm Cohen
NOCIRC of Michigan
PO Box 333
Birmingham MI 48012
(248) 642-5703
NormCohen@NOCIRCofMI.org

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick
The Birmingham Temple
Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Farmington Hills, MI
(248) 477-1410
rabbi@birminghamtemple.org
www.TheAtheistRabbi.com

Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris, Ph.D.
10544 Lincoln Dr.
Huntington Woods MI 48070
(248) 543-7396
miriam@theweddingconnection.net
http://www.theweddingconnection.net/

Rabbi Tamara Kolton, Ph.D.
Shir Tikvah Congregation
3900 Northfield Pkwy, Troy, MI 48084
(248) 649-4418
rabbikolton@gmail.com

Janis Levin-Gorelick, Counselor - Minister - Madrikha HSOF - LCSHJ
1401 Forest Bay Drive
Waterford MI 48328
(248) 681-0447
jgorelick@secularceremonies.net
http://www.secularceremonies.net/

There are other celebrants in Michigan who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

MINNESOTA

There are celebrants in Minnesota who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

MISSOURI

Rabbi Randy Fleisher
Central Reform Congregation 
5020 Waterman Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 361-3919 x111
randy@centralreform.org

There are other celebrants in Missouri who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

MONTANA

There are celebrants in Montana who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

NEVADA

Cantor Jonathan L. Friedmann, Ph.D.
Bet Knesset Bamidbar - Reform
PO Box 33503
Las Vegas, NV 89133
(562) 405-4176
mrfriedmann2000@yahoo.com
jonathanfriedmann.com
humanisticjudaismla.org

There are other celebrants in Nevada who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Rabbi Laurence Aryeh Alpern
(based in Upstate NY)
(518) 893-0808
rabbialpern@aol.com
http://www.rabbialpern.com/celebrations/baby-namings/

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

Cantor Claire G. Metzger
Bow, N H
(603) 738-2342
cantorcm@aol.com
www.cantormetzger.com

Rabbi Richard Polirer
Summers only. Rabbi Polirer is based in Florida the remainder of the year.
(954) 255-6406
rpolirer@aol.com
www.rabbipolirer.com

NEW JERSEY

Rabbi Shimon Berris
(856) 779-0017
interclerg@aol.com

Rabbi Andrea Frank, Ordained Reform Rabbi
All Naming Ceremonies for All New Parents
Serving the Tri-State Area, 30 mile radius
Toll-free 1-888-214-3821

Chani Getter CPC, Spiritual Leader
Resides in NJ, offices in Wesley Hills, NY/NYC
Will cover NJ and NY, including NYC
(201) 477-0274
chani@inspirationallivinginc.com
www.InspirationalLivingInc.com

Rabbi Bill Kurry
100 Little Silver Pkwy
Little Silver, NJ 07739
(Rabbi Kurry will travel to NYC and Philadelphia)
(732) 245-9965
rabbibill@gmail.com
www.nyinterfaithrabbi.com

Rabbi Eli Mallon, M.Ed., LMSW
based in New City, NY
Covering the Tri-State area
rebem34@aol.com
www.rabbielimallon.wordpress.com

Rabbi Roger Ross
Pan-Denominational Rabbi
Based in NY- See NYC and environs
(212) 864-0261
(917) 930-1181
rabbirogerross@gmail.com
www.rabbiross.com

Moshe Rothenberg
(based in New York)
(mobile only) 347-248-6584
mrothenberg5@optonline.net

Rhea Bolasny Seagull, Certified Leader, Leadership Conference of Secular & Humanistic Jews
662 Prospect Avenue
West Orange NJ 07052
(973) 325-7247
RheaCBS@aol.com (preferred means of contact)

Rabbi Michael Shevack
2310 Byecroft Road
New Hope, PA 18938
(215) 297-5747 home
267-312-5006 cell
michaelshevack@comcast.net
www.michaelshevack.com

There are other celebrants in New Jersey who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

NEW MEXICO

Keren Khaya Abrams, ordained Omanaya (Jewish ritual artist and spiritual guide)
Glorieta, NM (Santa Fe area - will travel)
(505) 349-4009
info@ritualartist.net
www.ritualartist.net

Rabbi Raymond Singer, Ph.D.
36 Alondra Road
Santa Fe NM 87508
work (505) 466-1100
fax (505) 466 1101
ray.singer@gmail.com
www.neurotox.com

NEW YORK

   NYC and environs

Elsa Asher CD(DONA)
Life Cycle Ritualist, Doula
Brooklyn, NY
(210) 413-5029
elsa.asher@gmail.com
www.elsaasher.com

Rabbi Steven Blane
54 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10024
(917) 407-0477
sblane1107@gmail.com
Website: www.Officiant.org
Havurah: www.SimShalom.com

Rabbi Andrea Frank, Ordained Reform Rabbi
All Naming Ceremonies for All New Parents
Serving the Tri-State Area, 30 mile radius
Toll-free 1-888-214-3821

Cantor Michael Garb
Baby Naming Officiant
Suffolk County, Long Island
(631) 664-2790
cantormike@optonline.net
www.aceremonyjustforyou.com/

Chani Getter CPC, Spiritual Leader
Resides in NJ, offices in Wesley Hills, NY/NYC
Will cover NJ and NY, including NYC
(201) 477-0274
chani@inspirationallivinginc.com
www.InspirationalLivingInc.com

Edward J. Klein (Zeke Katan)
Madrikh, Rabbinic Candidate, International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism
179-54 80th Road
Jamaica Estates NY 11432-1402
(718) 380-5362
Madrikh@PeoplePC.com

Rabbi Irwin Kula
(Author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life)
440 Park Ave. South
New York, NY 10016
(212) 779-3300
ikula@clal.org
http://www.simple-wisdom.com/about_ik.htm

Rabbi Bill Kurry
(Based in NJ)
(732) 245-9965
rabbibill@gmail.com
www.nyinterfaithrabbi.com

Rabbi Eli Mallon, M.Ed., LMSW
based in New City, NY
Covering the Tri-State area
rebem34@aol.com
www.rabbielimallon.wordpress.com

The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Rabbi Peter Schweitzer
249 West 34th St., Suite 600
New York, NY 10001
(212) 213-1002
info@citycongregation.org
www.citycongregation.org
citycongregation.blogspot

Rabbi Roger Ross
Pan-Denominational Rabbi
New York, NY 10025
Hillsdale, NY 12529
Rabbi Ross will travel anywhere in NY State, and to NJ, Southern CT, Southwestern MA and Eastern PA - will travel anywhere if requested
(212) 864-0261
(917) 930-1181
rabbirogerross@gmail.com
www.rabbiross.com www.lovingheartsceremonies.com
www.rabbinicalseminaryint.org

Moshe Rothenberg
(will travel to New Jersey and Connecticut)
715 Ocean Parkway Apt 2K
Brooklyn NY 11230
(mobile only) 347-248-6584
mrothenberg5@optonline.net

Rabbi Frank A. Tamburello
Westchester Community for Humanistic Judaism
319 East 50th Street - Apt 4C
New York, NY 10022
(631) 987-5347, (646) 964-4462
ftamburello@hotmail.com
wchj.org

   UPSTATE

Rabbi Laurence Aryeh Alpern
P.O. Box 53
Porter Corners, NY 12859
Rabbi Alpern will travel to VT, NH, and ME
(518) 893-0808
rabbialpern@aol.com
http://www.rabbialpern.com/celebrations/baby-namings/

Barbara Behrmann, Ph.D.
Humanist Celebrant
Ceremonies and Event Planning of the Finger Lakes
Ithaca, NY
(607) 272-5436
barb@ceremoniesandevents.com
www.ceremoniesandevents.com

Rabbi David Gellman
Buffalo and other areas adjacent to Canada.
Based in Toronto, Ontario
650 430 2289 (US Mobile)
rebberev@gmail.com

Chani Getter CPC, Spiritual Leader
Resides in NJ, offices in Wesley Hills, NY/NYC
Will cover NJ and NY, including NYC
(201) 477-0274
chani@inspirationallivinginc.com
www.InspirationalLivingInc.com

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Cantor Abbe Lyons
Ithaca, NY
(607) 273-4022
cantorabbe@yahoo.com
www.abbelyons.com

Rabbi Eli Mallon, M.Ed., LMSW
based in New City, NY
Covering the Tri-State area
rebem34@aol.com
www.rabbielimallon.wordpress.com

Mona Sulzman Spiritual Leader/Cantorial Soloist
3B1 Candlewyck Park
Ithaca NY 14850
(607) 277-7553
mobile (607)592-5386
monasulz@gmail.com

Barry A. Swan madrikh
Beth Haskalah, the Rochester Society for Humanistic Judaism
62 Laconia Parkway
Rochester NY 14618
(585) 461-5137
585-329-3305 (cell)
baswan@aol.com

Rabbi Brian Walt
Tikkun v'Or: The Reform Congregation of Ithaca
Ithaca, NY
(508) 560 0589
rabbibrianwalt@gmail.com

   STATEWIDE

Rabbi Shimon Berris
(based in NJ)
(856) 779-0017
interclerg@aol.com

There are other celebrants in New York who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

NORTH CAROLINA

Rabbi Steven Lebow
(Based in GA)
404-790-8612 (cell)
rabbilebow@gmail.com
http://www.atljewishandinterfaithweddings.com

Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal
Based in Hilton Head Island, SC
Jewish Spiritual Renewal
RabbiASegal@aol.com
www.jewishspiritualrenewal.org

OHIO

Roberta Feinstein, Secular Jewish Madrikha/Leader
320 Claymore Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44143
(216) 481-0850
rifke@bronxbobbe.com

Dr Gabe Goldman
Outdoor Jewish Classroom
PITTSBURGH (will travel into adjacent areas of Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia)
(412) 856-2734
primskills@yahoo.com
jewishnaturelessons.wordpress.com
www.JewishNatureCenter.org

Bobbie Varble, Madrikha
Jewish Secular Community of Cleveland
Society of Humanistic Judaism
5600 A Emerald Ridge Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44139
(440) 498-4747

Mark W. Weber
Jewish Secular Community of Cleveland
33300 Ledge Hill Drive
Solon, OH 44139
(440) 519-0220
lastdetective@yahoo.com

There are other celebrants in Ohio who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

OKLAHOMA

Rabbi David S. Gruber
(Based in Texas)
8083 Stonebrook Pkwy., #602
Frisco, TX 75034
(469) 222-0047
rabbigruber@gmail.com
www.interfaithweddingrabbi.net

OREGON

Rabbi Hanan Sills
PO Box 5701
Eugene OR 97405
(541) 344-7945
hanan@efn.org

Yehudah Alan Winter and Joanie Levine
Your Personal Ceremony
5707 NE 15th Avenue
Portland 97211
(503) 287-8737
(503) 679-5933
jlevinehummingbird@gmail.com
alanyehudah@gmail.com
www.yourpersonalceremony.com

Rabbi Joey Wolf
Havurah Shalom
825 NW 18th Street
Portland OR 97209
(503) 248 4662
joey.wolf@havurahshalom.org
www.havurahshalom.org

PENNSYLVANIA

Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
Professor of Religion
Temple University
PHILADELPHIA
ralpert@temple.edu
https://sites.temple.edu/rebeccatalpert

Rabbi Howard Cove
Haverford, PA
(267) 243 8155
rabbihowardcove@gmail.com

Dr Gabe Goldman
Outdoor Jewish Classroom
PITTSBURGH (will travel into adjacent areas of Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia)
(412) 856-2734
primskills@yahoo.com
jewishnaturelessons.wordpress.com
www.JewishNatureCenter.org

Rabbi Julie Greenberg
B202
6445 Greene St
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19119
(215) 843 9592
JulieGberg@gmail.com

Rabbi Bill Kurry
(Based in NJ)
(732) 245-9965
rabbibill@gmail.com
www.nyinterfaithrabbi.com

Rabbi Rayzel Raphael
1211 Ansley Ave
Melrose Park, PA 19027
(215) 237-2955
rrayzel@shechinah.com
www.shechinah.com

Rabbi Roger Ross
Pan-Denominational Rabbi
Based in NY- See NYC and environs
(212) 864-0261
(917) 930-1181
rabbirogerross@gmail.com
www.rabbiross.com

Rabbi Michael Shevack
2310 Byecroft Road
New Hope, PA 18938
(215) 297-5747 home
267-312-5006 cell
michaelshevack@comcast.net
www.michaelshevack.com

Student Rabbi Joysa Winter
Philadelphia (Havertown)
(267) 902-7752
joysa@aol.com
www.wanderinghebrew.com

Rabbi Shimon Berris
(based in NJ)
(856) 779-0017
interclerg@aol.com

There are other celebrants in Pennsylvania who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

RHODE ISLAND

Rev. Ethan Adler, Spiritual Leader
Congregation Beth David, Narragansett, RI
60 Neptune Street
Cranston, RI 02920
(401) 486 -0110
eadler3@cox.net

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

SOUTH CAROLINA

Cantor Kim Harris
Charleston, SC
(847) 778-9982
cantorharris@gmail.com

Rabbi Steven Lebow
(Based in GA)
404-790-8612 (cell)
rabbilebow@gmail.com
http://www.atljewishandinterfaithweddings.com

Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal
Hilton Head Island, SC
Jewish Spiritual Renewal
RabbiASegal@aol.com
www.jewishspiritualrenewal.org

TENNESSSEE

Rabbi Steven Lebow
(Based in GA)
404-790-8612 (cell)
rabbilebow@gmail.com
http://www.atljewishandinterfaithweddings.com

TEXAS

Rabbi David S. Gruber
(will travel to Oklahoma)
8083 Stonebrook Pkwy., #602
Frisco, TX 75034
(469) 222-0047
rabbigruber@gmail.com
www.interfaithweddingrabbi.net

Senior Rabbi Mara S. Nathan*
Temple Beth-El
San Antonio
* Rabbi Nathan will only be able to officiate at ceremonies for congregational members of Temple Beth-El.
(210) 733-9135 ext.101
mnathan@beth-elsa.org
www.beth-elsa.org

VERMONT

Rabbi Laurence Aryeh Alpern
(based in Upstate NY)
(518) 893-0808
rabbialpern@aol.com
http://www.rabbialpern.com/celebrations/baby-namings/

Rabbi Irving Luchans
Pan-denominational rabbi
16 Sandra Drive
Framingham, MA 01701 - will travel to Upstate New York and throughout New England
(508) 877-1234
rabbi.irving@yahoo.com or rabbi@faithtofaithweddings.com

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

There are other celebrants in Vermont who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

VIRGINIA (See also DISTRICT of COLUMBIA)

Rabbi Binyamin (Ben) Biber MSW
9039 Sligo Creek Pkwy #1410
Silver Spring MD 20901
(301) 563-6341
rav.bibi@gmail.com
www.machar.org

Cantor Emily Blank
free lance life-style officiant
Cantor Blank serves the MD and VA suburbs of Washington, DC
(301) 277-5842
emilyblank@gmail.com

Rhea Bolasny Seagull, Certified Leader, Leadership Conference of Secular & Humanistic Jews
Virginia Beach VA
(973) 325-7247
RheaCBS@aol.com (preferred means of contact)

There are other celebrants in Virginia who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

WASHINGTON

Sha'ari Garfinkel, MSW, LICSW
Spiritual Facilitator, Clinical Social Worker, Sound Therapist, Jewish Shamanic Healing, WA State Minister
Inner Listening Therapies
Seattle, WA
(206) 228-9449
shaari@innerlistening.com
www.innerlistening.com

Rabbi Jay B. Heyman, D.D.
8027 California Ave SW
Seattle WA 98136
(206) 708-6344
mobile (206) 484-4340
ravjay1@gmail.com
http://www.shalomspirit.org/

WEST VIRGINIA

Dr Gabe Goldman
Outdoor Jewish Classroom
PITTSBURGH (will travel into adjacent areas of Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia)
(412) 856-2734
primskills@yahoo.com
jewishnaturelessons.wordpress.com
www.JewishNatureCenter.org

WISCONSIN

Rabbi Jonathan Biatch
Temple Beth El
2702 Arbor Drive
Madison WI 53711
(608) 238-3123 – voice
(608) 238-3125 – fax
www.templebethelmadison.org
www.rjrblog.blogspot.com

WYOMING

There are celebrants in Wyoming who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

 

AUSTRALIA

VICTORIA

There are celebrants in Australia who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

 

CANADA

ALBERTA

There are celebrants in Alberta who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Rabbi David Mivasair
Vancouver - Rabbi Mivasair will travel
david@mivasair.com
rebdavid.blogspot.ca/
baqesh-shalom.blogspot.ca/

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Rabbinic Chaplain (ordained) Sherril Gilbert
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
(709) 895-8333
rabbi@bnai-or.org
wix.com/sherrilgilbert/SherrilGilbert
bnai-or.org/

ONTARIO

OTTAWA

Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton
Rabbi, Or Haneshamah
Ottawa's Reconstructionist Community
available to travel
rabbilizb@gmail.com

TORONTO

Rabbi David Gellman
Toronto and Niagara Falls/Ft. Erie
Will also travel to Buffalo, NY and other adjacent New York state areas
(416) 300 7218 (Canadian mobile)
rebberev@gmail.com

Rabbi Eva Goldfinger
Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Toronto and Greater Toronto Area
(416) 494-7450
evagoldfinger@rogers.com
www.oraynu.org

Rabbi Denise Handlarski
Toronto and Greater Toronto Area
(416) 854-0133
denise.handlarski@gmail.com
www.denisehandlarski.com

Rabbi Karen Levy
Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Toronto and Greater Toronto Area
klevy@rogers.com
(416) 385-3910
www.oraynu.org

Gail McCabe PhD RSSW
Hamilton, Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe
Humanist Officiant, Ontario Humanist Society
United Jewish People's Order
Chaplain, University of Toronto, UT Humanist Chaplaincy
905-220-9072 (cell)
(289) 396-0060 (land)
gailmccabe@gmail.com
gailmccabe.com
ontariohumanists.ca
uthumanist.com

Amy Soule, Volunteer Cantor
Hamilton, Ontario
affiliated with Shaarei Beth El Congregation (Oakville, Ontario)
amysoule14@gmail.com

There are other celebrants in Ontario who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

QUEBEC

Rabbi David Gellman
Based in Toronto, Ontario
Will also travel to Buffalo, NY and other adjacent New York state areas
(416) 300 7218 (Canadian mobile)
rebberev@gmail.com

Rabbinic Chaplain (ordained) Sherril Gilbert
B'nai Or Montreal Community Shul
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
(514) 386-8874
rabbi@bnai-or.org
wix.com/sherrilgilbert/SherrilGilbert
bnai-or.org/

 

CARIBBEAN

Rabbi Steven Blane
Will travel, including Turks and Caicos Is.
(+1 917) 407-0477
sblane1107@gmail.com
Website: www.Officiant.org
Havurah: www.SimShalom.com

 

ISRAEL

ELIAV

Yossi Schellas
(+972) 52 320 8458
yschellas@gmail.com
www.tkasim.org.il

GIVATAYIM

Ayala Shanee
(+972) 50 243 5000
Ayala_sh@bezeqint.net
www.sarhatekes.co.il
www.tkasim.org.il

HAIFA

Rabbi Sigal Asher
(+972) 50 200 3979
peimot.sigal@gmail.com
www.peimot.net
www.tkasim.org.il

JERUSALEM

Rabbi Nardy Grün
(+972) 52 473 8983
nardy1@gmail.com
www.blognardy.com
www.tkasim.org.il

Rabbi Sivan Maas, Chairperson of "Secular Judaism"
Dean of IISHJ - Tmura Israel
(+972) 52 336 6541
rsivanmaas@gmail.com
israelijudaism.org.il/rsivan.php
www.tkasim.org.il

Rabbi Dr. Efraim Zadoff
(+972) 50 739 3887
zadoff@zahav.net.il
chatunachilonit.wordpress.com/
www.tkasim.org.il

KFAR SABA

Rabbi Galit Oren-Moran
(+972) 52 428 2368
mailto:galitoren13@gmail.com
www.raba-galitoren.co.il
www.tkasim.org.il

KFAR TAVOR

Rotkovitch Yair (Independent Celebrant)
(+972) 54 454 0275
yairro4@gmail.com
www.tkasim.org.il

KIBBUTZ BEIT HAEMEK

Rabbi Avi Pascal
(+972) 52 379 4576
aviamba@b-emek.org.il
www.tkasim.org.il

KIBBUTZ EIN HAMIFRATZ

Rabbi Neomi Meoded
(+972) 52 274 1414
Neomi.meoded@gmail.com
www.tkasim.org.il

KIBBUTZ MIZRA

Rabbi Koby Wiener
(+972) 52 795 0082
Koby_v@mizra.org.il
www.ravenosh.com
www.tkasim.org.il

NESHER

Rabbi Dr. Iris Yaniv
(+972) 54 491 6877
y_iris@netvision.net.il
https://sites.google.com/site/rabbidr17/
www.tkasim.org.il

RAKAFET

Rabbi Dubi Avigur
(+972) 52 830 5763
davigur@gmail.com
www.dubi-tkasim.co.il
www.tkasim.org.il

There are other celebrants in Israel who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

 

MEXICO

CANCUN

Rabbi Steven Blane
(+1 917) 407-0477
sblane1107@gmail.com
Website: www.Officiant.org
Havurah: www.SimShalom.com

 

UNITED KINGDOM

LONDON

Laura Miller, Madricha, Humanist Jewish officiant
68 Etherley Road
London N15 3AU
England
(44 20) 8800 5120
madrichalaura02@yahoo.co.uk

There are other celebrants in London who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.

IRELAND

Rabbi Mark Newton
Boston, MA - travels frequently to Ireland
(617) 520-8002
rabbimarknewton@yahoo.com
www.irishrabbi.com

 

EUROPE

GERMANY

Rabbi Kai Eckstein
Postfach 740121
22091 Hamburg
Germany
+49 (0)40 287 81 187
humanrabbi@hotmail.com
Rabbi Eckstein is a counselor or consultant for people who wish to learn more about Brit Shalom. He will not be actively officiating at ceremonies.

HUNGARY

Dr Hanoch Ben-Yami
Philosophy Department
Central European University
Nador u. 9, H-1051
Budapest
Hungary
+36 1 327 3000 ext. 2557
h.benyami@gmail.com


SOUTH AMERICA

BRAZIL

There are celebrants in Brazil who do not wish their contact information listed publicly. Please contact Mark D Reiss, M.D. for further information.


 

For the name of a Brit Shalom celebrant in your area
or to be added to this list,
email Dr Mark Reiss
or write to
Mark David Reiss, M.D.
773 Duncan Street
San Francisco California 94131
phone (415) 647-2687

 

CIRCUMCISION…MY POSITION
Mark D. Reiss, M.D.

Dr Mark Reiss

I am a retired physician, a Jew born in 1933 who is an active member of a Conservative synagogue, and a grandfather.

When I was in Medical School in the 1950s, almost all newborn males in the US were circumcised. Despite the fact that prophylactic surgery was not generally performed, we were taught that circumcision was the correct and healthy thing to do. It was thought to control masturbation, decrease cancer risk, and help curtail sexually transmitted diseases. We learned nothing of foreskin anatomy or function. Infant nervous systems were thought to be undeveloped and their pain was so trivialized that it was almost ignored. As a young physician, I participated in many circumcisions. Over the years I've witnessed brit milah in the homes of friends and family. I was mildly uncomfortable with the practice, but like most physicians, and like most Jews, I said and did nothing to question circumcision.

In 1999, as I was about to become a grandfather for the first time, my interest in the subject became more focused. I learned that more and more physicians now realize that any potential benefits of circumcision are far outweighed by its risks and drawbacks. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that "Routine circumcision is not necessary". Whether done by a physician in the hospital, or a mohel in a ritual brit milah, the procedure has significant complication rates of infection, hemorrhage and even death. Mortality may actually be higher than thought since some of these deaths have not been attributed to circumcision, but listed only under their secondary causes, such as hemorrhage or infection. I've learned of the very important role the foreskin has in the protection of the head of the penis in the infant, and in sexual functioning in adulthood. It has also been shown that the newborn feels pain even more acutely than adults do, and that many of the infants who stop crying during circumcision are actually in a state of traumatic shock. To my amazement I learned that the USA was the only country in the world routinely circumcising babies for non-religious reasons.

With these overwhelming reasons not to circumcise, I began to look at the practice of ritual circumcision in the Jewish community and I learned that: circumcision is not an identity issue. You do not need to be circumcised to be Jewish any more than the need to observe many other Jewish laws. The bottom line is this: if your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish, period. And in the Reform tradition, patrilineal descent is also accepted. Among Jews in Europe (only 40% of newborn Jewish boys in Sweden are being circumcised), South America, and even in Israel, circumcision is not universal. Growing numbers of American Jews are now leaving their sons intact as they view circumcision as a part of Jewish law that they can no longer accept. Alternative brit b'li milah or brit shalom ceremonies (ritual naming ceremony without cutting) are being performed by some rabbis. Increasing numbers of intact boys are going to religious school, having bar mitzvahs, and taking their place as young adults in the Jewish community.

As a Jewish grandfather, I want to assure young couples about to bring a child into the world, that there are other members of the Jewish "older" generation, including other Jewish physicians, and even some rabbis, who feel as I do. If your heart and instincts tell you to leave your son intact, listen!

 

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madrikh (masc.), madrikha (fem.) (Hebrew)

vegvayzer (Yiddish)
Bracketleader. All three terms are used to reflect the inclusiveness
of the Secular and Humanistic movements in Judaism.