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Statement on Circumcision and Jewish Identity

Preamble

The ceremony of welcoming a child to the world and to the Jewish people can be one of the most meaningful and exciting experiences. It is a tradition of the Jewish people to celebrate the arrival of sons with Brit Milah (ritual circumcision or “Bris”), yet our commitment to the equality of men and women inspires us to create new welcoming ceremonies. Secular and Humanistic Jews do not see Milah (circumcision) as a sign of a Brit (covenant), but circumcision may retain cultural or personal significance for some.

Statement

We, the Leadership Conference of Secular and Humanistic Jews, mindful of both our commitments to Jewish identity and to gender equality, affirm that:

We welcome into the Jewish community all who identify with the history, culture and fate of the Jewish people. Circumcision is not required for Jewish identity.

We support parents making informed decisions whether or not to circumcise their sons. We affirm their right to choose, and we accept and respect their choice.

Naming and welcoming ceremonies should be egalitarian. We recommend separating circumcision from welcoming ceremonies.