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October 8, 2015 | 25th Tishrei 5776

Reform Jews Resolve to Uphold Circumcision Rights

June 23, New York – At a recent Union for Reform Judaism Board of Trustees meeting in Brooklyn, New York, the Board adopted a resolution on anti-circumcision initiatives.
Citing circumcision as the oldest ritual connected with Judaism and a biblical covenant between God and the Jewish people, the resolution affirms the rite of circumcision. This resolution comes as a response to a proposal to ban the practice of male circumcision in San Francisco and elsewhere.

The resolution states: "These initiatives are an attack on the American commitment to religious liberty and the constitutional protection of the free exercise of religion, which has been a source of strength and pride since the United States' founding" and resolves to:  

1. Reaffirm male circumcision as an integral part of the divine covenant (brit milah) that has existed for five thousand years between God and the Jewish people;

2. Continue to support the Constitution's First Amendment commitment to religious liberty and free exercise;

3. Support the right to male circumcision as a core manifestation of free exercise of religion for Jews and others who hold it as a central religious ritual; and

4.  Express our opposition to legislation, ballot initiatives or other measures that would make the practice of male circumcision, including ritual circumcision, illegal.

"The circumcision ban in San Francisco threatens to restrict the right to exercise a ritual that has been part of Jewish and Muslim culture for thousands of years," said Chair of the Board Peter Weidhorn, "The URJ Board of Trustees felt it was critical to take a stand on this issue, which is so central to our Jewish heritage."


dave abbey

June 24, 2011
10:39 AM

While circumcision is a tribal rite of our faith, the reality in the 21st century, more and more non-Jews and Jews are foregoing what they believe is unnecessary to mark the covenant. Presumably other actions/mitzvot are more suitable identification signs of our covenant


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