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Conservative movement to train doctors in ritual circumcision

The five-day program will prepare medical professionals to become certified in performing the religious rite.

Jews perform a brit milah in Jerusalem on Dec. 12 , 2011. The brit milah is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel (circumciser), the ceremony takes place on the eighth day of the child's life. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Jews perform a brit milah in Jerusalem on Dec. 12 , 2011. The brit milah is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel (circumciser), the ceremony takes place on the eighth day of the child's life. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Two institutions of the Conservative movement—the Rabbinical Assembly and Jewish Theological Seminary—announced that they will offer “comprehensive training” on brit milah to medical professionals who perform non-religious circumcisions.

“Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the ceremony, its religious significance and best practices for conducting this sacred ritual,” the groups stated. “The collaboration reflects Conservative Judaism’s commitment to helping Jewish communities throughout the world observe traditional practices in a modern context.”

The training, which is scheduled to run for five days and to take place in November, will also address “non-medical rituals for simchat bat,” a ceremony for baby girls. It will “prepare participants to become mohelim/mohelot certified in ritual and Jewish law by the Conservative movement,” according to the release.

The seminary and the assembly offered similar training last October, Matt Landini, a spokesman for the groups, told JNS.

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