Brit Milah (Bris)


Equality of the sexes is a basic tenet of Secular Humanistic Judaism. We believe that boys and girls should be welcomed to the world, to the Jewish community, and to their families in ceremonies that celebrate this equality. Secular Jews hold baby-naming ceremonies for boys and girls.

The ceremony can be structured like a Brit Milah, with the holding, the dabbing of wine on the baby's lips, the announcement of the name and benedictions, or it can be free-form and creative. The parents can combine traditional elements with others that are meaningful for them. Friends and family can participate. A Secular Humanistic Jewish leader can help you write the ceremony that makes sense for your family. And it doesn't have to be eight days after the birth -- it can take place whenever it is convenient.

The Leadership Conference of Secular and Humanistic Jews has taken the position that the decision to circumcise a son belongs to the parents. We neither encourage not discourage this procedure, but we believe it is a medical procedure that should be carried out in a medical facility by a physician, not a ritual procedure that should be carried out by a religious functionary in front of friends and family.