Eradicating Circumcision: Judaism, Intactivism, & Human Rights
“Although uncircumcised, I am a very proud Jew, with a very strong sense of Jewish identity, and never hesitate to affirm my Jewish identity, to Jew and non-Jew alike, but particularly to myself. I can assure you that having a foreskin has not made me less of a Jew than those without one…”
- Alan Altmann, Circumcision Questions, California Jewish Bulletin, May 31, 1985.
"It's not a parental choice. There's an ethical problem with making this a parental choice, namely that you're not taking into account the wishes upon whom the surgery is being performed."
- Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, Georgetown University, September 22, 2011.
The Cut Tour: Washington DC Q&A with Ryan McAllister & Rabbi Binyamin Biber Podcast
- Jewish Intactivists, the Foreskin, and Human Rights Part 1.
- Jewish Intactivists, the Foreskin, and Human Rights Part 2.
- Jewish Intactivists, the Foreskin, and Human Rights Part 3.
“There are tens of thousands of intact Jewish boys and men around the world who thank their lucky stars they were not circumcised.”
- Brian Levitt, Jewish Intactivist, co-founder of Jews for the Rights of the Child
Testimony at the California Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on Circumcision.
The Ethical and Moral Problems of Circumcision: Jewish Arguments for Intactivism
- Manhattan Jewish Experience: Eli Ungar-Sargon & Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on the Ethical Problems of Circumcision
- Northern California Jewish Bulletin: Circumcision Questions (letter from an uncircumcised Jew)
- Jewish Women Speak Out: Miriam Pollack: Circumcision: A Jewish Feminist Perspective
- Jewish Daily Forward: Eli Ungar-Sargon Outlawing Circumcision Good for the Jews?
- Tikkun: Michael S. Kimmel: The Kindest Un-Cut: Feminism, Judaism, and My Son's Foreskin
- Mothering Magazine: Stacey Greenberg: My Son: The Little Jew with a Foreskin
- Beyond the Bris: Howard Stern: Jewish Intactivist
- Beyond the Bris: Defying Convention: An Interview With Miriam Pollack
- Beyond the Bris: Lisa Braver Moss: Evolving Jewish Practices
“When all is said and done, circumcision is really a human rights issue. What right do any of us have to permanently remove a normal, healthy, sensitive part of another person's body without their consent? I have no problem with an adult male who chooses to be circumcised. I do have a problem with an adult who makes that decision for a child. I have known too many men, both Jewish and Christian, who resent the fact that they were circumcised."
- Laura Shanley, Childbirth Instructor, A Jewish Woman Denounces Circumcision
- Worldwide list of Rabbis & Moyels who lead covenant without cutting ceremonies
- Jews Against Circumcision describes Brit Shalom, Convenent of Peace
- A Brit Shalom (Intact Jewish Baby Welcoming) Ceremony
- Song for an Intact Jewish Boy’s Welcoming Ceremony
- Brit B'lee Milah (Covenant Without Cutting) Ceremony
- Norm Cohen: A Brit B’lee Milah (Intact Jewish Baby Welcoming) Ceremony
"According to modern scholars, circumcision is not even mentioned in either the earliest, "J", version of Bereshth ("Genesis") nor the next three rewrites by other authors. Most importantly, the story of Abram is there in its entirety, except the part about the Covenant being "sealed" with circumcision. The parallel Covenant story of "a smoking kiln and its blazing torch" passing between the halves of animals and birds sacrificed by Abram is in J. Many biblical scholars agree on this point, and it is in accord with the mitzvot against desecrating the body.... It has even been suggested that early Judaism forbad circumcision!"
- Case for Bris without Milah.
Examples of Young Jewish Parents who Choose Peaceful Covenant Ceremonies
- Peaceful Parenting: Dear Elijah: A Conservative Jewish Father's Letter to His Intact Son
- Beyond the Bris: Diane Targovnik: How "Cut" Saved My Son's Foreskin : A Movie Review
- Very, Very Fine: The Naming
- Natural Parents Network: Intact and Jewish
- Beyond the Bris: Sarah Rockwell: Lucking Into Bris Shalom
- Moshe Rothenberg: Being Rational About Circumcision and Jewish Observance
- Lisa Braver Moss: The Jewish Roots of Anti-Circumcision Arguments
- Jenny Goodman, MD: An Alternative Perspective A Jewish doctor in the UK chooses intact.
- Hebrew Scholar Vadim Cherny: How Judaic is circumcision? It’s not at all, he finds.
- Profile of Orthodox Intactivist Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon
- Brit Milah: Inconsistent with Jewish Ethics? Written by a Jewish parent.
- Laura Shanley: A Jewish Woman Denounces Circumcision A Childbirth educator chooses intact.
- Jewish Mamma: Today’s Jews Reject Circumcision and Choose Peaceful Welcoming Covenants An Intactivist Midwife.
- Moshe Rothenberg: Ending Circumcision in the Jewish Community? Envisioning an Intactivist Judaism.
“There are many abandoned practices that are widely considered unethical nowadays, even though they are ordained in the Torah. These include slavery, polygamy, and corporal punishment for working on the Sabbath. Just like slavery, polygamy, and corporal punishment, the practice of circumcision is a cultural practice that predates Judaism. If Judaism is to survive, then we must accept circumcision for what it is, a form of torture and sexual mutilation, and stop it. There are other ways we can teach our children to respect women and sustain a happy marriage and family life.”
- Jonathan Friedman, founder of IntactNews.org
Quicktime Audio: Q&A with Jewish Intactivist Leaders Including Rabbis
- Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon with Ryan McAllister & Rabbi Binyamin Biber
- Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon with Rabbi Steven Blane & Laurie Evans
- The Psychological Consequences of Circumcision with Ronald Goldman Ph.D.
“…as recently as the mid-nineteenth century, in Eastern Europe and Russia there was a widespread move to stop [circumcision]… Led by women–what a surprise!–who thought the practice barbaric and patriarchal, the movement eventually even convinced Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, who refused to allow his own son to be circumcised.”
- Michael S. Kimmel, Professor, SUNY Stony Brook, TIKKUN, Volume 16, May/June, 2001
Intactivist Groups in Israel
- The Israeli Association Against Genital Mutilation
- Af-Mila: A Hebrew Magazine for Jewish Intactivists
“I happen to agree with you that foreskin removal should be illegal. It is a mutilation… I agree with you that men should not be circumcised. . . I don’t know where this circumcision came from, some people feel it’s a religious thing, it’s about health, it’s about cutting off the foreskin makes your penis less likely to get cancer. There’s been all kinds of myths. I think it’s nonsense. That if you’re born that way, it seems to me it’s a mutilation to cut it off. The same way in Africa they sometimes cut off a woman’s clitoris and they think that’s justified. I think our foreskins were cut off in order to desensitize us, and I think it was a bunch of religious nudnicks who decided they didn’t want us going around fornicating so they cut off some of our penis skin.”
- Howard Stern, Talk Radio Host, Howard Stern, Jewish Intactivist by Rebecca Wald, J.D., BeyondTheBris.com, March 31, 2011