Want more information?
You may download informational materials below.
For convenience the FAQ page is included on this page directly below.
- An introduction to the roles people play in a Berit Mila
- Instructions for preparing a Berit Mila
- Worksheet of information for the Berit Mila (PDF / Word Format)
Who are you? What are your qualifications?
I am a board certified Pediatrician. I have been in practice since 1997.
I am certified as a Mohel by the Berit Mila Board of Reform Judaism and am a member of the National Organization of Reform Mohalim.
Though I have been practicing as a Mohel since 2008, I have been performing routine circumcisions much longer and do them regularly as part of my Pediatric Practice.
I am licensed to practice medicine in New York and Massachusetts.
When Should I Call You?
You may call me anytime. Though many Mohalim will not discuss a Berit Mila until a baby is born, you are welcome to call me prior to the delivery if you have questions. After the baby is born you should call as soon as possible - during daytime or early evening hours please.
How Can You Be Reached?
- Phone: (413) 367-6452
- E-mail: Use the Contact Me page
E-mail at ay time. Call me during regular business hours unless there is an emergency.
When will the Berit Mila take place?
A Berit Mila takes place on the 8th day. The day a baby is born is counted as day number one. This means that the Berit Mila will take place on the same day of the week as the baby was born - in the next week. However, a baby born after sundown is considered to have been born the next day, so the ceremony is delayed by one day.
It is traditional for a Berit Mila to take place in the morning.
As there may be other factors affecting the timing, it is very important for us to discuss this before you make any plans.
Can a Berit take place on Shabbat or on a holiday?
Yes. With certain exceptions, a Berit Mila takes place on the 8th day, even Shabbat or Yom Kippur.
Can the Berit be before the eighth day?
No. A circumcision before the eighth day does not fulfill the Mitzvah. It is not done.
Can the Berit be delayed and done on a later date?
If the health of the child is in question then the Berit must be delayed until the baby is healthy enough for it to be performed safely. This is Jewish law. Although there are many times when a family may wish to delay the Berit for other reasons, such as when friends and family are traveling from out of town, delaying is discouraged. However, unlike a Berit performed early, a Berit performed late is still a Mitzvah.
Will I perform a Berit Mila after the 8th day? Absolutely.
Our baby has Jaundice. Do we need to delay the Berit?
Typically no. But you should let me know if this occurs and we’ll discuss it.
What type of anesthesia do you use?
I offer a method currently considered one of the standard methods of pain control for circumcision by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is the Dorsal Penile Nerve Block (DPNB). DPNB requires two small injections of anesthetic, done in private, just before the ceremony begins. After the procedure the baby may be given Tylenol for pain, though most need no more than one dose. Anesthesia is recommended, but not required.
What technique do you use to perform the circumcision?
I perform a circumcision for Berit Mila exactly as I do in a hospital setting. I use a Mogen clamp, a common technique for a mohel. The circumcision itself takes no more than 5 minutes.
What if one parent is not Jewish?
In Reform Judaism a child may be considered as Jewish if either parent in Jewish, not just the mother. Therefore no change in ceremony is required.
For Conservative Jews things are a bit different. If the Mother is not Jewish then a Berit Mila “for the purpose of conversion” can be done. This is no problem.
Must parents recite prayers in Hebrew?
No. However, there is not much for the parents to recite, and I will help you if you need help. If you prefer not to, I will gladly read the Hebrew and allow you to read the translation.
What are the honors that can be given out at the bris?
See the separate document Who’s Who at a Berit Mila.
Should we explain the source of our son’s name at the Berit Mila?
Yes. Circumcision is only half of the ceremony. The other is naming. Though a baby’s name is not required to be of particular significance, it often is. It is encouraged to at least mention it’s significance at the Berit. Some say a word or two, other spend a lot of time on this. It is up to you.
Do we need to have a Minyan?
A minyan is not required.
We have a special situation not mentioned here. What do we do?
There are many special situations that may arise, including adoption, non-Jewish parent, health issues, and others. You should feel free to call me to discuss any special issue that may present themselves.