By REBECCA WALD
Today I have some big news that I am excited to share. I’ve recently been working on a project with my dear friend Lisa Braver Moss. We’ve been putting together a book for families who want to hold a brit shalom ceremony for their newborn sons.
If you aren’t familiar—brit shalom is an alternative to brit milah. The baby is given a Hebrew name and welcomed into the Jewish community without circumcision. By all indicators, brit shalom is becoming evermore popular. For example, Dr. Mark Reiss’s Brit Shalom Providers List now boasts nearly 200 officiants—more than 100 of whom are bona fide rabbis.
Lisa and I decided it was time for a book about brit shalom, one that families and officiants could turn to for advice and inspiration. The book will include a choice of ceremonies, original songs, information about brit shalom and tips for hosting a service.
On June 17—that’s one week from today—we’ll be launching a 45-day Kickstarter campaign to officially announce our book, Celebrating Brit Shalom, and to raise needed funding so we can bring this book to the public.
If you haven't heard of it, Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform for creative projects, where "backers" receive great rewards at different funding levels.
Why do we need funding? We decided to “go-indie” (instead of seeking out a traditional publisher). This means we’re doing everything ourselves, from cover design, typesetting and graphic art to promotion and distribution. Since we’ll be including music that will be recorded and available for download, we also have expenses like professional mastering of the songs.
This Fall, we hope to get our book into the hands of prospective parents, congregational rabbis, synagogue libraries, Jewish and interfaith officiants—wherever and to whomever it takes to get our message out that a beautiful ritual exists to welcome intact Jewish boys. If we meet our Kickstarter goal, we can produce the book. If we are fortunate enough to go above and beyond our fundraising goal, we’ll be able to accomplish even more: like sending out library/donation copies, doing increased promotion, and translating the book into other languages, such as Hebrew.
Imagine a book like this in the hands of every rabbi in the U.S., Canada and beyond—What a difference it could make. What a message it would send! You can help us achieve this goal.
How can you help? First of all, get excited with us about this groundbreaking book. When the campaign goes live on June 17, share the news far and wide. Have media contacts? Let them know. A rich uncle? Well, you get the idea! Also, if you have something special you’d be willing to donate as a reward to our backers, please contact us.
An easy way to get in touch with us for any reason is via the “Inquiries” field on our new website. There's also a place on the site where you can enter your email address to receive updates about our project. And, if you feel so inclined, "Like" our brand new Facebook page.
While we’re eager to meet our fundraising goal, what we’re really hoping for is a big show of support for our project, especially early on in the campaign. When the time comes, you can go on to Kickstarter and become a project backer for as little as one dollar. That’s really all it takes to support us—and to show the world that nothing, not even religion, stands in the way of a child’s right to the body he was born with.
And save the date: On June 17, 2014, at 8PM EST we’re having a Kickstarter Kick-Off Virtual Party, where we'll be giving away vouchers for some free copies of our book (and the downloadable songs) that can be redeemed when publication becomes a reality. To enter to win a voucher, all you need to do is say you'll attend our cyber event.