Friday, May 15, 2015

Celebrating Brit Shalom: The Debrief


Marilyn Milos, RN, references "Celebrating Brit Shalom" at
the 2015 Birth Keeper Summit in Berkeley, CA.

By REBECCA WALD

Well, it's official. Drumroll please! As of today the Oakland-based indie publishing company, Notim Press, has officially released Celebrating Brit Shalom, a book I've co-authored with my wonderful colleague and friend Lisa Braver Moss.

Celebrating Brit Shalom is the first book written specifically for Jewish families who want to hold an alternative bris that doesn't include circumcision. The book is now widely available online, and also in some brick and mortar bookstores, especially those that offer a wider selection of faith- and Jewish-themed books.

Lisa and I share the latest happenings about our book on our website, our Facebook page, and—sometimes—Twitter, and we've posted a few updates to Kickstarter since our campaign. However, I haven't written much about Celebrating Brit Shalom here on Beyond the Bris, so I'm taking this occasion of our book launch to offer a (brief) debrief, now that the mission is complete.

Although it is a slim volume, Celebrating Brit Shalom has been a very involved project, many years in the making. Lisa and I had our hands full with a Kickstarter campaign, a manuscript that was the product of collaboration with each other and members of the Jewish community, original musical compositions with engraved sheet music included in the book, and Hebrew language prayers with transliterations. Whew! It feels so good to say the book is available to the public at long last.

As is always the case with collaborative endeavors, Lisa and I each brought different things to the table in terms of our perspectives and ideas. I'm convinced that neither of us could have written this book without the other, and I'm so grateful we found each other, and had faith in each other. Lisa has such an upbeat, organized, supportive and enthusiastic personality. It was easy to have a good working relationship with her.

Along the way, we received wonderful support from not only the Jewish community, but also from our non-Jewish friends who believe that circumcision is a choice best made in adulthood. I find it remarkable, and very touching, that individuals with no connection to Judaism have been so passionate in their support the concept of ritual choice for Jewish parents desiring bris without circumcision.

Many reading this have been following our book project for some time, but if you're just discovering Celebrating Brit Shalom and want to learn more—do check out our website. We recently updated the look, by the way. There is a lot of good information about our book there, including upcoming events, links to reviews and press and comments from rabbis and Jewish authors. 


And, if you really like what we're doing, please consider purchasing a copy of the book directly from us or making an outright contribution, so we can make the most of our book launch year.

To all behind the scenes who have helped and supported this book into being (you know who you are), I extend my sincerest gratitude.

And so I say "shalom" to Celebrating Brit Shalom. In Hebrew, it means "hello" and "goodbye."

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