Let's Be Audacious—Celebrating Brit Shalom Headed to Huge Rabbi Gathering

The Union for Reform Judaism conference will be a great
place to engage in dialogue with Jewish leaders about meeting
the ceremonial needs of families that opt out of circumcision.

A 4000-plus convergence of Reform rabbis and congregational leaders is taking place in Orlando this November and Celebrating Brit Shalom will be on hand. 

Celebrating Brit Shalom is the first-ever book specifically for Jewish families opting out of circumcision. Brit shalom is an alternative to brit milah for parents who want to give their boys a formal welcome to Jewish life, minus the circumcision. 

The Union for Reform Judaism’s 2015 Biennial calls itself the largest Jewish religious gathering in North America. Conference registration is open to the public, with much of the programming geared to those with leadership roles in congregations. Also during the biennial, decisions are made about the policies of the Reform movement.

Throughout the five-day event, taking place Nov. 4-8, Celebrating Brit Shalom will have a booth in the exhibit hall. Lisa Braver Moss and I will be on hand to discuss our book and the album of accompanying music, as well as the growing Jewish movement to question circumcision and the concept (pioneered by Lisa) that families who opt out of circumcision should be openly welcomed by the Reform movement.

A theme of the 2015 biennial is “audacious hospitality,” the idea that congregations should go out of their way to make Jewish people of all stripes feel included. How perfect, since in my experience Jewish parents forgoing circumcision often have concerns about how their decision might impact their affiliation and participation.

There is no telling just who will be stopping by the Celebrating Brit Shalom booth. Featured speakers at the conference include actor Michael Douglas as well as influential authors, journalists, academics, and political figures. The conference is also attended by many high school and college students. 
Stay tuned as Beyond the Bris will be live-tweeting from the event!


  1. Great write up! And love the idea of live-tweeting! Good luck to you both!

  2. I hope you have a wonderful reception and sell lots of books! You are both pioneers. so please remember what Schopenhauer taught us about all truth going through stages of acceptance. Gandhi said it this way, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." You are presenting a new truth and that's never easy (believe me, I know!). So, when people react to you--and I hope most welcome you with open arms--just remember the stages of acceptance. You'll be able to see where people are with their ability to accept a new truth and that will help you to not take personally their inability to embrace the new idea immediately. One day, everyone will embrace the truth about the rights of the child to genital autonomy and self-determination because of your pioneering efforts! Bravo to you two awesome and very brave, determined women! And, thank you!