It's hard to believe that this May marks the two-year anniversary of the official release of "Celebrating Brit Shalom," a book of alternative bris ceremonies for Jewish families who have decided not to circumcise their newborn sons.
Written with my delightful co-author and partner in crime, Lisa Braver Moss, we knew from the start that our book would be targeted to a niche audience of progressive Jewish parents opting out of the circumcision ritual, and to rabbis open-minded enough to meet this ceremonial need.
Today we measure our success quite differently from most other book authors. We were never expecting to sell millions of books — or even thousands. After all, the number of Jewish families expecting sons, who don't wish to circumcise, and do wish to have an alternative bris is quite small. With such a narrow intended audience, way back when, we turned to Kickstarter to help fund our project. And we remain deeply thankful to all those who saw the value of what we were doing and supported us.
So how are we doing two years after the book's release? I think pretty well. Every month we sell books — no longer to the friends and family who initially supported us and bought our book as a Kickstarter reward, but to those for whom the book was truly written: Jewish families expecting a son and planning to keep him intact.
Our book sales are by no means through the roof. So far, this May, we've sold just three units. Other authors would likely be hanging their heads low over this number, but Lisa and I view this as an enormous success. Think about it. So far, this month, that's three Jewish families who are not only opting out, and choosing alternative bris, but who also found our book and followed through with a purchase.
"Celebrating Brit Shalom" also continues to be a topic of conversation, thanks to Lisa's knack for public speaking, and her belief that Jewish parents shouldn't be pressured to go against their heartfelt instinct to protect their boys from the pain and lifelong physical and emotional consequences of circumcision.
Last May, Lisa spoke at Temple Sinai in Oakland California. This June, she'll be speaking again. This time at the JCC East Bay in Berkeley.