Jewish groups weigh in on waiver for brit technique

Two Jewish umbrella groups weighed in on the New York City Board of Health’s planned vote on a measure requiring parental consent for a controversial practice in the circumcision ritual.

The health department is scheduled to vote this week on the waiver for the use of direct oral-genital suction, known as metzitzah b’peh. The form would indicate that parents are aware of the risk of infection.

The Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly applauded the commissioner’s push for parental consent, while the Rabbinical Council of America, an Orthodox umbrella group, expressed discontent with the prospect of regulation on the matter. The RCA did, however, advocate safer practices.

The Union for Reform Judaism’s Berit Mila Program did not issue a statement, but stated that mohelim trained by its program should not perform the procedure. — jta