Brit Milah "Bris"
“Bris” is the shortened, Yiddish term for the Hebrew: Brit Milah. Brit means covenant, the covenant that was made between God and Abraham and all his subsequent generations. Mila means circumcision. A B’rit Mila is a ceremony of Jewish identity, providing physical identity through the circumcision and spiritual identity using the appropriate blessings of bestowing a Jewish name to males. This ceremony links Jews with over four thousand years of tradition.
The ceremony also provides an opportunity to honor specific family members and/or friends through participation in parts of the ceremony, such as reading a poem or carrying the baby into the room.
There are 3 components to the B’rit Mila ceremony:
1. The Mila (Circumcision)
2. The Naming: usually performed by a member of the clergy (although the Mohelet can do this)
3. The celebratory meal!
(another name for "Brit Bat")
A Simhat Bat (also spelled Simchat Bat or Simchas Bat) is a Jewish naming ceremony for a baby girl. The ceremony is usually held within the first few months of the baby's life and is an opportunity for family and friends to celebrate her arrival and give her a Hebrew name.
The Simhat Bat is a relatively new tradition in Jewish culture and was developed to provide a counterpart to the bris ceremony, which is only for baby boys. The Simhat Bat is often held in the family's home or in a synagogue and is typically led by a rabbi or other religious leader.
During the ceremony, the baby is usually held by her mother or another female relative, and blessings are recited. The baby is then given her Hebrew name, which is often chosen to honor a loved one or to reflect a quality or trait that the parents hope the child will embody.
After the naming ceremony, there is often a festive meal, and family and friends offer their congratulations and best wishes to the new parents and their daughter. The Simhat Bat is a joyous occasion that celebrates the arrival of a new life and the continuation of the Jewish faith and traditions.
Welcoming Jewish baby girls,
Home Based Infant Circumcision
Circumcision at home provides the family with the opportunity to be present during the procedure and provide comfort for the infant immediately before, during and after. The risk of infection is reduced as it is one less procedure done in a hospital setting. The procedure is done using sterile technique exactly as is done in the hospital without strapping the infant into a plastic mold and instead being held by one of his parents. Topical anesthetic can be applied and sucrose is given to elicit the sucking reflex which is calming and soothing to the infant.
For non-Jewish males up to 6 wks of age.
Hatafat Dam Brit
This ceremony is for infants and adults who are already circumcised and their parents are planning a conversion ceremony for them. A small needle is used to extract a drop of blood from the penile shaft prior to immersion in the mikvah (ritual bath). This ritual is done for Conservative or Orthodox Jews when the mother is not Jewish. It is not an obligation for Reform Jews as they accept patrilineal decent. For more information on ritual conversion for Conservative Jews:
For Orthodox: contact your local Orthodox Rabbi.
For male infants who are already circumcised and are planning conversion.