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Seth G Derman, MD, Certified Mohel

Our medical director is also certified as a mohel by the Union for Reform Judaism. Dr. Derman performs brit milah (commonly known as a bris), for patients of our practice and for other families in the Princeton area.

FAQ about Brit Milah

How doses a "bris" differ from a circumcision?

Circumcision refers to removal of the foreskin, a procedure that is commonly performed on newborn baby boys in the US. The bris is a religious ritual that includes a circumcision along with various prayers and a baby naming ceremony.

Is it a good idea to circumcise my son?

If he he is Jewish 

Why should I have a bris instead of a circumcision in the hospital?

If you are Jewish and your intend to bring up your son in your faith, the bris is one of the most important life cycle events in his life. From a medical point of view, a circumcision in the hospital is perfectly fine. From a religious point of view, it is not a substitute. The bris is your child's welcoming into the Jewish community, and has been the case since the days of Abraham.

What is a mohel?

A mohel (or mohelet) is a someone trained and certified in performing a brit milah (a bris). 

How does a Reform Mohel differ from a traditional Mohel?

Traditional mohelim are perfectly qualified to perform Brit Milah and can come from the clergy or other backgrounds. They are trained and certified in the circumcision procedure as well as the religious ritual by their branch of Judaism. In contrast, mohelim from the Brit Milah Board of Reform Judaism start out as trained medical professions (doctors and midwives) who know the medical aspects of circumcision and are trained and certified in the religious aspects by the URJ. The conservative movement also has a similar but small brit milah program. Only mohelim with a license to practice medicine (or nurse-midwifery) are legally allowed to use the most effective anesthetics. 

When is the bris done?

Jewish religious law states that the bris be on the 8th day of life, even if that is on Shabbat (the sabbath). Of course, the timing can be delayed in some instances, particularly when it involves the health of the baby.

How do I schedule a bris for my son?

If you are a patient of Delaware Valley or Princeton IVF, and/or live in the Princeton area, and interested in using Dr. Derman as your mohel, you call us at 609-896-4984  option #3, or send us a message using the form below.  

If you are looking for a Physician Mohel in a different part of the country, you can try locating a mohel at the National Organization of Mohelim's website.